Written by Shai Tubali
There are two types of immune system. Everyone has heard of the first one: a defense system which includes the many biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. Yet only few are acquainted with the subtle and energetic immune system, which is crucial to understand in terms of health and sickness. This type of immune system is, first and foremost, located in our solar plexus chakra.
For a moment, put your attention on the solar plexus chakra, which its influence spreads throughout the entire area of the upper belly. As much as possible, make sure that this area is breathing. This can be called a “diaphragm breathing”. Ensure that you are not squeezing and contracting this area, but rather widening and opening it up with every breath you take, so that the passage of breathing from the solar plexus to the chest is flowing and undisturbed.
If you have a natural inclination to visualisation, you could even imagine a small, yellow sun radiating from your solar plexus outwards; a fiery sun that is both powerful and at the same time controlled, like a storehouse of energy and power. With every breath, you not only widen the solar plexus but also enlarge this image of the sun and its radiation outwards.
You could support this movement with your muscles and back, to uplift and stretch the area even more. Beware not to cause unnecessary tension – stretch it in a way that releases the contraction and allows more space.
Even this small practice that empowers your third chakra is one step towards strengthening your subtle immune system. This is because the solar plexus is both the seat of the energetic immune system and the center of the entire nadi system – the subtle “nervous system”. As such, it is also the protective area that is responsible for taking in life’s blows, hits and pressures. When this area is sufficiently strong, we have the energetic capacity to push away disease. However, when this highly important area becomes overly beaten and gradually grows weaker, we become extremely vulnerable to disease.
Virus, bacteria, and other people’s opinions
The physical immune system is a border system which has two major roles: to prevent anything bad, too intense or too dangerous, from entering our body, and to defend the body when something has already entered. In the physical world, this would be, for example, bacteria or virus.
The energetic immune system has three corresponding roles.
1. Pushing away mental, emotional, energetic and physical pressures
Any element that comes our subtle immune system’s way, which it recognises as hostile and invasive and as something doesn’t contribute to the body-mind system, it tries to push away. Obviously, its first target is to prevent such elements from entering in the first place. Here this immune system doesn’t really distinguish between mental, emotional, energetic, or physical elements.
A hostile mental element would be, for instance, others’ opinions. When people have strong opinions and try to shape your mind by exerting their power of influence on you, you could push it away by saying, “I don’t want that”. An emotional “bacteria” might be when people around us express expectations, manipulations, and demands, or when we are surrounded by a strong, negative environment, full of deep and conflicted emotions. We are then able to feel them and yet to conclude that “This doesn’t really belong to me, I’m not letting it in”. Even an energetic “virus” could be caught since people communicate their emotions, thoughts and bad physical states also energetically, even when they don’t do anything and just sit next to you in the subway. Our subtle immune system works hard to be able to push away these subtle transmissions as well.
In a way, the energetic immune system is the subtle parallel of real individuality. It implies having an individual space in a healthy sense. Sometimes we think that we’re not meant to have barriers and borders between us and others, but then, you might as well welcome wholeheartedly bacterias and viruses! You most certainly don’t want to be one with everything, at least not on all levels, because that is really dangerous.
One crucial word here is resistance. For the most part, resistance is considered a bad thing, like stubbornly fighting the way things are. We are told, “Stop resisting. Be more open, flowing and accepting!” In the context of the subtle immune system and nervous system, however, we actually have to possess a healthy degree of resistance. There is no question that walking around and arguing in your mind with everyone and expecting that everything should go your way, might actually lead to more physical tension and eventually, to illness. The bad type of resistance can damage and weaken your immune system, making you increasingly more vulnerable. On the other hand, the good resistance enables you to walk around being able to say “No” energetically, capable of blocking destructive energies by using your healthy type of filters. Thus, resistance in the world of the subtle immune system is health.
