Since we last connected, Omicron has been sweeping across the globe effecting millions. Chances are good that most of us will end up with it as it’s very contagious. Since it’s milder than prior stains, you may feel like you have a cold or flu and you might – they’re also going around! Here are some Wellness suggestions to employ when you’re getting sick or in an acute phase of illness:
- Stay hydrated with filtered or spring water. It’s critical to keep the mucosal membranes of your lungs and gut hydrated especially when sick. Remember the skin is our largest organ of elimination and requires good hydration too. Try to drink room temp water or hot water. Ice water is not a good choice when sick and should generally be avoided during Winter months.
Eat cooked and warming foods like soups, stews and broths. Avoid raw foods like salads and all forms of sugar as it feeds the organisms. Also limit fresh fruit to 1-2 servings a day and avoid dried fruit to reduce sugar intake. Dairy foods/beverages produce mucus and should be minimized. Consume veggies like hard squash and all forms of cruciferous veggies as they are grown during Winter months and are typically available in markets, stores, and home delivery services. Eat onions, apples, and buckwheat as they are high in Rutin and Quercetin, anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids. Brussels sprouts are high in Vit. C and are yummy roasted or sauteed with garlic. Use Celtic Sea Salt to season your foods and broths, as well in nasal rinses and for gargling. Remember salt is anti-microbial and readily available. Omicron lives in the nasal and throat regions, so nasal irrigation and gargling will be helpful to reduce it. High seasonal pollens create allergies and lower immunity, so get that Neti pot out and use it!
- Sleep is critical for immune system health and tissue repair, so give yourself the space to sleep and take naps when under the weather. Use a diffuser with high-quality essential oils to add both anti-microbial qualities and moisture to indoor air. Lavender is relaxing and mixes well with many other oils like Eucalyptus, Lemon, and Clove for boosting immunity.
Last, exercise and movement. This may sound like I’m wimping out, but if you’re unwell, it’s NOT the time to exercise. Move, yes. Exercise, no. Why? It’s about conserving valuable energy, not expending it. Keep all exercise to the gentlest forms, like low settings on vibration plates to stimulate the lymphatic system. Walk on the treadmill or bundle up for outside walks. I do not promote being outside in the wind when ill, and I especially do not like being outside at or below 35 degrees during the healthiest of times. Think practically and don’t stress your body! Restorative Yoga, stretching and T’ai Chi are balancing and supportive. Get in a sauna if possible. Do not get chilled getting out of the sauna, shower, or bath. Have a robe and a cup of hot tea or water ready to build that internal warmth.
Some of what you’ve read comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine thoughts and practices, a system of healing that’s been around for 5000 years and has influenced my 28 years of clinical practice and lifestyle choices for better health at home. The simplest way to think about some of this is: keep the outside elements out of your body, i.e.: cold, damp, wind, etc. and build your internal elements and resources through balancing choices like what’s just been mentioned. One of my favorite books is Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, which is a wealth of information.
I’ve said for many years, I can send you home with some of the best nutrition, herbs, and homeopathy available, but what really drives the bus is what you’re putting in your mouth 3-6 times a day, every week, month after month, year after year. When sick, be supportive to your body by cleaning up your diet, staying well hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and enjoying gentle movement.
Hope this helps you feel better!