Dr. Hensel on the Coronavirus: Empower Your Immune System vs. Letting Fear Break it Down
Hey everyone, Dr. Hensel here with Active Edge Chiropractic & Functional Medicine. I wanted to give you a quick update and sort of my perspective on the big hype out there, the Coronavirus.
So obviously you've heard of it by now. Places and events are shut down from major sports, colleges, grade schools, restaurants, gyms, offices and any other larger meeting events. Should we panic? Probably not. When you look at the actual statistics of it, it's really not a whole lot different than the flu if it's even that much at all.
There's obviously a certain subset of the population, the 65 or so plus that have already some sort of underlying health issue going on. That's who's most at risk. But for people under that age, it is not much more than a chest cold or an upper respiratory infection, if that.
Fear is bad for your health
So that being said, feeding into your fear and your worry is one of the worst things that we can do for our mental state and immune system. Worry and fear drive down our immune system and don’t let it work properly. So one of the biggest things we can do for ourselves is to not worry and to not fear and not to panic. Don't buy into all that "the world's going to end" stuff out there because it simply isn't. These thing happens all the time.
If you remember H1N1, SARS, and previous sicknesses, these epidemics are sort of cyclical, every 4-5 years there's something new that pops up. So, don't worry, live your life but social distance, be happy, be grateful for the health that we have and think about that stuff often.
Let’s also not forget about our neighbors at this time and the community just because we are social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t support one another. This especially comes to light with the run on things like toilet paper, water, and other groceries at the stores. Some of us have more than others and some of us have the ability to get out easier than others to get said things so let’s do our civic duties there and practice coming together even though we are apart.
Prevention vs Treating a sickness
Prevention always trumps treatment so focusing on what we can do to boost our immune system is key. Here are a few things that boost the immune system:
One of the top fundamental things that we can do is get plenty of sleep. It is very important to do that anyway, but especially when our immune system is trying to fight, that's when your immune system works it’s hardest is while you sleep. You probably remember back to the last time you didn’t feel good and all you wanted to do was sleep, right? Well, that was your body trying to tell you it needed to get to work! So it is very important to focus on your sleep, get plenty of it.
We should listen to our bodies not only now but moving forward as well. In the healthcare community, sleep is now being touted as the most important self-care practice we can do for ourselves, even higher than eating well and exercising!
Even when you are feeling well you should sleep a minimum of 7.5-8 hours per night. Now this doesn’t mean just being in bed that long because no one sleeps 100% of the time they are in bed so we need to focus on being in bed around 8-10 hours depending on how well you sleep.
Next, we should focus on movement and regular exercise. If you aren’t feeling well you should still try to move and get your heart rate up a time or two a day to help your body move the lymphatic system and clear your lungs. Movement and exercise also help to boost your immune system and your body's ability to heal. Exercise is also like the equivalent of taking an anti-depressant as well! You get a mood boost and an immune system boost who doesn’t want that?
To take maximum advantage of the mood and focus enhancement exercise gives you, it would be ideal to exercise earlier in the day. This also helps you sleep better as exercising later in the day may cause you too much energy before bed.
Getting your movement outside would be another added bonus to get your body some natural sunlight and air as both have great mood and immune-boosting effects. Being cooped up in a dry house with stagnant air is a big drawback to our immune system. Kick your humidifiers up to around 45-55% to help your sinuses.
One of the other foundational things we can do is to focus on nutrition. Nutritional-wise, we should focus on eating real foods like fresh produce and meat, cutting out processed foods like sugars and all this stuff in boxes and bags. Real, healthy food is a great way to help your immune system.
In times like this, we're trying to prevent sickness which is better than treating it once we already have it. Some other nutritional things that we could do to stay out in front of this is to take supplements.
Metagenics ultra flora immune boost. It is a great probiotic that's actually been shown great for upper respiratory infection cells. Using that out in front of getting sick could help reduce side effects and symptoms if we do come in contact with COVID-19 or just any other upper respiratory sickness that you usually get during this time of year.
Getting a good amount of vitamin C, D are great things as well. Another one from Metagenics is their Immucor product with C, D, E, zinc, selenium, and a mushroom blend, which is awesome for boosting your immune system. A few of our other favorite immune-boosting herbs are Ganodera, Perilla seed, and Echenisia. Those are my top go-to supplements for your immune system but remember - if you don’t’ do the big things above sleep, move and eat healthy - supplements have a very hard time making up the difference.
In closing don't worry, be grateful, move, exercise, get lots of sleep and keep your fluids up and if you want to look into some of the nutraceuticals that we just mentioned in the link below, you can get those to help as well.
So hopefully you guys are doing well. Stay calm, don't panic and know that tomorrow is going to be another amazing day! If you have any other questions, let us know. Have a great day.