CategoriesDivination Educational Tips & Advice

The Art of Tarot

Welcome to the mystical realm of Tarot! Delve into a world of ancient symbolism, intuitive guidance, and cosmic energies. The art of Tarot holds secrets of the past, present, and future, unveiling mysteries within each card’s intricate illustrations. Embark on a journey of self-discovery, spiritual growth, and profound insights as we explore the Tarot’s wisdom together. Let the cards speak their language, and let us unlock the enigmatic truths that lie within, guiding us towards clarity and enlightenment. Trust in the Tarot’s magic, and let the enchanting adventure begin!

History of Tarot

Ah, the captivating history of Tarot! Its origins are veiled in mystery, but Tarot likely emerged in the 14th century as a card game in Italy, France, and Spain. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that Tarot began its journey into divination and esoteric practices. Occultists like Antoine Court de Gébelin and Etteilla started attributing deeper meanings to the cards, linking them to ancient wisdom and mystical systems.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, influential figures like Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith created the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, revolutionizing the art with rich symbolism still widely used today. Tarot’s popularity soared in the 20th century, further expanding its associations with spirituality, psychology, and self-discovery.

Today, Tarot remains a beloved tool for seekers of wisdom, offering profound insights and guidance on life’s journey. Its allure lies in the endless interpretations and personal connections individuals form with the cards, making it a timeless treasure of the metaphysical world.

About the Cards

The tarot deck consists of 78 cards, each with its own unique meaning and symbolism. The cards are divided into two groups: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, while the Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Let’s talk about the differences between Major and Minor Arcana. Picture this: Major Arcana cards are the big players, carrying potent energies and representing major life events and spiritual revelations. They’re like the stars of the show, guiding us through significant turning points. On the other hand, Minor Arcana cards are the supporting cast, reflecting everyday situations and emotions. They’re like colorful puzzle pieces, forming a detailed picture of our daily lives. Together, they create a harmonious dance, offering profound insights and shaping the captivating tapestry of Tarot readings.

How Does a Reading Work?

A Tarot reading is like a cosmic conversation between the cards and the reader. The querent (person seeking guidance) asks a question or seeks insights, and the reader shuffles the deck, infusing it with their energy. Cards are then drawn and arranged in spreads, each position holding significance. The reader interprets the cards’ symbolism, connecting them to the querent’s situation. Intuition and the reader’s understanding of Tarot guide the process, unraveling the profound messages and offering valuable perspectives for the querent’s contemplation and growth. Among the myriad of Tarot spreads, some popular ones include the Celtic Cross, a comprehensive layout for general readings; the Three-Card Spread, offering past, present, and future insights; and the Relationship Spread, focusing on partnerships. The simple One-Card Spread is also commonly used for daily guidance. Each spread provides a unique perspective, allowing readers to explore various aspects of life. At Quest, we have the wonderful Pauline Walsh with us every Friday and Saturday. Pauline is our resident Medium Clairvoyant and Tarot reader. To book a reading with Pauline, please give us a call on 01372 878606.

We’ve Got You Covered

Here at Quest, we have everything you need for getting started in Tarot, whether you are a complete beginner or more advanced reader. We have a wide range of Tarot decks available from the traditional Rider Waite to brand new designs. Below we’ve selected a few of our favourites. Remember we have lots more online and in store.

Courses and Workshops

Take a look at our upcoming Reiki courses with Reiki Surrey.

CategoriesCrystals Divination Educational Others Spirituality Tips & Advice

Pendulums

What is a pendulum?

A pendulum is a simple yet powerful tool used in divination, energy healing, and spiritual practices. It consists of a weighted object, often a crystal or metal, attached to a string or chain. When held or suspended, the pendulum swings back and forth or in circular motions, responding to subtle energy vibrations. It is believed to tap into the intuition and subconscious mind, providing answers, insights, and guidance. By asking specific questions, the pendulum’s movements can indicate yes or no responses, reveal hidden truths, and assist in decision-making processes. It serves as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious realms, aiding in spiritual exploration and self-discovery.

