My treatment approach: an email reply
I’m a nature cure doc.
What does that mean? I truly believe in the naturopathic principle of vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature, not only in the human body’s ability to heal, but also in Earth’s ability to provide stimulation to that healing. This post was going to be about my general treatment philosophy, but then I got an email from a friend who’s prepping for a big transatlantic trip and wants to stay healthy during the nastiness of airplane travel. I thought my response to her may be better than a general philosophical rambling about my treatment philosophy…So, here it is:
Immune support to boost your system before/during/and after travel? So glad you asked! I think I’ll make a blog post out of this 🙂
If your body is out of balance and has things to eliminate, then it will get sick, almost no matter what. Getting sick is not a bad thing, having your body mount a response against things that need it is a lifesaving ability. But you want to get sick, mount an effective response, then get better fast, right? Or, you want to minimize being out of balance that contributed to the illness…
First and foremost, work on stress management to encourage your body to get out of stress mode and be able to pay attention and heal.
When you are in stress/go-go-go mode, your body wants to run or fight a tiger; it’s worried about survival, not about digestion, immune system function, healing, maintenance… Encourage this through deep breathing, prayer, connection to self and others, meditation, etc. Move your body regularly not only to de-stress, but also to increase circulation and make sure your immune system sees all that’s going on, everywhere.
Next, is immune support.
In general, anything that irritates you takes energy from your immune system to take care of. You have only so much room in your metaphorical tea cup before you overflow with symptoms. Drain that tea cup!
- unclutter what your body could be distracted by, things that energetically or emotionally drain you rather than fill you up in that way
- keep hydrated; moist mucous membranes (tissues that line your body’s openings) are protected mucous membranes
- minimize your chemical exposure: home cleaners, pesticides, personal care products – that’s where Beautycounter comes in! Also, use The Environmental Working Group as a great resource to learn about other potential toxic exposures in your life
- keep good bacteria in your gut (through minimizing your exposure to pesticides in your environment and on your food, minimizing antibiotic use, eating fermented foods, and/or taking recommended probiotic supplements)
- prioritize sleep so that you get 8 or so hours a night (that’s when your body does maintenance and healing)
- make sure when you’re eating that that’s all that you’re doing so that your body focuses fully on digestion, nutrient absorption, detoxification, and elimination
- again, move your body every day so that nothing stagnates anywhere out of the radar of your immune system
- Warming Socks (blog readers, message me for the instructional handout): done each night at bed before and after flights helps increase your circulation and immune function. This is super important – don’t knock it until you try it! GREAT for kids, too!
Nutritional support helps you to stay healthy.
Kinda like what I’ve written above, the more you are relaxed when eating, the more you are digesting and absorbing all of the nutrients from the food you eat. Chew and swallow only when pastelike to encourage easier digestion. Refined foods are less nutritious and often have higher sugar and sodium, both can go against optimal health.
There are some products I like for support.
- Emergen-C, as needed for prevention
- Cold-Eeze (they have corn syrup in them, but other than that I really like them); http://www.coldeeze.com/products/cherry-lozenge And, I have found that they shorten the duration of illness and decrease the intensity of it when taken at the first sign of any symptoms
- Elderberry syrup (antiviral)
- I have a favorite ‘big guns’ product, a great product when you just really, really don’t want to be sick (airplane flight, wedding, special anniversary, etc.) I suggest this comes after a thorough discussion with me as your doctor!