This mental health advocate shares her journey toward health.
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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.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.