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The following is a guest article from our internal Mindbody community.
Even if you live under a rock, you know about COVID-19 and the accompanying global chaos. As someone dealing with chronic illness, I’m constantly thinking about how to keep my immune system from being compromised. While that sounds morbid, in times like this I am thankful for my chronic illness, because I can be a beacon of hope for others. As fear around COVID-19 has intensified this past week in the US, friends, and family have reached out asking me which natural remedies I support. So, I’ve put together a list of what to avoid, what to eat, and which supplements to take. These are my opinions, but I hope they help.
Everything I am about to share is learned from healthcare professionals and from my personal experience. I am not a licensed practitioner, so don’t take my word as canon, but rather take this as insight into how I stay healthy in a hectic world.
In addition to consuming more leafy greens and citrus, here are a few easy recommendations on how to nourish your body.
I’m often asked why I put lemon in my water. Other than wanting a spa-like experience, there are studies that show benefits to adding lemon to your water. “Water coming straight from the tap or a bottle has lost its vitality and its innate living legitimate structure. By adding fresh-squeezed lemon juice, you “wake up” the water and bring it back to life. This allows it to travel more deeply into your tissues and cells and carry the essential nutrients and compounds you need in order to thrive.”
Thank God. Not that we need scientific evidence to entice us to consume this sweet nectar, it’s just reassuring to remember these facts when I am on my third spoonful of the day. This review compared the beneficial effects of honey with common over-the-counter children’s cough remedies, a placebo, and no treatment. The authors found that honey appeared to be more effective than diphenhydramine and salbutamol, drugs commonly used in cough medicines. If you are going to consume honey I highly recommend local raw honey. If you’re not sure where to find local honey, go to your resident farmers’ market or this local honey finder — a tool that literally tells you where to find local honey in your area. You’re welcome.
I know — it’s popular and it’s everywhere, but this stuff works. I was a skeptic and doubter myself until I added this magic into my morning routine. Among a host of incredible benefits, celery juice kills off pathogens, including flu viruses. Its unique form of Vitamin C doesn’t need to be converted by the liver, which means it instantly strengthens the immune system. Read more from the source: Medical Medium
This has anti-fever compounds and agents that help calm a fever like water on a fire. It’s also deeply rejuvenating and hydrating.
This has its own signature variety of Vitamin C and helps bring the body out of a reactive state when you’re sick. Fresh ginger has anti-viral activity that supports to defeat human respiratory syncytial virus, check out this 2012 study if you don’t believe me.
Turmeric Ginger Shots
I like to blend or juice 1-2 inches of ginger with fresh turmeric and two oranges. This shot boosts the immune system and can be sipped on all day for relief when you have a sore throat or other cold symptoms.
If you know anything about me, you know how much I consume tea. Tea, specifically herbal tea, can heal anything. I swear by this statement. Tea leaves are abundant in natural plant compounds, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins. These stimulate the immune system. Catechins, in particular, may protect against certain strands of influenza
Vegetable Healing Broth
This stuff is healing, cleansing, and nourishing all in one. It’s rich in minerals your body craves when you have a cold or the flu. Healing Broth is a powerful mineral-rich liquid that carries the essence of vitally nutritious vegetables, herbs, and spices in a way that is easy for the body to digest, assimilate and utilize.
It sounds intense, but a clove of this is antiviral and antibacterial, killing off only unproductive bacteria. It’s also immune strengthening.
The best way to get out those toxins is through your bile, so fiber, fiber, fiber baby. Cute, I know. But, beans truly are the best form of soluble fiber, which plays an important role in digestion and toxin elimination. If we don’t eat enough soluble fiber, our bile will be repeatedly recirculated in our immune system,, instead of being ushered out of the body and then replaced with fresh bile produced by the liver. If your bile is repeatedly recirculated, it becomes more concentrated with toxins. So, go eat some beans.
Supplements can be a touchy and controversial subject, and I’ve been on all sides of the arguments. From taking 10 supplements 3 times a day to cutting them out cold turkey, I have developed my thoughts about them. But, for this particular season in my health, this is what I’ve found to be helpful.
First things first: What are they?
Essentially, supplements are a way to provide nutrients that you may not be consuming in sufficient quantities through food. They can be vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and other substances delivered in the form of pills, tablets, capsules, liquid, etc. I would check out the European Commission statement on supplements for the best up-to-date information.
Maintaining healthy zinc levels can help shield you from pathogens and decrease your chances of contracting future common illnesses. However, our bodies use up reserves of zinc at a rapid rate. It’s common to become zinc-deficient when you’re sick. It’s important to take zinc as soon as your first sign of a sickness develops. Having a bottle of high-quality liquid zinc sulfate on hand at all times is important. Squirt two dropperfuls of the zinc into your throat, let it sit there for a minute, and then swallow the zinc. Three hours later, squirt another two dropperfuls into your throat and let it sit there again for a minute before swallowing. Repeat every three waking hours for two days. Here are a few powerful articles on Zinc: Article 1 and Article 2.
This stuff is STRONG and powerful. I don’t take it daily, but when I am starting to feel anything coming on I take this. Cat’s claw is a miracle worker, a special herb that supports a healthy immune system. It aids in alleviating almost any symptom, from neurological to digestive. Cat’s claw is unique, because bacteria cannot become resistant to it, like sometimes when taking antibiotics. The herb eliminates these and other bugs without the “Herxheimer die-off reaction,” that's common with antibiotics. The bioactive pharma-compounds in the herb regulate the destruction of pathogens at a level person can tolerate.
My daily love. I either have it in tea form, or tincture, depending on the time. Lemon balm is a heal-all, with a positive contributing factor to almost every part of the body. Extremely high in trace minerals such as boron, manganese, copper, chromium, molybdenum, selenium, and iron, lemon balm also has large amounts of the macromineral silica. Plus, it’s a B12-conserving herb—which means it monitors your stores of this vitamin and keeps your body from using it all up.
This vitamin is praised by every doctor I have seen, both Western and Eastern, and it makes sense why —- it’s incredible and I lack it naturally. This article goes into depth about the continual benefits researchers discover about the supplement. An ideal B-12 supplement includes both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. B-12 can help with neurological disorders and diseases, anxiety and panic, and the immune system.
Yum, syrup that heals you!. Elderberries contain special proteins and bioflavonoids that have the ability to destroy viruses on contact. Elderberries are also known to significantly enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines in the body. This syrup is super easy to make, just follow this recipe from my all-time favorite health guru, Rachel Pelisson.
I hope these suggestions have helped and possibly eased a bit of panic. Keep washing your hands and be smart. Sending love to you all!
This article originally appears on healingmckenzie.com
Remember, we are getting through this together, and together we will emerge stronger. To show your local studios support during this time, please visit them on Mindbody.io or in the Mindbody app and find your favorite classes or one you've always wanted to try. Also, tag them on social media, along with @Mindbody, and we will support in any way we can.
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.