Here is our step-by-step guide on how to use a pendulum:

  • Choose a Pendulum: Select a pendulum that resonates with you. It can be made of crystal, metal, or any other material that you connect with energetically.
  • Cleanse and Energise: Before using your pendulum for the first time, cleanse it of any residual energies by placing it under running water or using other purification methods such as smudging or intention setting. Then, hold it in your hands and infuse it with your positive intentions and energy.
  • Set Up a Clear Space: Find a quiet and peaceful space where you can focus without distractions. It’s also helpful to clear the space energetically by burning incense, using essential oils, or any other method that resonates with you.
  • Establish a Clear Intent: State your intention for using the pendulum. It can be seeking guidance, receiving answers, or connecting with your intuition. Clarify that you want the pendulum to show you clear and accurate responses.
  • Hold the Pendulum: Hold the pendulum gently between your thumb and forefinger, allowing it to hang freely. Ensure that your hand is relaxed, and the pendulum has enough room to swing without obstruction.
  • Establish Yes/No Responses: Begin by asking the pendulum to show you its “yes” response. Observe the direction of its swing—clockwise, counterclockwise, back and forth, or side to side. Repeat the process to establish the “no” response. This will vary from person to person and pendulum to pendulum, so it’s crucial to establish your unique responses.
  • Ask Questions: With your intentions in mind, ask clear and specific questions. Allow the pendulum to swing or rotate, and observe its movements. Interpret the responses based on your predetermined “yes” and “no” signals. Practise different types of questions to gain confidence and accuracy.
  • Trust Your Intuition: Remember that the pendulum is a tool that amplifies your intuition. Trust your inner guidance and instincts when interpreting the pendulum’s responses. Practice regularly to enhance your connection and accuracy.
  • Cleanse and Store: After each use, cleanse your pendulum to remove any residual energies. You can use the same methods mentioned in point 2. Find a safe and respectful place to store your pendulum when not in use, ensuring it remains protected and charged.

What else can you use a pendulum for? 

Apart from divination and guidance, a pendulum can be used for various purposes. It can be utilised in energy healing practices, such as Reiki, to detect and balance energy imbalances within the body. They can also be used in dowsing to locate objects, water sources, or ley lines. They can assist in clearing spaces by detecting stagnant or negative energies. Pendulums can aid in chakra balancing and alignment, as well as in determining the energetic properties of crystals or objects. Additionally, they can be used as an alternative way of choosing an oracle or tarot card.  

Remember, when using a pendulum, the accuracy response relies on your focus, intention, and connection with your intuition. With practice and trust, the pendulum can become a valuable tool for seeking guidance, clarity, and self-discovery in your spiritual journey. 

We’ve got you covered

Interested in finding out more about pendulums or other forms of divination? Well here at Quest we have got you covered. Take a look at our carefully selected products. Can’t find what you are looking for? Give us a call on 01372 878606 or pop in and we’ll be happy to help.

Upcoming Courses

We’ve got a selection of Reiki training courses coming up. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us.

CategoriesCrystals Educational Tips & Advice

Healing Benefits of Copper: Harnessing the Power of a Timeless Metal

Today we are taking a look at copper and its healing properties. Copper is a versatile and timeless metal that has been revered for its healing properties for centuries. Known for its distinctive reddish-brown hue, copper is not only aesthetically pleasing but also offers a range of therapeutic benefits. In our blog this week, we will explore the healing potential of copper and its ability to promote physical well-being, relieve pain, and support overall health.

