This blog post is being written during the thick of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. It is a refresher for us that our lives depend on good health! With social distancing keeping us apart, we now have a significant opportunity to focus on improving our selves. (Yes, I separated the word.) Personal hygiene and health are in the spotlight and COVID-19 is looking for cracks in our armor. This is the time to shift priorities, see the bigger picture, and boost our immunity while controlling the spread of a deadly, infectious disease and simultaneously save the planet! This is a chance for all of us to be superheroes! NATURALLY!
The news on Coronavirus has been numbing, so I'll do my best to make this as simple and straightforward as possible. I'll inject a little bit of humor, as well, that we could all use some during this stressful time.
The immune system boosting items are grouped by categories. You can save the world if you are doing all 11! Here's the list.
1. Keep hands away from your eyes, nose, & mouth. Keep your hands away from other people's eyes, noses, and mouths, as well. Kids? Are you listening? These are the main entry points for infection into your body. You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your friend's nose...until after quarantine is over. In the meantime, find another hobby!
2. Brush teeth often. With the whole handwashing thing turning from a novel idea to a lifesaving safety measure, I figured that I needed to put this out there, too. The goal is to reduce the bacterial load your body has to constantly thwart. Give your tonsils a better chance to do their job. That is, if you hadn't traded your tonsils for a bowl of ice cream years ago. Either way, you still need to brush your teeth! You may as well start flossing, too!
3. Gargle with salt water 2-3 times a day. This builds upon the previous statement. Tonsils are your first line of defense against bacterial and viral infection. Salt water is a natural antiseptic. Again, you can lower the external pathogen load your body has to combat by gargling daily. A nearby ocean can work in a pinch!
Gargling should be done at first sign of itchy, irritated throat. Try this for 30-60 seconds at a time. (Another cool byproduct of gargling is that it stimulates the vagus nerve!)
4. Wash hands thoroughly. Wash your hands like you just picked your friend's nose. Germs are everywhere. They get around because humans are social animals who don't have antimicrobial mittens and we are always touching things! Watch this YouTube clip of Scrubs - My Cabbage Episode and see how germs like to travel. Then, wash your hands like you could kill someone with them. I'm not trying to be morbid here, but some folks need the shock value for the point to hit home.
5. Clean highly used surfaces of your home. Items such as door knobs, light switches, kitchen countertops, drawer pulls, toilet seats, chair arms, etc., should be cleaned daily using soap and water, or better yet, 70% isopropyl alcohol, if you can find it right now! That phone you're staring into? Clean that, too! The same goes for your laptop keyboard, tablets, watches, and other tech that touches your body all the time! If you've got kids, you probably need to clean twice as often as you're doing now!
6. Ventilate house. Open the windows. Let fresh air in. I know it's winter, so if you're in San Diego, put on some socks! It doesn't need to be for long, but long enough to infuse your house with negative ions (they're the good kind) and pour out the stinky positive ions. One more thing, change the air filter for your furnace and run it to help boost clean air flow during ventilation.
7. Stretch your neck. As a professional natural health practitioner, I think this idea is much more important than it sounds. A tight neck can make you more prone to sickness. Your lymphatic system needs circulate properly and bring white blood cells to help your tonsils win the fight for your health.
A simple 4-way neck stretch can do wonders to help clear a sore throat, stuffy nose, and post-nasal drip problems. Face north and spend 2 minutes tilting your head in each of the four cardinal directions twice a day. I guarantee you'll feel different within 48 hours, if you're doing it right! Do you want to read more about this concept? Click here.
8. Massage Your Neck. Take it one step further and really accelerate lymphatic drainage by getting a neck massage. Since you're probably quarantined right now, you may have to do it yourself!
Take 5 minutes twice a day with this and you'll probably knockout that nagging neck pain in addition to boosting your body's ability to fight off infection. If there was one natural remedy that I'd recommend for boosting your immune system function, it would be this.
It cannot be overstated how much impact this has on helping you successfully beat the cold & flu every year. I will put the link from #7 here again for you.
9. Eat Healthy. Eat high quality protein and pesticide-free vegetables, if possible. Reduce the amount of bread and wheat products. Most wheat grown in America is heavily sprayed with pesticides. Reduce sugar intake as it hinders the immune system function. The key here? Your gut microbiome is the epicenter of overall immune system function. 90% of immune system cells are in the gut.
Eat junk foods and your body spends way too much time fighting the weird, unknown substances it is trying to digest and diverts help away from your nose and throat. Clean eating optimizes your immune system, feeds your cells the right nutrients, and protects you from cellular damage.
The COVID-19 virus in people causes gut problems when it has penetrated it's way deep into the body's fortress. You really don't want the coronavirus to get this far, if you can help it. Eat easily digestible, nutrient-rich foods daily, and your gut will be fueled up and ready to battle anything!
10. Breathe deeply. You should take long, deep breaths to clear all of the air out of your lungs and make room for that fresh air on your isolation walks. Did you know that deep breaths switch your body to parasympathetic mode, which lowers stress, increases circulation, and boosts immune system function?
Yogis have known about the power of the breath for centuries. Learn to belly breathe properly and you can actually rewire the brain to moderate and harmonize body functions. You have to breathe to live, right? Why not make a few changes and reap some serious benefits, too!
11. Exercise daily. If you were not exercising before, now is a good time to start. If you're already a fitness nut, then do what you can in the confines of your own spaces. (I'm confined to running and my rowing machine, right now. Ugh.)
Moderate exercise is good for the heart, blood circulation, blood sugar levels, lymphatic drainage, hormone regulation, and a whole lot more! But, don't forget. Too much exercise can make you more susceptible to illness. Too little exercise won't bring you benefit. Exercise doesn't have to punish you. It should make you want to do more. Find the exercise that makes you smile. You'll be more likely to do it again.
So, there you have it. 11 things you can do NOW that are easy to implement and easy to make part of your new daily routine. Best of all? These ways are FREE! They cost you nothing, but a little of your time. Your life is worth it!
All of our lives have been upended by COVID-19. This is one major way to take control of your situation right now and, at the very least, feel instantly better.
If there ever was a time where we needed to start paying attention to our health, it would be today. Let this be your first steps closer to natural wellness and better health. You can do it! Our time is right now. I believe in you. Now, let's go out there as stronger, healthier, and better humans. BE LEGENDARY.
- Dylan Jawahir, L.Ac., L.M.T.
- Founder & CEO
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