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Using Your Immune System to Stay Well

Experts explain how you can tap the power of your immune system to avoid getting sick.

Music and Your Immunity

Finally, to get the most out of your immune system -- and enjoy yourself besides -- Charnetski suggests programming your IPOD with your favorite tunes and listening often. How can this help?

In studies on a group of Pennsylvania newspaper reporters, Charnetski and his colleagues took saliva samples to measure levels of IGA. As the reporters closed in on their daily deadlines, stress levels increased and IGA levels dropped.

But after listening to just 30 minutes of music, tests showed IGA levels began to climb, even though stress continued to increase. And, he says, levels of IGA remained elevated even after the music stopped, indicating it may have long as well as short-term effects.

And while priming your immune system is one way to fend off disease, Tierno says we mustn't forget that nothing beats the power of frequent hand washing to help you remain healthy and well.

Says Tierno: "If you can cut down on the number of pathogens able to get into your body, your immune system can put its full attention on protecting you from catastrophic diseases -- and keeping you healthier overall."

Reviewed on December 19, 2005

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