2. Digesting and expelling pressures
From the energetic point of view, the influences of bacteria and other people’s negative thoughts are experienced equally as simply “pressures”. Letting a virus enter your body means that you have allowed the “opinion” of some other creature to penetrate you. Pressure implies that we’re letting something that we normally don’t want to shape our being enter and do whatever it wants.
In this broad sense, we are exposed to many types of pressures. We are actually tiny relative to the enormous world of influences and pressures, and so we are inherently vulnerable. Yet we don’t have to be vulnerable to the extent that we are over-influenced and over-conditioned.
Some pressures are not effectively and instantly pushed away by the solar plexus chakra and manage to enter the body-mind system. In this case, the chakra withdraws to its other effective action, which is digesting and expelling. This is related to the more physical functions that are associated with the solar plexus chakra, since it governs the entire digestive system. Digestion means that your system takes in something, exitricates its nutrients, allows them to be absorbed properly, and expels anything else that is unwanted and unneeded. Because of these similar functions, when we are over-excited or tense, our digestive system may react with diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, or stomach aches – when we cannot digest mental and emotional impressions, our physical digestive system is affected too.
We need a functional digestive system – not only physically. When someone throws at you some insult that is literally difficult to digest, you need to be able to defend yourself, while also extricating from this experience its benefits and gifts. Our mental and emotional digestive system needs to digest at times strong impressions. While we all meet daily with endless impressions, the ones that should really concern us are those that “hit” us; those we feel that we cannot contain because they are overwhelming. When we feel unable to digest them, our solution is to suppress them – and, unfortunately, the only place they can be suppressed into is our poor physical body.
When the immune system is not powerful, all it knows is to suppress. As a strategy of immunization, its defense response is: “I can’t deal with this one right now; I will deal with it later”. Another bad strategy is: “This one can’t be dealt with; let’s turn it into a physical problem”. The impression is thus stored in our body and from that moment on, becomes capable of damaging our health. It does so by gradually contracting the flow of life-force in the physical area where it is stored.
Even the most amazingly functioning energetic immune systems are unable to perfectly fulfill their first role of pushing away everything. But the least they could do is to digest effectively what has already entered and expel unwanted impressions. Healthy subtle immune systems can get rid of impressions efficiently and quickly and don’t need to postpone digestion to later or, even worse, store the impressions in the body.
When you are facing a strong situation, one that you experience as overwhelming, the most immediate action that could stop it from becoming a physical problem is exactly the small practice from the beginning of this article: widen your solar plexus and breathe into it. You can support it by visualising this small sun, since this is what the solar plexus chakra is, energetically speaking. While widening this area, think, “I can contain it. I will contain it”. Even thinking that, and breathing in this way to intentionally open up this area rather than squeezing it, makes a complete difference. It can actually prevent the entrance of a disease-causing element and promote the digestion of whatever has already managed to enter.
3. Creating a general, unified field that resists illness and wants to remain healthy
It is not so obvious that we want to be healthy. Everyone says, “Of course I want to be healthy! Who doesn’t want to be healthy?” It’s also not comfortable to be unhealthy.
There is, however, what we can call the “temptation of being unhealthy”. Disease has its own attractive force: it has the alluring power of sinking, giving up, letting go, and withdrawing. We need to consider that sometimes, deep within our subconscious, we don’t want to be healthy; we actually want to be unhealthy – at least a little bit.
In this sense, our system is not perfectly unified. Our conscious mind says, “This disease is terrible! I wish it was over!” but unconsciously, this was exactly the instruction that we gave our body. We always give unconscious instructions to our body. We think that we never do and that the body just does what it does, but this is wrong. We’re just unaware of our own instructions and why we give them. And because they are unconscious, we don’t know how to change them.
That is why, though it may sound ridiculous, the first rule of being healthy in our energetic system is to want to be healthy. You need to want to be healthy from the depths of your subconscious all the way to your conscious mind. This is important to understand, since we keep hearing about all sorts of miracle healing stories – for instance, about someone who had a fatal or hopeless chronic disease, and then ate raw foods, drank green juices and did yoga, and became completely healed. Later on, that someone writes, of course, a bestseller and widely spreads the secrets of their diet and practice. But then we hear of another individual who took different measures and healed just the same. So who among them really holds the secret?