Copper has been used in healing for centuries by various cultures around the world. Here are a few of the reasons why:

  • Pain relief: Copper is often used as a natural remedy for pain management. It is believed that wearing copper jewellery or using copper-infused products can help alleviate pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, joint pain, and muscle soreness. The presence of copper close to the skin is thought to help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation, thus providing relief.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects: Copper is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought that copper ions released when in contact with the skin can help reduce inflammation and swelling. This makes copper a potential option for managing conditions like rheumatism and arthritis, where inflammation plays a significant role.
  • Energy balancing: In alternative healing practices such as Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, copper is associated with balancing the body’s energy systems. It is believed that wearing or using copper objects can help restore energy flow and promote overall well-being. Copper is thought to interact with the body’s energy fields and facilitate a harmonious balance.
  • Antimicrobial properties: Copper has been known for its antimicrobial properties for centuries. It possesses the ability to kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This makes copper useful in preventing infections and promoting wound healing. Copper-infused bandages or surfaces are increasingly being used in healthcare settings to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections.
  • Emotional well-being: Copper is associated with emotional healing and is believed to have a calming effect on the mind. Copper jewellery or objects are often worn or used in meditation practices to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance emotional balance.

It is important to note that while these healing properties of copper have been observed anecdotally and in traditional practices, scientific research is still ongoing to validate these claims. Copper should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If you are considering using copper for healing purposes, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or an experienced practitioner to understand its potential benefits and any associated risks.

In conclusion, copper offers a range of healing benefits that have been recognised and utilised for centuries. From reducing inflammation and promoting wound healing to supporting brain health and enhancing energy flow, copper’s therapeutic properties make it a valuable ally in promoting physical well-being and overall health. Whether worn as jewellery, or integrated into everyday products, copper allows individuals to harness the power of this remarkable metal and experience its healing potential.

We’ve got you covered…

Whether you are looking for copper bangles, or something a little more unique, like our Meru Pyramids, then look no further. In store, we also have a number of natural copper pieces available for purchase. If you are interested in the natural copper, please give us a call on 01372 878606.

Upcoming Workshops

We have a number of upcoming workshops/courses. If you are interested, please give us a call on 01372 878606 to secure your place.

CategoriesEducational Spirituality

Divine Inspiration

Divine inspiration refers to the belief that certain individuals are inspired or influenced by a divine force. This concept can be found in various religions, where it is believed that God or other deities have directly or indirectly guided or influenced certain individuals. Divine inspiration is also associated with creativity, where artists and writers may experience a moment of inspiration that feels otherworldly and beyond their own capabilities.

In religious contexts, divine inspiration is often linked to prophets, who are believed to have received messages or visions from God. These messages may be in the form of scripture, prophecy, or teachings that are considered to be holy or sacred. For example, in Christianity, the Bible is believed to have been divinely inspired by God and is considered to be the authoritative text for the faith. Similarly, in Islam, the Quran is believed to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.

In addition to religious texts, divine inspiration can also be attributed to religious leaders, saints, and mystics. These individuals are believed to have had direct experiences of the divine and have been able to communicate these experiences to others. For example, in Hinduism, the ancient sage Vyasa is credited with composing the epic poem the Mahabharata, which is believed to have been divinely inspired.

I looked in temples, churches and mosques. But found the Divine within my heart.

Rumi

Beyond religion, divine inspiration is often associated with creativity and the arts. Many artists and writers describe moments of inspiration where they feel as though they are receiving ideas from a source outside of themselves. This can manifest in various ways, such as a sudden burst of inspiration, a dream or vision, or a feeling of being guided by an unseen force. Some artists may even describe their work as a form of worship or a way of connecting with the divine.

While the concept of divine inspiration is often associated with religion and creativity, it can also be applied to other areas of life. For example, some people may describe a feeling of divine inspiration when they are making important decisions or taking action towards a particular goal. They may feel as though they are being guided by a higher power or that their actions are part of a larger, divine plan.

Divine inspiration tends to come when we have a quiet moment; whether that’s in the morning upon waking or when we are out in nature. Divine Inspiration can come through as images, words, feelings or just an inner knowing. The more we learn to embrace the silence, the greater the opportunity of experiencing Divine inspiration.

