Supporting your immune system

During these crazy times, I wanted to remind you of key things you can be doing right now to support your immune system besides of course HANDWASHING and SOCIAL DISTANCING.

  1. Get plenty of sleep – ideally 8-10 hours/night. If you are having problems sleeping, sign up for the FREE Get Some Shut Eye webinar on 4/15. You can also check out my Sleep Tip playlists on my FB page (Sleep Soundly in September, Sleep Tips November 2017 and Sleep Tips) and the sleep tips shared by my network on this blog Sleep Edition – NS Acu Tribe of Mentors.
  2. Stay hydrated.
  3. Limit dampening foods. Reduce your intake of sugar, dairy, gluten, fried foods and alcohol as they add dampness to the body, and this virus appears to be a damp pathogen.
  4. Breath through your nose! We are meant to breath through our noses. Air is “filtered” when we breath through our nose – cilia and mucus catch viruses (along with pollen, bacteria and other debris). In addition, nitric oxide is produced in the paranasal sinuses and is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. Any virus that makes it through the nasal “filtering” system, will pass through the nasal cavity where the antiviral nitric oxide is excreted.
  5. Do things that bring you pleasure. Watch the latest stand up specials on Netflix, draw winter botanicals you can find in your yard, listen to Weightless (a song designed by sound therapists to reduce stress), read something for fun, play your guitar or piano or didgeridoo, journal, dance, and/or give yourself the Big O.  (It’s not the time to be the master of your domain). When we feel pleasure, puffs of nitric oxide are released from our blood vessels and boosts immunity (along with increasing blood flow, decreasing cellular inflammation, and improving your mood and outlook on life.)
  6. Manage your stress through meditation and/or breath work. Practice 4-7-8 breath and/or alternate nostril breathing throughout the day.
  7. Limit your consumption of updates/news about the covid-19. Watching updates 24/7 and consuming all of the misinformation and exaggerations being shared on social media increases your stress levels which impact your immune system. Set aside a specific time each day to get your updates. Limit your sources to the CDC, WHO, your local health department (Chicago, Cook County, Deerfield, Glenview, Evanston, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka), or your state health department.
  8. Limit the amount of time you spend worrying about the virus. Set aside specific time each day to focus on planning and executing any actions you need to take to keep your family safe and any actions related to your career/business. Stay focused during that time of planning and execution. However, when thoughts come up outside of that time, remind yourself that you have a plan, you’ve taken the actions within your control for today, and bring yourself back to the present by engaging your senses – what do you see, smell, hear, feel. The worries are likely to come up multiple times – just keeping repeating these steps.
  9. Start a gratitude practice. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes every day to write down things for which you are grateful. Or you can use an app – gthx is offering a 30 day free trial of their gratitude app. The code is 30daysfree. Here are some other ideas of how to focus on gratitude.
  10. Help others. Donate blood. Donate to local food pantries. Check in with at-risk neighbors to see if they  need help picking up prescription refills or critical groceries. Buy a gift certificate from or post a review for your favorite small businesses. Don’t hoard supplies. If an item you need to purchase has a WIC symbol near the price, get something else. A person who uses WIC can’t switch to another brand.
  11. Move. Dance. Start a yoga, tai chi or qi gong practice. Go for a walk. Try the toilet roll workout.  Sample some of the streaming classes from Hip Circle Empowerment Center. Do one of the at-home workouts posted daily by Crossfit Impact.
  12. Do acupressure daily on ST36 and LU7. You can locate ST36 point by sliding your finger on the outside of your shin towards your knee. It will stop around ST36. Or identify a tender spot near your shin about the width of your four fingers from the bottom of your knee. You can locate LU7 by  joining your hands between the thumb and forefinger as in the picture below. Your index finger should be resting along the radius bone.  The tip of your index finger will come to rest in a small notch between two tendons which lie on top of the styloid process.
  13. Brew yourself an Immune Support Tea.

Ingredients

1 bag echinacea tea

3 or 4 thin slices of fresh organic ginger root

3 tablespoons organic lemon juice, fresh squeezed

2 tablespoons raw organic honey

½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon organic ground clove

Cayenne pepper to taste

Instructions: In a large cup of hot water steep the tea bag and the sliced ginger for two minutes. Add the lemon juice, honey and spices and stir well. 

If you aren’t able to find hand sanitizer, you can make your own with tea tree oil or Onguard/Thieves. Reach out to me if you need help getting tea tree oil.

If you have any questions, please call me at 815.814.1319 or email me at amy@northshoreacupuncturecenter.com.

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