Why do we get sick?

Hot water bottle
A well-run machine does need routine maintenance, but it doesn’t get sick. Do we also need maintenance so that we do not get sick? If so, what is that maintenance. It seems that the latest “health” trends suggest this kind of maintenance, whether it is a certain “superfood” to eat, or a radical diet. Such maintenance however is like getting the best oil for your car, and making sure to drive it properly; a routine check up at the doctor’s to look over your labs is likewise the same as taking your car in for a tune up and an engine check.

We do need routine maintenance and yet we are not cars needing a mechanic – though the above maintenance mentioned can be helpful. We are living beings, and our bodies are very capable of doing the real job of maintenance! However, the way we do this is – to our great surprise – is through the immune system. The immune system cleanses the body, revitalizes the tissues and strengthens our overall health. It is an amazing aspect to human life. Yet it is this very immune system that makes us sick. Though we tend to think that germs and other such “invaders” make us sick, this is definitely not the case. It is our immune system that makes us sick! The last time you had a fever or an acute inflammatory response was the last time you really went in for a tune up. These illnesses are our body’s maintenance – or more accurately, our body’s way of cleaning house.

The lesson to be learned from this is simple: Welcome a fever! Allow yourself to benefit from the strength of your immune system, and avoid suppressing it. Chronic disease is the real illness of our times, brought on by years of pushing the immune system down, preventing it from cleaning house. Routine flu shots, antibiotics, and steroids are the real culprits to the epidemic of chronic illness. Allow your body to heal itself. Engage with it by asking yourself: When was the last time I cleaned house?

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