CategoriesCrystals Divination Educational Energy Clearing & Feng Shui Spirituality Tips & Advice

Living A Life Of Magic

Do you want to experience more from life? Do you perhaps feel stuck? Or are you looking to further develop your spiritual practice? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then we have the answer for you. The Soul Coach’s ‘Living a Life of Magic’ course, covers everything you need to lead a more fulfilled and joyful life.


If we believe in magic, we’ll live a magical life.

Tony Robbins

What Does It Mean To Live a Life of Magic?

Living a Life of Magic is about being open to the possibilities that are constantly evolving all around us. It’s about living your life with an air of authenticity and wonder. When we do this, we find ourselves living in the presence of each and every moment. We become better connected to our intuition and as we open ourselves up, we find we are more receptive to receiving the signs meant for us. Once you start Living a Life of Magic, you’ll notice how effortlessly things happen for you. You’ll feel more empowered. More balanced. More in control of life…even when faced with challenges. Yes this is all possible!

However, it’s important to understand that this isn’t achievable overnight. It takes time, guidance, courage and work. In order to move forward, we have to learn how to let go of old thought processes that no longer serve us. Sometimes, taking the first step is the hardest and that’s why Carolina (aka The Soul Coach) has created this course to guide you lovingly through the journey.


Tell Me More

This wonderful course is an accumulation of Carolina, The Soul Coach’s, life’s work. It is broken down into 9 Secrets that can be worked through at your own pace. It contains absolutely everything you need in terms of content, workbooks and challenges, allowing you to focus on creating your own Life of Magic. Carolina suggests using the time you dedicate to this course to really reflect on yourself, on your life and where you want to go. It’s time to create your own magic!


I am now so proud to be able to invite you on a journey with me, the Soul Coach, a journey that will transcend everything you had thought before, and will enrich and enliven your life to new heights of awareness, mastery and enlightenment … this journey starts now, together … join me with ‘Living a Life of Magic’.

Carolina…The Soul Coach

Interested?

If you’d like to find out more, head over to https://www.thesoulcoach.com/lalom. You can pay for the course in full or in monthly payments. If you choose the monthly payment option, you’ll receive a Secret each month, for 9 months. What are you waiting for?


Upcoming Workshops/Courses

CategoriesEducational Energy Clearing & Feng Shui Tips & Advice

Benefits of Sound

Healing

Sound Healing maybe very ‘on trend’ at the moment in the wellness and well-being circuit, but it’s by no means new. Using sound as a medium for healing is something that has been around for thousands of centuries. It helps to move us from a place of imbalance to balance, by realigning the body’s vibration. Scientific evidence has shown that sound therapy goes far beyond playing our favourite ‘feel good’ tracks. The vibrations created by the use of sound can have significant benefits on our physical health. Just take a look at the list below to see what conditions can be improved by their use.

  • Sleep Disorders
  • Aniexty
  • Depression
  • Stress Management
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Pain Management
  • Mood Swings
  • Aches and Pains
  • Lowers Blood Pressure

Energy Clearing

As well as the multiple health benefits, did you know you can use sound for energy clearing too? Yes, that’s right! Whether you choose to use a singing bowl, tingshas, bells or simple clapping, sound can help you to clear away stagnant or negative energies from your home or workspace. So how do you do it? Take a look at our top tips below:

  • Open windows to invite in fresh chi (life force energy)
  • Start at your front door and move in a clockwise direction around the home/space
  • Use a sharp sound like Tibetan bells, Tingshas or clapping to break up the unwanted energy
  • Follow with a softer sound from singing bowls or calming music
  • As you play imagine a bright healing, sparkling light filling the space
  • Remember to set a new intention for the space too – this is a very important step!

Once complete, your space should feel elevated and uplifting!


