What problems are associated with the thymus?
Frequent infections; low mood; lack of self love; a disorder called myasthenia gravis occurs when the thymus is abnormally enlarged and produces antibodies that block or destroy the muscles' receptor sites, causing muscle weakness, droopy eyelids, double vision, difficulty making facial expressions, problems chewing and difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, weak arms, legs or neck, shortness of breath and occasionally serious breathing difficulties.
Why is it called the thymus?
The thymus looks like the thyme plant but it could also derive from the Ancient Greek θῡμός (thūmós, “soul, heart”). The word indicates a physical association with breath or blood and is also used to express the human desire for recognition.
What is the thymus?
The thymus gland functions as a lymphatic organ and an endocrine gland. The lymphatic system is related to the body’s immune system which fights pathogens. The endocrine system produces hormones to regulate the body so that it can fight pathogens as well as several other processes. Its structure is two identical sized lobes located behind the “Angle of Louis,” which is the joint between the 2nd rib and the sternum on the left side. It is behind the sternum and in front of the heart. It is located on the fourth chakra, the centre of power, it represents the heart and the ability to love. The gland gets smaller as we get older. It is suggested that this is because we need the thymus less because throughout our life we have built up our immune system naturally, but it may also decrease due to a lack of self love and appreciation for ourselves.
How does the thymus work?
The thymus gland is the moderator of the immune system, it is the mastermind behind our immune response.
The adaptive immune response is carried out by white blood cells called lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes (B cell and T cells.) They have different methods of protecting against antigens. Antigens are the proteins found on the surface of a pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria, that cause the body to mount an immune response.
In childhood the bone marrow manufactures T cells that get sent to the thymus. The thymus matures T cells before releasing them into the bloodstream and lymph nodes to attack antigens on the outside of infected cells. The thymus also produces the hormones called thymosin and thymic humoral factor that accentuate the immune response by T cells. T cell immunity is called cell mediated immunity.
The thymus also contains macrophages, white blood cells that act as "garbage trucks" of the immune system by eating and disposing of foreign matter. Macrophages are not specific to a certain antigen unlike T and B cells. They are the first white blood cell to interact with a an infection and can often beat it on its own, however they may need the help of B and T cells.
B cells bind to the surface of antigens which are attacking the body with the help of T cells. B cells produce antibodies to trap and neutralise antigens so that macrophages can dispose of them. B cell immunity is called humoral immunity.
A key feature of the adaptive immune system is that it has a memory so it can remember the antigens that previously activated it. By producing memory B and T cells, the immune system can launch a more intense reaction when encountering the same antigen again.
What can I do to support my thymus?
The thymus is related to self love and appreciation. It is associated with self esteem, love and spirituality. The thymus can hold on to sadness, fear and anxiety which will diminish our immune response. The better we treat ourselves the less the thymus will decrease in size. This will keep us healthy psychologically, but also better equip us to fight illness. We can regularly say affirmations while tapping our thymus to a Waltz beat to release these emotions. (See above to find the specific location.)
Eat natural and organic food where possible. Food rich in Vitamin E such as avocados and wheat germ, Vitamin C maintains the size and weight of the thymus and increases the number of T cells, it can be found in oranges. Foods such as broccoli, garlic, onions, turmeric and fish rich in omega 3, will also boost your thymus.
But food and soil does not contain the amount of nutrition we need anymore. It is best to top up with supplements such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Zambroza, Mastergland and Omega 3. Taking supplements such as these will boost our immune system and help us to fight physical and emotional stressful situations.
How can Kinesiology support my thymus?
There are certain muscles associated with the thymus gland that need to be strengthened through Kinesiology techniques (not in the gym), such as an Endocrine/Immune balance, balanced affirmations, MTT tapping and emotional stress relief.
Kinesiology uses the science of muscle testing to tap into the body’s biochemistry. It will find the right nutrition specifically for you to strengthen your thymus and therefore your immune system. Your body knows what your body needs and asking the body through muscle testing is better than asking the health food shop assistant or searching on Google.
Do you recognise any of the symptoms listed above?
If you recognise any of the symptoms listed above then perhaps your thymus or another of the endocrine glands needs rebalancing. Book an appointment today to find out and get rebalanced.