When we hear of such stories, we try to follow in their footsteps, yet we don’t understand that the biggest thing about their process was their determination. This one factor comprised 50 percent of the healing, because owing to it, they became at a certain point in time completely unified. Their subconscious and their conscious mind became one, which meant that they really wanted to be healthy, and were willing to do for that anything. They became fighters.
By becoming a fighter I mean having the feeling that you have enough energy and resilience to overcome a disease – and possessing resilience and determination to overcome disease is also a good description of a healthy immune system.
You need to want to be healthy
A healthy subtle immune system means that you are mentally and emotionally strong enough to push away hostile elements, digest and expel pressures, and of course create a general unified field inside you.
This is an essential yet extremely simple principle: you need to want to be healthy in order to be healthy. It’s less about what you’re going to do. You might want to eat raw foods; you might want to practice a certain yoga, or start swimming – but this will not matter so much so long as you do all those things with a low spirit and not completely convinced. On the other hand, when you are equipped with the spirit of a fighter, feeling that “I’m willing to do anything to be healthy”, that’s going to change everything for you.
Sadly, I have met people with cancer that were in this junction, yet lacked the spirit of a fighter. They did things: they went to a naturopath or to acupuncture; they took homeopathy, and tried some therapy. But it was more out of a mild type of optimism. It wasn’t this spirit that is unified enough to resist illness and to want to remain healthy.
Understand that when you have this spirit, it is very, very unlikely that you might fall into sickness – not even a cold or a flu or something similar that is considered socially “legitimate”. Everyone thinks that it’s okay to catch a cold here and there; that we have to be sick from time to time. In fact, it’s almost refreshing, like a reset or a healthy pause in the flow of life. But this is not true: we don’t have to have that at all. We can learn how to stop these processes just on the brink – just before they begin to take root.
When our subtle immune system is unable to push away mental, emotional, energetic and physical pressures, we walk around while any negative wave of energy or slight pressure can throw us off. This can create a general experience of fragility – which is, in fact, the most significant side effect of a “bad” subtle immune system.
In the subtle body, a disturbed immune system also affects the energetic nervous system. This is because just as the immune system receives stimuli, so too does the nervous system. Both take in impressions. Both need to resist negative or overwhelming impressions.
Some of us inherently possess a more sensitive constitution. It feels as if we have less filters than others. This has its advantages: hypersensitivity can be useful for healers and therapists, for example, since they are capable of deeper empathy and insight into the other’s hidden problems. Yet even if we have such a natural constitution, we can remain mostly with the positive side while freeing ourselves from the negative aspect of fragility. For that, we need to begin to strengthen our subtle immune system.
We might be oversensitive also due to other factors. Aside from an oversensitive constitution, this can also be the result of a burnout: when I’m overwhelmed for too long, my nervous system becomes too fragile. Oversensitivity can be also the result of too much spiritual practice. Even when we go to a retreat, we may become hypersensitive, since we have developed an Ida or left side imbalance. Hypersensitivity can be as well the result of a trauma, a damaging medication, or the lasting effects of psychoactive substances. in addition, it might be the outcome of an ongoing environmental pressure, when we are constantly under some bad influence – for example, a partner that puts us under constant pressure.
One important advice for the oversensitive is to make sure that they have enough time to be alone on a daily basis – at least one hour without any other energy field around. Even if they have partners, they should rather sleep alone, free from even subtle influences. In this way, the subtle immune system has enough time to digest and expel. Spending quality time alone helps you to get in touch with yourself and to feel your healthy barriers.