Other Uses

So what else can you use sound for? Well, it’s a great way to start or end a therapy or treatment session, as it aids deep relaxation and cleanses the aura. It’s also a marvelous tool to add to your daily mediation practice, as it helps to clear and balance the mind, body and soul.


We’ve Got You Covered

As always, here at Spiritual Quest, we’ve got you covered with our amazing range of sound products. We have everything from Tibetan singing bowls, continuous sound tingshas, bells, crystal singing bowls and even a wide range of calming music CD’s. Many of these products have just arrived following Carolina’s aka The Soul Coach’s recent travels to India. Here is just a small selection of what we have to offer.


Upcoming Workshops & Training

CategoriesEducational Spirituality Tips & Advice

Forest Bathing

In light of the beautiful new Spring energy we now have around us, we thought ‘forest bathing’ would be the ideal topic for this fortnight’s blog. Forest bathing originated in Japan in the 1980’s and is referred to there as ‘shinrin-yoku’ (shinrin meaning forest and yoku meaning bath/bathing). So what is it? Well, it’s the practice of slowing down by fully immersing yourself in nature. We all know that spending time out in nature is good for the soul, but studies into forest bathing have shown how spending two hours ‘mindfully’ in a forest can have immense benefits on our health. If you take a look at the list below you’ll see just how beneficial it is.

  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Lowers the stress hormone cortisol
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Enhances mindfulness
  • Improves mental health, attention and mood
  • Boosts creativity
  • Strengthens immunity
  • Promotes good sleep

As we walk slowly through the forest, seeing, listening, smelling, tasting and touching, we bring our rhythms into step with nature.

Dr Qing Li

How to Forest Bathe

Forest bathing is a fully immersive experience. One that invigorates all your senses and allows you to consciously connect to nature. To get the maximum benefits, it’s important that you switch off from technology. So turning off your phone and popping it in your bag or pocket is a must!

As you walk through the forest, allow your senses to guide you. What can you see? Notice the different colours and shapes around you. What can you hear? Tune into the birdsong, the rustling of leaves and the gentle creak of the branches overhead. What can you feel? Run your hands over the trunks of the trees, leaves and twigs and notice the different textures. What can you smell? It might be the sweetness of the rain, or the earthy smells of the ground, or even the delicate perfume of spring blossoms. Don’t forget to take a break! Find a bench or a fallen tree to sit on, and reflect on how the forest makes you feel. Really notice it in the very core of your being. At this point, taking some long deep breaths, will send a message to your body that it safe. Notice how relaxed this instantly makes you feel. Really embrace the stillness of this moment and you might be surprised by the amount of wildlife you notice whilst you take this time for yourself.


And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.

John Muir

Finally, don’t worry if you don’t have 2 hours to spare, you can start with a time you feel comfortable with and build it up. Remember, anytime spent in nature will have positive benefits. If you aren’t local to a forest or woodland, you can do the same in a park or even your garden. It’s all about taking the time to really connect and experience all nature has to offer.


We’ve Got You Covered

Here at Spiritual Quest, we always have you covered. Whether it’s handpicked products or inspiring workshops. Take a look at these carefully selected products and upcoming workshops. Remember, if you can’t find what you are looking for, give us a call or pop in and we’ll be more than happy to help. Also, we are offering a free tree agate tumblestone with any online or in store purchases when you use the code TREE23.


To book pop in or call us on 01372 878606
CategoriesEducational Spirituality Tips & Advice

Changing your thoughts and reality

Many of us forget that we are in fact in control of our thoughts and reality. Let’s talk about how we can take control of our thoughts and reality and show up as the best version of ourselves.

Our thoughts affect our reality, it triggers an emotion which triggers a body reaction that makes us act in a certain way. This creates a mental pattern which we end up sub consciously repeating which in return alters our reality.

Our thoughts about ourself and how we perceive the world are based around our core beliefs. Core beliefs are deeply rooted under the surface of everything. Acknowledging our core beliefs is the first step so we can work on changing them which will help the process of changing your thoughts.

