“Are you worried about the panic surrounding Covid-19?” I was. As a health and learning coach, I don’t disagree with the messages about public health, but there’s angles here that are being overlooked.
I first posted about your immune system in March 2020. This was to encourage people to take care of their immune system with the topics mentioned below. I am updating this today because at last, curtesy of the efforts of MPs David Davis and Rupa Raq and other researchers, summarised here government is being pressed to mention the benefits of how Vitamin D can aid a healthy immune system, that is so vital to warding off and recovering from Covid-19. In addition we have some help for long Covid and the significance of good quantity and quality sleep.
Our immune system is a learning organisation. As everyone is likely to experience it naturally or through a vacination, this virus can actually deliver an upgrade to our immune systems. It is vital that our immune system is in the best condition it can be, to learn. The primary function of our immune system is a complex structure that defends the body against an intruder. It keeps a record of every germ it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy it more quickly if it enters the body again. When you have a flu virus, your immune system remembers it and protects you from getting the same virus again. Vaccination works in the same way. Our natural immune systems are doing a great job for millions of people who experience mild Covid-19, learning all the while how to naturally develop immunity. I recall listening to a doctor, who had gone through Covid-19 herself, was praising her immune system, how it copes and has adjusted to support her healing.
Of course, we want people to adhere to medical advice. But we must be very careful not to terrorise and depress them – that will automatically suppress their natural immune system. During the roll-out of vacinations, our main ally against this virus is our immune system.
We need to take care of our immune systems; they are busy with this new invader. Here’s how to ensure it is as strong as possible.
- Your immune system likes physical and mental exercise, healthy eating. Even if we are self-isolating there is much we can do to remain active with exercise programmes on the TV and Youtube, for example.
- Your immune system is suppressed by toxins, such as alcohol, smoking and an unhealthy diet. Please do everything possible to improve the quality of the air you breathe.
- Sneezing is an important part of the immune system. Sneezes protect your body by clearing the nose of bacteria and viruses. Don’t forget to use a tissue.
- Vitamin D has proved to be a major contributor to our immunity. In the winter when sunshine is less away from the equator, we need to supplement this and in addition those with dark skins will get less naturally. According to this article, margarines were supplemented with vitamin D from 1940-2013 and many people are now deficient in this vital vitamin.
- Other vitamins and herbs such as Vitamin C and Echinacea also support your immune system.
- Consider how much anxiety is floating around, try to calm yourself, it might even rub off on others. For example, seek out fun TV, write down what you are grateful for, practice diaphragmatic breathing, consider a complementary technique such as EFT to release specific anxieties.
- Sleep is another underappreciated topic that is free. According to Matthew Walker, good quality/quantity of sleep before an infection can reduce its severity and good quality/quantity of sleep after can increase the antibodies you generate. Matthew is professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He life’s work is on sleep.
- Have you ever noticed how you speak to yourself? Your subconscious doesn’t understand negatives. When in social distancing do you see that as being negative? Try reframing “I am at-risk” to think “I am protected” and notice any difference.
This in a series about what we can all do individually and as a community to take responsibility for our own health, especially in these times of uncertainty. This will be followed by topics such as healthy breathing, reducing anxiety and how complementary therapies can support you.
You will also find a blog here to help those with long-Covid to recover their energy. https://olivehickmott.wordpress.com/2020/09/06/recover-your-energy-for-free/
The author is Olive Hickmott, a health and learning coach, author and trainer. Please register here to follow each blog at www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful information at www.empoweringhealth.co.uk
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