Dr. Jan”S BE WELLNESS Immunity Prescription
Breathing- Whakanga : NOSE > belly diaphragmatic slow, prolonged out-breath: in-breath to count 3, out-breath to 5. Inhale through your nose slowly for abdominal diaphragmatic inspiration, followed by a prolonged out-breath. The nose is the first defence from COVID and other viruses, (it warms, humidifies & filters air). Pause speech to nose breathe, abdominal breathing is calming, increases oxygen, provides more energy to digestion, immune & repair systems, reduces demand on heart /all body; BEING in the present moment with breath reduces fear, anxiety, worry and excessive inflammation.
Essence Equality- Wairua connection. The web of life energy connects us all. Find heart connection with your true eternal essence which is love, creativity, gratitude, through connection with all your relations, nature, Papatuanuku. Find meaning in this crisis, self love and self-compassion. Heal childhood trauma of “not belonging or not good enough” to create equality for all.
Water- Wai & warmth. Chilling of the airways creates vulnerability to infection, so keep warm, NOSE-BREATHE, drink 6-8 glasses of warm water throughout the day (water helps the body to trap and remove bacteria/viruses in the mucous layer lining the nose, sinuses and airways, as well as sweep outward via millions of microscopic hair cells “cilia” beating 7x/second). Salt water nasal rinses or salt water swimming. Keep your body warm to avoid prolonged chilling.
Enjoy Exercise. Persons who are physically fit get an average 0-1 respiratory infections per year compared to sedentary persons who get 5-6 colds per year. Sedentary women who began walking had far less colds which resolved more quickly. Engage in enjoyable exercise at ocean/bush/green spaces (3 hours in the bush boosts immunity for a week after). Earth/ocean to skin contact (hands garden / barefeet grass/ beach).
Love- Aroha. Optimistic people who love life and its exciting challenges (vs negative, life as full of problems) get fewer respiratory infections. Mothers who enjoyed their infants had less colds, as also their babies. Often young children get infections when too much separation from Mum, eg daycare ( germs+++) overwhelms their immature systems physically & emotionally. In adults, lots of social emotional support, hugs improve immunity to viral infections.
Laughter- Kata & Weeping-Tangi. Laughter stimulates the thymus gland, which makes infection-fighting “T” cells. Laughter connects us, reduces pain, stress and strengthens immunity. Laughter assists with diaphragmatic breath, clears secretions better than chest physio! Play and laugh with whanau, friends and pets! Crying improves oxygen levels & releases emotional pain.
Nature Nourishment- Whakawairakau. Deeply coloured, fresh, raw or lightly steamed vegetables, whole grains, raw nuts/seeds, fruits, homegrown, homemade fermented foods, small oily fish such as Kahawai, seaweeds ( Vitamins A, C,D, zinc, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, selenium). Avoid “deadly whites” : sugar, white flour bread, pasta, white rice, processed fats/foods; all impair gut flora/immune function.
Eliminate toxins- Paihana.Smoking cigarettes/joints/vaping /chemical inhaled toxins increase respiratory infections. Drugs, excessive alcohol, sugar, processed foods and repeated antibiotics impair gut biome/ immune system.
Social- Whanau & Spiritual connection & Stress reduction. Intense anger/anxiety(5min) reduces natural killer cells function for 8 hrs (these cells destroy viruses, bacteria and cancer cells). Often colds/ flus are your body’s way of giving you a break from overwork and stress, so pace yourself. Balance of rest, play an fun, being in nature connect to whenua, Papatuanuku, meditation, yoga, abdominal breathing, be curious, play life as a challenging game,
Sleep- Whakamoe/ Sunshine- Ra/ Rest. Your immune system works best during sleep. We need more sleep than we usually get because lights, TV, devices interrupt natural darkness that triggers melatonin (our sleep hormone) which makes us sleepy. Do sleep hygiene. Be in bed asleep by 930-10pm, after dimming lights and calming “wind-down” e.g. warm bath, yoga. Often a cold or flu are our body’s signal that we need more rest & sleep or we need to slow down or stop busyness in our lives/children’s lives. Vitamin D strongly protects against COVID, influenza and other respiratory infections so expose as much skin area as possible without sunscreen for short times periods to avoid redness or burning. Build up Vit D reserves over summer, supplement over winter.
