Dr. Miki Gives Healthy Immune System Advice
By Caryn Gehlmann
Wow, is this interview with Dr. Ajana Miki on healthy immunity ever timely! What’s interesting about it, is we did this interview before COVID-19 made an impact on our day-to-day lives. But what Dr. Miki shares about supporting a healthy immune system is very much what we all need to hear right now. Stress and anxiety are immunity killers so I especially appreciate her suggestions on staying relaxed and resilient! Read on to learn more and discover her favorite essential oil blends.
Tell us about your background and expertise.
I am a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at Ashland Natural Medicine in Ashland. I’ve been in practice for 20 years (to my amazement!) I specialize in women’s health and gynecology and have a passion for working with “mystery” diseases, which are often autoimmune related. Delving into undiagnosed disease origins suits the Sherlock Holmesian side of my nature, stokes my curiosity, and keeps me discovering and learning. I have trained extensively in many modalities from energy medicine practices, to body-centered psychotherapy, to Holistic Pelvic Care™, to Family Constellations. I enjoy having many different tools to choose from when relating to and working with patients.
What challenges are you seeing when it comes to supporting a healthy immune system?
Great question. I think I would sum up one of the greatest obstacles to healthy immunity as “overwhelm”. We are collectively experiencing greater levels of stressors. Environmental, political and public safety issues on top of the usual suspects of relational, financial and job-related stress are overwhelming our systems. It is challenging for our nervous and immune systems to navigate it all. Education is a very big part of staying healthy in our modern world. If we educate ourselves about health stressors and health builders, then we feel empowered to make informed choices (which decreases our stress levels!)…this is what inspired us to create the Healthy Immunity Conference!
Tell us about the Healthy Immunity Conference you’re organizing.
Our mission is to educate, inform, and empower both health practitioners and the public about the most relevant, credible, and science-forward research related to human health and wellbeing. Healthy Immunity 2020: The Cutting Edge, was originally scheduled for April 25 and April 26 in Ashland, Oregon. However, in accordance with the current health concerns around large gatherings and the attempt to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the community it will be rescheduled.
When we reschedule, attendees will be able to learn the latest science about healthy immunity as we age, the key toxic exposures that affect immunity, the role of the microbiome, stress, sleep, and vitamin D. This is an incredible opportunity to find out about clinical data from medical doctors and experiments in progress by university research scientists.
What is your experience with using essential oils? Do you use them personally or as part of your practice? Any recommendations on their use?
I am a huge fan of essential oils since childhood, having grown up with an alternative-minded mom. I use them daily in my practice, especially during cold and flu season, and when traveling to stay healthy. My list of recommendations is too long for this space! I love Essential 3 oils, because I know that they are conscientiously created from sustainable sources. My personal favorites Essential 3 blends are Cold and Sinus, Protection, and Female Harmony. Use the “Cold and Sinus” for upper respiratory infections, inhaled from your hands, diluted and applied to chest and neck, or in a steam. “Protection” is potent and I mostly use it on people’s feet, in a room spray or inhaled from hands to encourage a healthy environment and immune system. Female Harmony is wonderful to help balance hormones! And…I always keep lavender on hand, for relaxation, sleep, when I burn myself on a hot pan and for cuts or acne… it’s miraculous!
How did you connect with Caryn and Essential 3?
We met very many years ago. She was one of my early patients, around 15 years ago when I first set up my practice in Ashland. We have long since graduated to friends and colleagues. I can honestly say that she is one of the most inspiring, uplifting and kind-hearted beings I have had the pleasure to come into contact with.
Is there anything else you’d like to share that would be helpful to our readers? Perhaps simple lifestyle tips on maintaining a healthy immune system?
A healthy nervous system is the foundation for a healthy immune system. When our nervous system is relaxed and resilient we are more able to hear the intuitive voices inside that guide us to make healthier choices on all fronts! Here are a few suggestions:
- Spend time daily doing something that you love or that supports your relaxed nervous system, even if it is only for 10 minutes.
- Take an entire day, once a week, where you do not make a single plan and allow space for things to unfold.
- Think of three things that you are grateful for or appreciate three things that inspired you during the day, before you go to sleep.
- Go to sleep when you are tired.
- Trade foot rubs on the couch with friends.
- Get out into nature and breathe it into your belly, as often as possible.
- AND…educate yourself so that you can make informed decisions about how to support your healthy immune system!
Thanks, Dr. Miki for that great advice on how to take a holistic approach to supporting a healthy immune system. This is going to be a topic for the entire month — especially on how we can be resilient in the face of adversity. Please join us on Facebook for our 30-days of Nurturing Your Resilience. If you’re not on Facebook, we’ll be sharing all 30 tips in an upcoming blog post so make sure you’re getting our newsletter so we can keep you up-to-date.