Yes, you read that title right. There are benefits to getting sick!
As nice as it would be to never have another sniffle or suffer another fever or get that positive covid test, our bodies actually need sickness to happen on occasion. In fact, a person who gets sick 1-2 times a year is likely to be more healthy than someone who can’t remember the last time they got sick.
Here’s the short answer: it’s a way for your body to utilize its immune system and fine tune it to work optimally. Each time you get sick, your body is learning how to deal with that particular pathogen.
Did you know that a fever is not caused by the pathogen invading your body? It’s actually your immune system working to overcome that foreign invader. So is a stuffy nose and even a cough. Rushing to suppress these things with over-the-counter medications is not ideal. In fact, you could be working against your immune system. While there may come a time when medication is necessary, it is important to work with your immune system before taking over its job.
Below our benefits of getting sick, you’ll find some tips for dealing with illness during this corona and flu season. But first:
The Benefits of Getting Sick
1. Strengthens your immune system.
Your body creates memory immune cells each time that you get sick. This means that the next time you face the same virus, your body knows what to do with it. And because it already knows, you may not feel sick at all the next time you meet that virus. In addition, when you meet that virus again (and again), you’re continually strengthening your immune system. And you likely won’t even know it!
2. Encourages rest.
Have you ever noticed that you tend to get sick at the worst time possible? You’re on a deadline or have a huge event or your kids have a jam packed schedule that leaves no room for you to take a nap? Getting sick is your body crying out for you to slow down and rest. In order for your immune system to work optimally, the rest of your body needs to rest. That’s why a fever and fatigue can knock you off your feet. And that’s a good thing! Take advantage of the immune response and rest.
3. Causes a little reset.
Your body is working to rid itself of that uninvited guest, thus cleansing itself. (Sometimes in not so pleasant ways!) In addition, when you work with your immune system to heal, you will be providing your body with just what it needs to be even healthier in the end.
Here are some simple ways to work with your immune system:
- Drink plenty of water
- Get lots of rest
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks
- Avoid alcohol
- Eat clean, organic foods
- Seek out home remedies such as homeopathy and essential oils
- Load up on vitamins C, D, and zinc
- Visit your chiropractor
While there certainly may come a time when you need to seek further medical treatment, there’s no reason to rush to your medicine cabinet (unless that’s where you keep your essential oils!) the moment you feel that scratchy throat coming on. Consider first how to work with your immune system to not only overcome the current pathogen, but to build it up to withstand future illness.