If your hypersensitivity is the result of a trauma, you’ll need to take care of it. And if it’s the cause of psychoactive plants or medication, make sure you detoxify all these elements. Remember also to sometimes feel able to say, “No, I don’t want your pressure anymore, go away”. You don’t have to be too welcoming. If something is too negative for a long time, simply say, “I don’t want this anymore”. You are not a hero when you let everything in. Even mentally reminding yourself of your own individual barriers is significant. Be particularly aware when you experience someone else’s tension. Even clarifying to yourself that this tension doesn’t belong to you but to this someone is already a first step. As soon as you distinguish that this is theirs, not yours, you already create a healthy barrier.
I can contain it!
In the same way that you give unconscious instructions to your body, you can also give it a wise conscious instructions. Unlike the physical immune system, in the case of the subtle immune system you have complete control. You can actually work with it.
An important yet simple key is that whenever you trace inside you the thought, “I can’t contain this situation/energy/person; this is too much; I am overwhelmed”, transform it at once into the thought, “I can contain it”. Tell yourself clearly that the situation is after all containable and that you can manage it. It is not too much pressure; it is a pressure that you can completely handle. Simply decide that you can contain it, and guide your body to do so.
This is exactly the difference between pressure and stress. Stress is a negative state, whereas pressure is not bad at all. In fact, pressure is a part of life, and we are all, all the time, under pressure. Our aim is to know how to prevent pressure from turning into stress. And as soon as you declare, “I can contain it”, you guide yourself to remain in the situation and to unify your being in order to face the pressure.
Remember that the law is that to get sick, you always have to have some breach inside you, some point of weakness where you actually allow yourself to be fragile. You allow yourself to be sick. Sometimes it can be because of the wish to avoid life in general, or to avoid a certain challenge in particular. Sickness is a sort of a strategy. When you begin to grasp that, you can understand why two people go out and experience a very strong wind, and the day after one person has a cold while the other person has none. We mostly attribute this to coincidence or genetics, but there are hidden reasons for the fact that each of us absorbs certain stimuli in a certain way. We have the choice to “interpret” what we have just experienced in some way or other.
We can actually influence our subtle immune system through the solar plexus area. Traditionally, we consider the solar plexus the center of willpower, ambition, determination, and individuality. All these elements have their energetic and physiological parallel, which is deeply related to sickness and health. If the solar plexus is strong, we feel that we have physical resilience and resistance. Thus, when we have the feeling, “I can’t resist the pressure”, or “I don’t have any energy left in me to fight”, this is exactly that breach inside us. Here again we require the capacity to unify ourselves by declaring, “I have the energy to fight, and I will fight with everything I’ve got”. Interestingly, in such a state it no longer feels like fighting but more like inner power – like exactly this yellow sun in our solar plexus that can endure and persevere.
Practice: Instruct your body
This practice is relevant whether you suffer right now from some physical disturbance or not. If you are currently well, use it as a general practice. If you suffer from some pain or illness, point your practice directly to that.
Breathe into the solar plexus and widen it. As you widen it, feel the wish to be healthy – the will to be healthy – spreading from your solar plexus all over your body and all the way to your brain.
While feeling more and more determined to be healthy, detect whether there is some part in you, some hidden corner, in which there is a wish to collapse and to sink. Look for any part that says, “I don’t have energy, I can’t do it”. Use your will to be healthy to clear that part away.
Feel how your will to be healthy spreads more and more, using this thought, “I don’t want to get sick; I want to stay healthy”. We may feel cynical about our capacity to instruct our system, but remember that we’re anyway always giving such instructions – only bad ones. Instead, tell your body, “I don’t want to get sick, I want you to stay healthy”. Feel how by saying that, you gradually unify your body and your subconscious as well as conscious mind.
Tell your body, “You don’t have to create any illness. I’m interested in positive action in life”. Feel how you’re consciously choosing – and what happens when you’re choosing. Feel how you’re choosing from inside the body, from the internal space where your mind is in contact with your body’s innermost.
The more you practice in this way, the more your damaged subtle immune system will begin to respond to the instruction. How much your physical body obeys your instruction depends on how deeply you give them. As much as possible, give them from your depth; from your subconscious parts too. That’s why entering meditation and instructing from there can be even more profound.