July 19, 2020

Covid 19 has made all of us focus a little more on health. Since there is no vaccine and the treatment is largely supportive care, the only thing we really have control of is our own immunity. We all know about the standard preventive measures which are based on reducing local transmission such as hand hygiene; coughing or sneezing into elbow; wearing a mask; and avoiding going out if feeling unwell. These are all common sense.

But even during normal winter, why do some people catch every cold or flu and others breeze through unscathed. Is it just luck? Are they blessed with a stronger immunity? Or is it something they have cultivated? The truth is that it is a combination of all these things. Keeping our immunity as high as possible boils down to the simple, every day things that we do. Here they are:

  1. good sleep
  2. good nutrition
  3. good digestion, elimination and respiration
  4. moderate exercise
  5. optimal mental/emotional balance

The foundations for good health and immunity are incompletely studied in conventional medical training. Sometimes western trained doctors give them only cursory importance. That is because we are trained to treat disease, rather than create health and wellness. That’s where complementary medicine plays an important role. Though there is still much research required to validate some of the claims and treatments, there is much that can be implemented that is safe and which gives fairly rapid feedback to verify it’s efficacy.

A simple example maybe taken from meditation. Let’s say prior to starting a practice of meditation, one experienced anxiety, depression and insomnia. After 6 weeks of practice you are feeling more calm, a little brighter and you are sleeping more soundly. You don’t need Level 1 evidence from a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial to start using meditation. At the same time, it is not right to say, “if you practice this meditation, your depression will be cured”. Life, health, medicine is much more grey than black and white. Suffice to say, that simple remedies with a low harm profile can be utilised and the proof for the individual maybe as simple as, “I’m sleeping better; my bowels work daily; I have less headaches; I’m less irritable; or I catch less colds than before”. This is holistic medicine.

So when it comes to optimising your own health and immunity, ensure that you cover these 5 key areas and you will be doing what’s in your control to prevent or reduce the severity of colds, flus, gastros, headaches, and of course Covid 19.

In Health and Wellness

PS- and if you are in Victoria, don’t forget to wear your mask!

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