Last week we talked about the proper care and feeding of your microbiome, but something we didn’t mention in that post was the also extraordinarily important virome. That’s right, you have viruses dwelling within you that are essential to your own health and wellbeing and no, they are not simply part of your microbiome. Viruses are not part of the microbiome because “biome” means stuff that is alive on its own. Viruses are not living things like bacteria and fungi. Viruses are like little packets of information and they require host cells to survive. They are much, much tinier than bacteria and there are more of them on the planet than there are bacteria, which should be a little bit mindblowing, considering how many bacteria we know there are on the planet. In this moment, you’re walking around with 300-400 trillion virus particles on and in your body. In fact, your own DNA is comprised of about 8% viruses. The viruses found in your DNA are part of what make you human.
The viruses that dwell in your body today are an intricate part of your unique makeup and your immune system! A lot of how we express ourselves as human beings comes from viruses out-doing other viruses. It’s a bit much for a quick read in a blog post, but the takeaway here is meant to be that viruses aren’t simply out-of-control invaders who want to use up a host until it’s dead then move on to the next one. When that is what happens, it’s due to a complex interplay that has so much to do with the overall state of a host’s (meaning your) immune system, not simply the fact that a certain virus gained entree into the body in the first place.
So knowing that viruses are so teeny tiny and so prevalent that trying to prevent ourselves from coming in contact with them (aka “catching a cold”) is futile, how do we live peacefully in their world? The short answer is really great news: we’re mostly doing that in every living moment without even trying. The more involved answer is that we must take care of our bodies, our immune systems, as best we can in order to easily adapt each time we encounter new information in the form of a virus we haven’t encountered before. We’re dealing with a really big one right now during this pandemic, and it’s pretty scary and often really sad. The bottom line hasn’t changed, though. Eat well, drink plenty of water, get quality rest, exercise regularly, and mind your own mind – meaning, be aware that negative thought patterns cause a weakened immune system. The happy part of that last bit is that positive thought patterns improve the strength of the immune system. We have a lot more control over how healthy we can be than we’re often made to believe, and at Lotus of Life Chiropractic, we really want you to be aware of that and to be your very healthiest self! So, raise a glass (of water, maybe herbal tea, how about kombucha?) to your brilliant body and its ability to handle what’s floating around in this environment in which it thrives. Here’s to each and every one of you and your health!