Immunity In times of COVID-19
COVID-19 and Immunity
There has been repeated information from the CDC as to what to do with the Corona Virus. Things like keep social distance, wash your hands, do not touch your face, cover your mouth with your elbow if you cough or sneeze etc. These are all sound advise but they are just telling us to help stop the transmission of the virus. We are hearing of fatalities of older even younger children but what we are not hearing is what was the state of their health before they came in contact with the virus? From a Holistic perspective we have to be pro-active not re-active. By all means do what the CDC is asking for a reaction to “flatten the curve of transmission”
How can we be pro-active in a situation like this? It comes down to two simple concepts: build your immune system, and limit stress to the immune system. Today let’s talk about the stress first. From the word itself I am sure you have guessed it. Chronic long term stress is huge in affecting the immune system. Stress was originally designed to create a response that would allow us to stand and fight danger or run away from the danger. All of the other systems of the body (ie: immunity and digestions) go on standby to allow all the blood and energy to flow to your brain and muscles to have quickened reactions and super strength. Once the danger is no longer a threat the adrenaline released normalizes and the heart rate calms as well as the mind. Chronic stress comes when the apparent danger never goes away, instigated by fear, worry, and anxiety. The constant apparent danger keeps the body in a heightened state of reaction and leaving the body’s digestion and repair mechanisms to stay in the back seat making a person more susceptible to incoming pathogens such as viruses. In this time of “Pandemic” what feeds the fear? My opinion its comes mostly from the media. A 2017 Study conducted by MIT showed that false news “diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth in all categories.” False news was 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true news. So here it is, the media feeds on false news that instills fear creating chronic stress. The past few days I have heard all kinds of stories on social media and word of mouth but when I go to fact check them most were either false or grossly exaggerated. Now that many you have the time with no commuting and working from home, if you are that lucky not to be out of a job because of all the panic and fear, it is time to calm the mind, sit down and meditate, clear the negative thought patterns that control us. Clear the subconscious mind that constantly feeds the fear based on past experiences. Create Happiness, it is a thought process that can be created just by accepting where you are and having gratitude for all that you do have. Give thanks for the house or apartment you get to live in that provides shelter from the elements, heat in the winter, coolness in the summer. Give thanks for the comfort of a bed to sleep in, 200 years ago not many humans actually had a bed. Give thanks that you have food to eat, I always give thanks to especially the healthy food I get to eat. Give thanks to your body for carrying you all these years. Make a list of all that you are thankful for, read it daily and try to add at least one thing each day. This is worth every second spent crating happiness in your life. Scientist at Carnegie Mellon University studied the effects of happiness on Viral Immunity by exposing both happy and unhappy people to direct viruses in their nose. The results 1 in 3 of the negative – emotion individuals failed to successfully fight off the virus and came down with a cold; however, only 1 in 5 of the “Happy and relaxed” group came down with a cold. They even went further to expose individual with the stronger influenza “flu” virus and once again positive emotional subjects were less likely to get sick. As one of my favorite authors, Dr. Michael Greger MD says: “Mental health definitely plays a role in physical health”
Especially now we need all the Health we can get. Turn off the TV news, watch a feel good movie (I love Hallmark) shut off the social media, talk one on one to your family or Face-Time them is they are not with you. Read a book that is inspirational. Get outside and go for a walk as Exercise is another crucial pro-active step towards increasing your immunity. More to come on that in my next blog.
Thank you for reading, I hope this helps.
Eric T. Evans, D.C. (Husband, Father, Chiropractor-Hamilton, NJ)