I once lived in fear of cooties. At 5 or 6 years old, I couldn’t define what a “cootie” actually was, I just knew boys had them and they were bad. Later I discovered cooties were a type of germ indigenous to boys, and I would probably die if I actually caught any. Well, at least be embarrassed…
If I’d only known then just how many germs those boys- indeed all of us!- have within our bodies, I might’ve freaked out. There are more than 10 times more bacterial cells in our bodies than human cells! Because bacteria are so small, this only adds up to 1-3 pounds though, so I can’t blame any bulge on this fact. The human microbiome is an amazing collection of microorganisms that live in and on our body.
Louis Pasteur would be mortified. His germ theory proposed that the human body is naturally sterile, and germs invade our bodies causing illness. This approach leaves one feeling very helpless, defenseless, and at the mercy of whatever germs one may come in contact with. It also doesn’t logically explain how some people get sick and others don’t when exposed to the same pathogens.
The key is in our body’s ability to fight the “bad guys”…
So, as we enter into the season affectionately known as “flu season”, let’s take a look at some ways to first, avoid getting sick. In the next few posts, we’ll explore what to do if you feel like you may be getting sick, or if you already are sick.
So, first, let me share with you what we do in our household to avoid getting sick…
Boost your immunity. Webster defines immunity as, “the condition of being able to resist a particular disease especially through preventing development of a pathogenic microorganism or by counteracting the effects of its products”.
1. Avoid sugar and dairy, which often trigger inflammation, and increase your fruits and veggies which are alkalizing and full of phytonutrients that help promote immune health. Go for a rainbow of colors; red tomatoes, purple onions, yellow peppers, green broccoli, etc.
2. Manage your stress level. I used to say to patients, “reduce your stress”. Frankly, this is a frustrating saying, even to me. How do I reduce stress???!!!! This just added to my stress, trying to reduce my stress! Now I look at it in terms of how I can manage it. Eliminate what I can, certainly, but use tools to give myself an edge in coping better. I began to take yoga, so I use the same breathing techniques in my office that we use in class….Breathe deeply, from the belly. Also, meditate or pray daily. I pray to my Heavenly Father, and find a more grateful heart after every encounter. Gratitude changes our perspective.
Although these next 2 recommendations stand alone, they certainly build on the previous one about reducing stress;
3. Catch some ZZZZ’s -find 6-8 hours of refreshing sleep each night. Sleep deprivation reduces our immune response. Sleep is healing!
4. Catch some DDDD‘s- Move your body…outside! Find an activity you like and get your sweat on! And, if you can exercise outside, all the better. Activities like walking, running or cycling can still be fun even in colder weather, with the proper gear. (And I’m all about getting new clothes, regardless of the occasion!) Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. Even a hundred years ago, doctors observed that TB patients did considerably better if they were allowed outside in the sun each day. But, if you can’t get outside in the wicked winter weather, you may want to supplement with Vitamin D3.
5. Take a multi-strain Probiotic. Up to 80% of our immune response occurs in the gut, and our gut bacteria are a significant source of a range of vitamins, particularly those of the B group and vitamin K.
Feed the “good-guys” in this battle against invaders.
We’ll explore this subject more in-depth in my next blog.
6. Diffuse essential oils. Diffusing a blend of clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus and rosemary oils killed over 99% of bacteria in 12 minutes. During the long winter months when our windows are closed tightly, this is vitally important. This is a blend I personally use and recommend, and can be found in the link below.
So, to recap… get out and walk in the sunshine, breathe deeply the crisp fall air, laugh, eat your veggies and avoid sugar, take your probiotics, and fill the air with essential oils…
Sounds like a good day to me!
Stay well, friends!
http://www.youngliving.com/en_US Use my ID#1433586 or email me for more info on how to incorporate essential oils into your healthy home