Build the Wall

by Michael Braunstein

Okay, the immune system isn’t really like a wall. It’s not designed to be impervious. It’s more like a moat. With a moat, you know intruders are going to breach. It’s just that you want them to be susceptible to the real defenders when they do get inside. But honestly, would you find the headline, “Dig the Moat,” as compelling?

Season of the witch. You probably noticed. Change is in the wind. It’s a moment to moment thing with time. Time changes all the time. Has to do with the temporal world. But sometimes change is more dramatic than other times. Autumn is one of those. The worldly wobble of the planet plunges us into a colder clime, less sun, more darkness. And humans, being of Nature and not apart from her, respond. Our bodies need to accept and modulate with the slower frequencies of the winter months. If we neglect that adaptation, we may struggle.

Pay Attention. Like the mynah birds in Aldous Huxley’s penultimate novel, Island, remind us, living in the moment requires paying attention. This may well be the first step in keeping in step with Nature as the season modifies. Picking our nose up out of our iPhone, off the news channel, social media and the ever-closing circle of influences can result in paying better attention to our own energy sequence and tuning it to the energy of Nature. To that end, a blank mind serves best. Paying attention is not a dear price at all. It is slim pickin’s given the reward it offers. The mind of Nature speaks only as loud as our willingness to listen and that will take us a long way down the road of synchronization with the planetary forces at play as time shifts. Clear the mind. Make way for inspiration and internal guidance. One cannot dance unless one is quiet enough to hear the music.

Resistance is futile. “Nature always wins,” the old saw says. That’s why resistance is a dangerous game to play with her. Take heart, though. Even if the season change is abrupt, maybe harsh, there is salvation in preparation. If we pay attention to our bodies and not to our “smart watch,” we can sense what needs be done to thrive in the winter and emerge in the spring with new awareness. And though a clever headline, building a wall to keep Nature at bay will fail. We must learn to work with, not against, Nature. As the season demands, there are ways to cope with change and keep the body secure for daily use. Here are some ideas that come to me.

Appetite for Construction. Okay with you if I steal a friend’s album title as a pun? As the season changes, a clear mind and releasing habitual behavior can allow the body to tell us what energy to bring into the body. Seasons have foods that resonate with the changes. Autumn foods should be allowed to appeal because they contain the energy frequency of the planet in its changing inclination. Naturally, for most folks now, that means having to relearn which foods are autumn foods. We have grown too used to any food, any time, at the store. Asparagus in November ain’t right, folks. Eat the foods the season brings. Summary: Eat autumn foods.

Sleep, perchance to…” You’ll want to get plenty of sleep. Why do people call these cool evenings, “good sleeping weather,”? Do it. Get a healthy amount of sleep. Go to bed shortly after the sun does. Sleep is what you should be doing through the night; not checking sports scores, email or Facebook on your bedside iPhone. Sleep. If you don’t, you’ll pay the price.

Water it. Sure, the weather change presents noticeable change in wind direction, temperature especially. An easily overlooked change is humidity. All of a sudden, the atmosphere is drier. That means we must consciously drink water to stay hydrated. The integrity of cell walls depends on many components and water is a big one. Summer tends to make us thirsty. In autumn, we need to “think to drink.”

De-stress. Stress kills. Enjoy life but keep the negative emotion out of it. Clearing the conscious mind is essential. Meditation is the key. Relaxing with a book, listening to a New Age “meditation” recording, watching a fun movie — all those are nice. But they are not meditation. And for my money, learning Transcendental Meditation is the choice that makes the difference. When you learn TM, you will know that you really learned how to meditate, no question about it. And it’s the most researched and respected meditation technique known.

In short. To summarize: Eat right; Sleep tight; Hydrate; Meditate. That kind of makes it simple, eh? These are not revelations; just reminders. Eat real food, (not processed or take out) and make it seasonal. Get plenty of sleep and maybe a power nap. Drink water, not sports drinks, etc. Destress with meditation. If done rightly, that is a simple path to a healthy immune system.

Bonus points. Some of us like to hedge our bets with supplemental vitamins and such. Here are some of my favorites.

Chinese medicine has an herbal preparation known as “Jade Screen.” It’s worth looking into.

Then there’s vitamin C. Linus Pauling published Vitamin C and the Common Cold in 1970. Can one take too much vitamin C? Pauling didn’t think so and he won two Nobel Prizes.

Vitamin D is a vital building block for the immune system defenders on this side of the moat waiting to repel intruders. But note, with vitamin D, more is not better. Follow the recommendation of an alert nutritionist healthcare professional.

Preemptive zinc supplementation is not a bad idea to me.

Native Americans knew the North American coneflower was a special plant. We know it as Echinacea. Boosts the immune system and definitely is something to learn more about.

In general, though, the basic Big Four give a foundation to the wall. Build it or dig it but do it.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit

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