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Bulletproof Immunity: Overview

This lesson is a part of an audio course Bulletproof Immunity by Matias Pihlquist

First off, there are no magic bullets. No quick fixes that actually work. You can't just drink some lemon-infused tea or take some supplement and expect that to have any effect at all. It doesn't work like that. We're dealing with a very complex system here. Instead, what we want to do is focus on the highest return principles to massively improve this system long term. Here's the bottom line: when we are healthy, our immune system is very effective. There is no need to artificially boost or inflate it, because it's not working well enough by nature. The reason it can seem like that is because the standard is so low, people's level of immunity is so low, we are so unhealthy as a species that we don't have many references for people with good health and well functioning immune systems.

What we want here is a balanced immune system that works as nature intended and has refined over millions of years of evolution. We want it to be strong and robust, but we don't want an overactive immune system – that's taxing on the body and can backfire and set the stage for autoimmune conditions.

You can think of the body as a machine. A machine doesn't work if the parts aren't well maintained and oiled, right? The difference between a machine, a mechanical system, and a biological system like an animal or a human is that mechanical systems break down with use, with stress – whereas biological systems break down if we don't use them – think about what that means. If we are inactive and don't use our bodies and minds, they are going to waste away, degrading all systems in our body. Use it or lose it, right? This also applies to exposure to environmental stress like microbes and bacteria. We see over and over how people who shield themselves from exposure to the natural world, who isolate themselves in sterile environments, become weaker and more vulnerable and receptive to disease.

So our job becomes to build a body that fires on all cylinders – a body that's strong, resilient, robust – a well-oiled human machine. And for that, we need to use it. We need exercise, movement, and work – exposure to physical, mental, and external stress, just like we need sleep.

Oiling the whole machinery is also important because the immune system is not the only way for the body to defend against unwanted bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins, and other substances. We have physical barriers like the skin and mucus in our lungs and chemical barriers like stomach acid and antibacterial enzymes in tears and saliva, and these all get affected by how well our body is working overall. And as a byproduct, if you care about the human-machine as a whole, you will not only be healthy, you will also feel and look very healthy.

We're gonna do this through what I call Geometric health, where we build and cultivate health geometrically. This is how we get the exponential effect that we're looking for. By utilizing the power of minimum effective dose on a wide number of areas that impact our health, we get much better results, faster, with the same or less effort.

Health is non-linear, meaning more is not necessarily better. Does the dose make the poison, right? We need a bit of everything but not too much. One hour in the sun is good, eight hours might not be. Most people today either overtrain (especially with repetitive movements that wear them down) or don't get enough recovery or both.

The idea here is to leverage the entourage-effect, meaning the things we do all work in synergy. They have a stronger effect when done together. 1+1+1 doesn't equal 3 but 4, 5, or 6.

This way, we improve our health much faster and build that overcapacity, so we have a good margin for error, in this case, anything that has a negative effect on our health.

This overcapacity allows us to relax, we don't have to be super strict all the time with things like diet or exercise since we have plenty of room for the occasional slip-up, and this takes away a lot of stress. For example, if you worry about everything you put in your body, that can reach a point where the constant worrying actually causes more harm to your health than the supposedly unhealthy thing you're eating. Over time this could even turn into eating disorders. So it's important that we feel good about our choices; attitude is everything.

To most people, the idea of working on their weaknesses, improving their weakest links sounds like a lot of unpleasant work. There is a reason that we usually ignore our weaknesses in the first place, right. But when it comes to health, this is non-negotiable. Instead of retreating we need to embrace this idea. It doesn't matter how spot on your diet is if your sleep is garbage or you haven't seen the sun in months.

We NEED to remove the bottlenecks. The good news is that we can make this work FOR us instead of against us. This would be easier to explain visually but bear with me here, say you have 20 units of effort that you can put into improving your health. Putting all 20 into cleaning up your diet would lift your diet from 1 to 20. Again, health is non-linear. Due to diminishing returns, taking a diet from 1-10 will have a much bigger impact, faster, than going from 10-20.

If we instead spread those 20 units of effort over 5 different areas, we lift every individual area from 1 to 4. This will have a much greater total impact on your health, be much faster to implement and see the results, and be much EASIER both mentally and physically than taking one single area all the way to 20, further reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and making this whole process easier and more enjoyable.

Before we dive in, I just want to end this overview with a quick rundown of the most important things you can do for your health and immunity: reduce chronic stress, improve your attitude, get better sleep, get more sunlight and reduce inflammation through diet and exercise. To reiterate: Immunity is a byproduct of good health. Investing in your health will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

Reflections: in what ways do you see health differently just from hearing this? Did you get any new insights or perspectives? Is there any low-hanging fruit, something you're already doing that you can tweak or implement and start doing today?

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Written by

Matias Pihlquist