Dr. Jan’s RECOVER your BE WELLNESS Prescription
Here are simple ways to support your body to heal sore throats, cold, cough, “flu”, COVID infection
Breathing Whakanga : NOSE to Abdomen slow, with prolonged out-breath. Nose breathe to warm, humidify & filter air, pause speech to nose-breathe, abdominal breathing is calming, increases oxygen, provides more energy to fight infection, reduces inflammation and work of the heart. BE in the present moment with the breath to reduce fear.
Water & warmth. When ill, you need more water to replace water body losses from fever, increased sweating and breathing rate. Drink lots! (3 litres/day) of warm fluids to liquefy secretions (they become more easily drained or coughed up). Keep warm ( in winter) to improve your immune system, (the is why your body creates a fever). If chilled, have a hot bath. Inhaling warm steam is soothing for sore throats/airways (add 4 drops teatree, manuka or eucalyptus oils). Warm steamed (x4 mins) chopped onion (wrap in muslin) compresses are also very soothing to relieve ear & throat chest infections. To clear sinusitis squirt warm salt water gently up your nostrils (½ tsp salt + ½ tsp baking soda in 250-300ml warm filtered water) salt water gargles (add iodine for few days only), hot foot baths
Energy conservation is critical to allow all of your energy to be used by your body to fight off the infection and heal. Rest your body, emotions and mind. BED rest at home with a view of nature, trees, etc (instead of continuing work or school). Rest, especially earlier in the illness, helps faster recovery.
Love. We all need much tender loving care when ill…especially children (who naturally become clingy!). Give lots of cuddles, touch, carry baby skin to skin to speed healing. Lot of hugs (within your bubble) and touch for adults too!
Listen to your body! Your body knows very well how to fight infection and heal…you need only to listen deeply (especially if you are accustomed to ignoring your body’s needs). Listen to what your body needs physically, emotionally and psychologically, support and trust your body! Laugh and weep to “get it off your chest”.
Nurture yourself with easily digestible, nutrient rich steamed vegetables, fresh vegetable soups & fruits. If you are not hungry, do not eat, drink plenty of fluids instead. Your body has little energy to digest, so avoid fats, protein, meat, sugar, white flour products, sugar. At first onset of cold/sore throat, zinc gluconate lozenges 25 mg every few hours (max 150mgm/24hr) halves recovery time. Vitamin C 500mg children , 1000mg adults 1-2 hourly till loose bowels then 3hrly). Echinacea and herbs (geranium cough)Rongoa Maori help also.
Eliminate any physical or psychological factors that interrupt your body’s healing. Avoid cough suppressants. Avoid Brufen, Aspirin or Panadol with a fever. Your body creates a fever to stimulate the immune system to fight the infection. Inflammation is also an essential response to infection or tissue injury. Thus antipyretic (Brufen, Aspirin, Panadol), or anti-inflammatory drugs (Brufen,Aspirin), block your body’s defenses against infection (adults infected with influenza A virus who did not take aspirin,paracetamol, brufen recovered 3.5 days sooner than those who took these drugs). The primary treatment of fever is rest, fluids and in children, loving observation. Also release anger, frustration, anxiety at being ill. Carrying anger or anxiety tends to slow healing. Accept your illness as an important message to change the excessive stresses on your body and instead to nurture it. BeFriend your body! Trust your body! It knows how to heal, provide the support that your body needs.
Spiritually, illness is often a message to change old “fear, unworthiness, unexpressed emotion and driven” patterns, to align us more fully to the needs of our body and spirit, to allow unresolved grief, to have more love, joy, laughter, social connection and meaning in our lives. In moments between resting, contemplate “what does this illness teach me?”
Sleep & Sunshine. Sleep frequently and lots (listen to your body). Go to bed early with darkness. Healthy mice given all they need but NO sleep all died with infection! Sun baths boost Vit D quickly (avoid burning) or VIt D 4000 IU daily .
Recover well so that you do not have to repeat these life lessons much more! Enjoy being, free with robust health, mauri ora, connect with breath, love, joy; heal yourself, your relationships to whanau, all peoples and all life and better our world