The pattern:

Core belief (The way we view ourselves/world based on experiences) “I am not worthy of love, my father wasn’t in my life, he didn’t care about me and I never received his love”

Activating event (Something happens which is problematic for us)A partner ends the relationship with you.

Thoughts (How we interpret the event. This will be effected by the situation we are in, our core beliefs, and previous experiences of similar situations) “I am not good enough for love, what is wrong with me? Why can people not love me. I am not worthy of love”

Emotions (What we feel following the event. This will be effected by our interpretation. We may feel a range of emotions)“I feel sadness, I feel angry, I feel confused, I feel fearful”

Behaviour (Taking into consideration all of the above, we act on the event)An insecure attachment style is formed which affects the behaviour, you may behave clingy and needy in a relationship, and behave in a selfish, manipulative way when you become vulnerable or shy away completely from relationships.

How can we change this mental pattern?

To change this pattern we must go inwards so we can dive deep into our core beliefs and face them. Write a list out of all the things you believe to be true about yourself and the world. It’s important to remember when you do this exercise to be completely honest with yourself.

Our core beliefs can be changed, if you write on your list “I am not worthy of a happy and healthy relationship” write the opposite next to it “I am worthy of a happy and healthy relationship” the key to this exercise is to use the opposite statement as an affirmation always speak in the present tense “I AM”. Repeat these affirmations to your self everyday the more you say this you will start to believe it. It may be hard at first but when you start to really feel it you will condition it as a core belief.

When an activating event happens and it triggers thoughts, you may feel more comfortable to fall back into old thoughts patterns but you need to challenge these thoughts, you can do this by keeping a thought record. I personally like to act as if I take my thoughts into a court. See an example below for how I process my negative thoughts:

Put your thought into the dock (What is the negative thought bothering me?)

Defence (What evidence do I have to suggest this thought is true? What solid facts do I have to bring forward to convince the jury this is accurate?)

Prosecution (What evidence do I have to suggest this thought is false? What solid facts do I have to bring forward to the jury to discredit this thought?)

Jury (A jury’s job is to weigh up the evidence for and against the thought, they have to set aside feelings and make a balanced judgement based on the evidence presented)

Verdict (Given with all the evidence presented what do you think of the original thought now? What is a balanced and realistic way of looking at the thought now? Sum up your new way of thinking)

What’s next?

Now you have started to affirm your new core beliefs about yourself and challenging any negative thoughts you will be starting to feel more positive and balanced in life. You are learning to be more self aware, you are getting to know yourself better, and you have more of an idea of what you want in life. When you feel good about yourself and your way of thinking is more balanced it becomes easier to manifest your desires because you are now feeling you are worthy of everything you desire in life.

Write out what you desire in your life, write in the present tense as if you already have it. (“I am grateful for the healthy, loving relationships I have in my life”) think about how you would feel if you had your desire in your life, if you desired a healthy, loving relationship, you would feel happiness, joy, excitement etc. Focus on thoughts that make you feel like this this and you will start to attract this into your life!

We have some books on how our thoughts and words affect the experiences we have in our daily lives, and how we can use affirmations to attract our desired life. We also have a Self – Healing crystal set to help you on your healing journey.

CategoriesEducational Tips & Advice

The Dream World

Does anyone else wake up and remember their really crazy dream and think what was that trying to tell me?! Sometimes we don’t remember them, actually 95% of the time we don’t remember our dreams. We can set intentions to remember them more often and we can also learn a lot from our dreams.

Dreams occur during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep, this stage normally happens after the first 90 minutes of sleeping. We dream for about 2 hours a night and have several dreams that last anywhere between 5 to 20 miniutes. During REM stage our eyes are rapidly moving in all directions but they are not sending any visual information to our brain although our brain is active during this stage.

