By Trudi Rumball, Registered Acupuncturist
Wash your hands and relax, you don’t need to stock pile toilet paper!
All joking aside, we are currently experiencing uncharted territory in the midst of the corona virus pandemic. Recreation centers and libraries are closing, sports are being cancelled, schools are being closed and businesses are arranging for employees to work from home. This can be a scary time, but try to stay calm and don’t panic. These are simply proactive security measures to control spreading the virus, but the reality is COVID-19 is not deadly for most people. The media is doing a great job of causing fear and panic among the masses, but the fact remains that Canadians are still at a low risk of contracting the virus. And if you do, you should be just fine (unless you are immune-compromised).
There are lots of things you can do to naturally increase your immunity in preparation for any cold or flu virus. The easiest and best way to prevent illness is washing your hands.
1) Everyone should frequently wash your hands anyway, but in the midst of this pandemic, it is super important to be diligent. Warmest water you can handle, with antibacterial soap, for at least 20 seconds. Also remind children to try to not touch their faces as germs are easily transmitted into ears, eyes and mouths.
2) Your diet is also super important to increase your immunity. Eating lots of citrus fruits, greens high in vitamins, garlic, ginger, turmeric and berries will naturally improve your body’s ability to naturally fight disease. Bone broth is also an amazing way to naturally increase immunity. It helps to seal openings that may be present in your gut, and it is easy for your body to absorb. It is packed with amino acids, collagen and minerals. Bone broth is simple to make as well, using chicken or beef bones and vegetables scraps, about 2 oz of apple cider vinegar and some Himalayan sea salt and simmer for 12-24 hours. Drinking a cup or two a day before meals will aid in digestion and keep your family healthy.
3) Probiotics are important to take all the time as part of your everyday routine, not just when you are feeling compromised. Supplementing with a probiotic is being proactive and will help keep colds and flus away. Probitoics boost your immune cells and natural antibodies, and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria. Taking a high quality supplement and also introduce naturally fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, kim chi and kombucha into your diet, will create a harmonious gut environment.
4) Bodywork also plays an important role in your immunity. Cupping improves your blood and qi flow, activates the gastric neuroendocrine cells in your immune system, and produces a therapeutic and calming effect. Cupping over the lungs can help release respiratory restrictions and move out infections. Wet cupping (lancing the skin first) can help with releasing toxins and encouraging red blood cell production.
Regular acupuncture treatments have been proven to increase immunity by actually increasing the number of T cells and white blood cells in the body. There are specific points and protocols to boost immunity, and also techniques to reduce symptoms, speed up healing and decrease inflammation. Acupuncture is also extremely effective in reducing stress levels and relaxing the body and mind. Stress plays a huge roll in suppressing the immune system, so less stress is essential in staying healthy.
Try to keep calm in this stressful time, and be proactive!