b'Chapter 2Our immune system is made up of diverse cells with elaborate communication networks. Because of this, it can be heavily influenced by a broad variety of factors, even our emotions. This interconnectedness between immune cells and brain cells opens up vast possibilities of how we can use our emotional well-being to influence our immunity. Mood And ImmunityMany studies have revealed that pleasant emotions increase the bodys levels of a specific antibody. This beneficial agent prevents harmful bacteria from adhering to the surfaces of the digestive, urinary, and respiratory tracts. On the other hand, individuals experiencing negative emotions such as sadness or anger demonstrate sluggish immune responses. Stress And Immunity Stress suppresses immune activity. The immune system is most affected when the stress is repetitive, intense, and prolonged. Strategies such as relaxation exercises, hypnosis, exercise, biofeedback, and meditation have been shown to reduce both stressful feelings and to improve immunity. Implementing a daily meditation practice or doing gentle yoga changes the types and amounts of messenger molecules secreted by T-cells and natural killer cells, thereby improving immune surveillance. Introducing regular stress management into ones daily life will lower the risk of getting sick. Plus, the increased well-being derived from stress management is reward enough! In addition to stress management activities, many nutrients and herbs have been shown to possess anti-stress properties. These nutrients and herbs can help the body rebound from stressful situations. Herbs that may help us counter some of the adverse effects of stress include adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic herbs help to restore proper function to the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands, improving the ability of these organs to normalize cortisol levels. Siberian ginseng, Panax ginseng, and Indian ginseng are all considered adaptogenic herbs. Siberian ginseng normalizes cortisol, improves immune function and increases overall well-being. Panax ginseng can enhance immune function, physical stamina, mental acuity, and resistance to toxic substances. Indian ginseng, also known as ashwaghanda, protects against stress-induced ulcers, lowers chronically elevated cortisol, enhances energy, reduces anxiety, and counteracts stress-induced hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). Strategies such as relaxation exercises, hypnosis, exercise, biofeedback, and meditation have been shown to reduce both stressful feelings and improve immunity.4IMMUNITY'