With cold and flu season here, your immune system needs extra TLC. Along with exercise and a low-glycemic, nutrient-rich diet, there’s something else you can do. Stimulate your thymus.

The thymus is a gland located just behind the sternum. And while it’s tiny (weighing no more than 30 grams and shrinking down to only 5 grams by the time you reach the age of 75), this immune organ has a big job: It cranks out T-cells. (The “T” stands for thymus.)

You can wake up your thymus with a simple and effective exercise that has been practiced for millennia. Here it is:

Make a loose fist (with either hand). Using the second row of knuckles, rhythmically tap on your breastbone with a heart-like beat – tap, tap, pause, tap, tap, pause. The tapping should be heavy enough to make a drumming sound, and you should feel a vibration (which is what stimulates the thymus).

Practice this immune-boosting exercise anytime – every day, if possible. (It is particularly beneficial when you feel like you’re getting sick.) Because the thymus is most active for 90 minutes after you fall asleep, doing this exercise just before bedtime is ideal. Aim for a minimum of 20 sets of 3 for a maximum of 5 minutes.

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Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet.
Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.