Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Immune System - Your Friend Or Foe?

The human immune system is very complex because it involves the whole human body, and not just certain body organs and tissues. Its main function is to protect your body from viruses and infections by giving out signs and symptoms of imminent dangers. Unfortunately, you may have either ignored them or failed to notice them in your body system.
To protect your body, your immune system "remembers" foreign invaders or antigens that attack your body. The purpose is to identify similar invaders in future in order to give your body better protection from disease. This innate built-in disease prevention is achieved by the white blood cells in the immune system that produce antibodies (chemicals that attach to and attack specific antigens). In response to an injury or antigen, these white blood cells can also cause "inflammation" to prevent an infection from spreading elsewhere. In other words, the immune system is responsible for producing "chemical instructions" to nip diseases or infections in the bud. It is akin to a police department in a city: it recognizes the city's potential crime scenario, takes strong measures to protect its citizens, trains the local police force, and regulates the law and order of the city. Likewise, the immune system serves different functions of identification, activation, mobilization, and restoration to maintain the body in health and wellness.
Your immune system, however, can be your friend or your foe. When it becomes compromised or dysfunctional, your immune system can cause autoimmunity, in which the immune system attacks its own cells, mistaking them for foreign invaders. To illustrate, in myasthenia gravis, which is an autoimmune disease, it is an auto-antibody attack on the receptor responsible for the communication between the nervous system and voluntary muscles. As a result, there is miscommunication between them that results in muscle weakness, which is a hallmark characteristic of myasthenia gravis.
What causes autoimmunity?
Environmental agents can trigger the onset or deterioration of autoimmuity. Heavy metal, in particular, mercury, is responsible for a compromised immune system. According to Dr. Ahmet Hoke of John Hopkins University Medical Center, there are many toxic chemicals found in humans; many Americans whose work has no direct contact with heavy metals may have more than 200 chemicals in their bodies. This huge volume of toxicity is beyond what the immune system can handle. Therefore, given the very toxic environment we are living in, the immune system may easily become dysfunction, leading to errors and mistakes, which are the root causes of autoimmune diseases.
Another important factor in the causes of autoimmune diseases is the genetic factor. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about your genes inherited from your parents..
Lifestyle and diet may also trigger an attack. For example, inadequate vitamin D from the sun may be implicated in autoimmune diseases; however, too much ultraviolet rays from the sun may not be beneficial to the immune system. A diet with too much gluten, which is a protein, may cause inflammation in the small intestine, resulting in pain, and thus blocking the absorption of nutrients. If you are allergic to gluten, it may cause celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. The iodine in seafood is problematic to mice, although it has not been proved to affect humans.

All in all, an autoimmune disease may be caused by not just one factor but a combination of several factors. Given the complexity of autoimmune diseases, it is important to have a holistic approach to treating as well as to preventing autoimmune diseases and disorders. Using medications alone is an inadequate approach to treating autoimmune diseases because, at best, they can only suppress some of the disease symptoms, and, at worst, they can further impair the immune system. Using steroid medications to suppress an "overactive" immune system is just putting the patient in a catch-22 situation.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © by Stephen Lau



Friday, August 8, 2014

Aromatherapy to Help Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease with the hallmark characteristic of muscle weakness. One of the best ways to treat the disease symptoms is muscle relaxation, and aromatherapy using essential oils is one of the most potent ancient methods of natural healing.

If you are diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, it can be a devastating experience, especially if your doctor tells you that there is no known cure. Yes, according to Western medicine, autoimmune diseases cannot be cured, and only their disease symptoms can be controlled. So, what should one do when one is diagnosed with myasthenia gravis.
Empower yourself with knowledge about the disease: such as, the causes, the symptoms, and the prognosis. If you wish to take steroid medications to control the disease symptoms, ask questions about the long-term side effects of the drugs and their efficacy in controlling the symptoms. More importantly, ask how long you will be on those medications. The choice to take or not to take those prescribed medications is all yours.

Understand that relaxation is a potent antidote to muscle weakness and other related symptoms of myasthenia gravis. As a matter of fact, stress is the underlying cause of many autoimmune diseases. Therefore, deep relaxation may help you remove some of your disease symptoms.

Aromatherapy is one of the oldest healing arts known to mankind. It was practiced in ancient China, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire thousands of years ago. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy to improve health and balance of your skin, body, and mind.

According to Ayurvedic wisdom, plants are "receptacles of light." Therefore, the radiant life-giving energy of the sun for therapeutic purposes is retained in plants. Therapeutic essential oils are extracted from medicinal plants to heal the body of many disease, especially those related to stress. To illustrate, if you squeeze hard on a sage leaf, you can actually smell its aroma because your squeeze has burst the tiny glands in the sage leaf, thereby releasing its oil together with its aroma.

The Ayurvedic healing approach is based on attaining balance and harmony between your body systems and your constitutions associated with the basic elements of air, fire, water, and ether (similar to the Five Elements of the Chinese medical system; for more information, visit my web page: Chinese Healing).

Ayurvedic aromatherapy is the use of daily massage or self-massaging of the body with different essential oils from medicinal plants to create the balance between your body systems and your specific constitutions. For example, the loose skin between your toes, the insides of your nostrils and your ears are all full of reflex areas that respond well to a few drops of diluted essential oils.

All essential oils have different medicinal properties, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and bactericidal, among others. Essential oils that are most volatile are those that are most uplifting and invigorating, but they also evaporate most quickly; essential oils that are less volatile are often used therapeutically for their calming and sedating effects.

The physical ailments associated with aromatherapy are: anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, and mood disorder—they are often the byproducts of an autoimmune disease diagnosis.

Use essential oils to help you relax your mind as well as your muscles.

Be that as it may, buyers beware! Buying essential oils may not be as easy as you think. For one thing, imported essential oils are often adulterated due to the consideration for price and aroma stability. Therefore, you need to be knowledgeable and be able to test the essential oils for purity.

Also, visit my website: Self-Healing Self Help.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © by Stephen Lau