We can learn things from our dreams – you can start a dream journal to record them and notice any patterns in your dreams that your subconscious may be trying to show you. You should keep this journal on your bedside table so when you wake up you can write your dream out straight away or you may forget if you leave it too long. You can set intentions to remember your dreams as well. Once you are relaxed and have regulated your breathing say the following “tonight I will remember my dream, I have fantastic dream recall”. The more often you practice this affirmation the more you will start to remember your dreams so you can start to follow patterns in your dream journal.

We have the power to control our dreams narrative, characters and environment. This is called Lucid Dreaming – you become aware that you are dreaming and gain some control. Lucid dreaming has some benefits to it such as becoming more self aware of our thoughts and emotions and also bringing out your creativity whilst you sleep! We spend about a third of our lives sleeping so its pretty cool we can become conscious whilst being unconscious! You can start practicing to lucid dream by asking yourself throughout the day whilst you are awake “Am I dreaming right now?” the more often you ask yourself this you will end up asking yourself the same question whilst you are sleeping and then you will have the “AHA I’m dreaming” moment!

Remember everything happens with practice so keep practicing and keep journaling. There are so many books out there that can help you interpret your dreams, how to dream journal and lucid dream! There is even some crystals that can help you, Blue Howlite is great for encouraging dream recall and Caribbean Calcite can help aid in lucid dreaming! Have a look at some of the products below that we sell online and in the shop that can help you with your dreaming adventures!

CategoriesEducational

The Immune System

Your immune system is a network of cells, organs, proteins and antibodies that work to protect you against bacteria, viruses and parasites. The immune system keeps a record of every microbe it has ever defeated, in the form of white blood cells. This means that if a microbe was to enter your body again, these white blood cells can destroy the microbe before it can multiply and make you feel sick. For example, you can only catch chickenpox once!

However, some infections like the flu and the common cold have many different strains. The white blood cells you’ve developed only work for one particular strain, which is why you can suffer from the flu over and over again.

So how can you support your immune system?

There are simple lifestyle changes that can support your immune system and cell function, and keep your body running correctly.

  1. Sleep is closely linked to a healthy immune system. Whilst you are sleeping, your body can focus its energy into cellular activity rather than movement or high brain activity. It is recommend that adults have at least 6 hours of sleep each night, the optimum time being 8 hours. Any less could result in your body not having adequate time to create white blood cells. This is also why you tend to sleep more when you are feeling sick, as your body knows it needs time to repair!
  2. Whole plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, seeds and nits are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, These antioxidants help decrease inflammation caused by unstable compounds called free radicals. Free radicals can be found in pollution, cigarette smoke and industrial components, and can attack the cells in your body and cause high levels of inflammation. This inflammation can lead to chronic diseases such as cancers, heart diseases and even Alzheimers!
  3. Fibre is also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Fibre feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, known as gut microbiome. Having a robust gut microbiome can help keep harmful pathogens from entering the body through your digestive tract. Find fibre in wholegrain, broccoli, carrots and beans.
  4. Probiotics found in yoghurt, fermented foods and supplements are essential for a healthy immune system. Probiotics are found in your digestive tract and can help your cells differentiate from healthy normal cells to invader harmful cells.
  5. Moderate exercise is vital to keep your body healthy. Although prolonged, intense workouts can suppress your immune system, moderate exercise can give it a boost. It can reduce inflammation and provide energy for your cells to regenerate and repair, as well as removing any harmful bacteria from your lungs. You should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to ensure a healthy body and immune system.
  6. Stress and anxiety can affect your immune system. Stress can increase the cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is responsible for creating the ‘fight or flight’ mode, meaning all unessential body processes are put on hold until the threat is dealt with. High levels of cortisol from continuous stress can prevent the immune system from working properly, as the body still thinks there is a threat to deal with first. Stress can be reduced with daily meditation. Meditation, even for just 5 minutes, can give your mind and body time to relax and refocus, reducing any stress you may feel.