Some simple steps to bolster your immunity (always relevant, not just in times of crisis)
1. Emotional State
Become conscious of your emotional state and how it constricts your energy. Fear inhibits DNA-functioning and depletes your immune system. In Taoist theory, fear damages the Kidneys, which means we respond to stress less effectively, amongst other things. Fear also attracts fear and has an effect that will rule your being. Do what you can, do it calmly, keep coming back to the moment, in which most of you reading this will find yourselves safe and OK. Overthinking and worry also damage the Spleen and Lungs, which is no good for our immunity. Try the 6 Healing Sounds to help balance your emotions.
Choose to stay positive. This does not mean ignorant. Stay informed if that helps you cope. But remember that you get to decide each day whether you choose to emit to those around you a positive or negative frequency. Love, gratitude, compassion, joy, and happiness boost your immune system, enhance your health and will repair your DNA; fear, entitlement, hatred, anger, and rage will deplete your immune system and damage your health. Stay focused.
Consider, what are your values, and how do you want to present yourself every day? Be mindful of what you carry around with you and how you move through the world, whether it's online or in person. What qualities do you want to embody? You cannot operate in negativity and expect to stay well. You can choose to remain positive and full of love so that your physical body is functioning optimally. You can choose to let fear and anxiety lead to compassionate, informed action. Mason and I are in quarantine for two weeks with our daughter, who is 3 and a half. This could be a nightmare or an opportunity to become closer as a family, and we are choosing to see it as the latter. We will enjoy the time and use the time to reflect on our freedom; that we normally move about the world wherever we choose with little restriction. That is a huge privilege. It may sound overly simplistic but focusing on what you are grateful for, even if it's the tiniest thing, can bring a huge shift in your attention and energy.
2. Media / News
Be cautious of the media hysteria and our cultural obsession with bad news. Whatever you focus on grows. Spread love. Limit social media if it stresses you out. Take responsibility for what enters your field. Choose news sources that are not hysterical and fear-based. This will help with number 1!
3. Your Body Is Energy
Practice Qigong and deep breathing daily to boost your immune system. We love this 6 min practice you can do daily to strengthen the Lungs. Your body is a bio-field of energy. If Qigong is not your jam, practice yoga or go for a walk in nature, with fresh air and sunshine (if possible). Cultivate an energetic immune system by coexisting with nature. Clear off all that dirty electricity with the ultimate purifier, the elements. Think natural bodies of water, trees, rocks, soil, barefoot and skin contact with the earth - any or all of these are ideal. Absolute best case scenario, naked sun nature time! Every single original culture (unless it was bloody freezing) got out there in nature in the nude. And while you’re at it, minimise your exposure to EMFs - they suck and your immune system does not like them. Turn off your wifi while you sleep, handle your devices less, leave them outside your room at night, and use grounding products. We like Earthing Oz.
4. Vitamin D
On that same note, get enough vitamin D. Even if you have to take your laptop outside for 20 mins and soak up some sunshine while you are working. Though if you can, leave your laptop inside. Vitamin D is essential in maintaining a highly functioning immune system. You can nourish yourself with butter, my favourite food, from grass-fed animals, ghee, grass-fed animal fat, or if you're vegan and/or if your body doesn't produce it, take a vit D supplement. We like Thorne Vit D from iHerb.
5. Herbs and Supplements
Load up on vitamins C & D, zinc, omega 3s (Rositas is our fave), mushroom extracts (e.g., Mason's Mushrooms, Chaga, Reishi), and Chinese herbs such as Astragalus, QI blend, Schisandra, and even Eucommia Bark for immune strengthening - check out our immune herbs here. Think of these as prevention. We also love cats claw - it's antiviral, and it's fantastic. We like Austral Herbs. If you are sick, herbs such as echinacea, dandelion, goldenseal, olive leaf, and andrographis work directly to bolster the immune system. Michael and Lesley Tierra recommend a combination of olive leaf, echinacea, and goldenseal, which are easily found in many health food and herbal stores. COVID-19 is a respiratory-borne illness, so many common herbal antivirals will likely be helpful (though what exactly works is still to be seen). Herbs that help the Lungs do their job of dispersing and descending Qi (and heat) around the body are going to be super useful - Qi tonics and herbs like Cordyceps from our range. Manuka honey is also an incredible healing agent. We would also recommend seeing a Chinese doctor if possible and getting a personal diagnosis so you can treat your specific version of the illness. In essence, each body will respond to COVID-19 differently. Consulting a practitioner is always a good idea if possible.
Get yourself a protective mist such as Brethren by Pureheart Alchemy, which offers high anti-bacterial, anti-viral properties when flying, travelling in general, or around seasonal illness. Or spray yourself with colloidal silver, or make your own hand sanitiser. The WHO has their recipes online here. Or try a more folk-y one. Use isopropyl alcohol or high-proof vodka (99%), aloe vera gel and essential oils that you like (most are potent and kill things on contact!) and share it around. You want it to be 60% alcohol to be effective, so make sure you do the math. A ratio that works is:
5-10 drops lavender essential oil
30 drops tea tree essential oil
100 ml isopropyl alcohol
7. Embrace the Yin
If you are stuck at home, or even if life is just slowing down, this is a time for you to embrace what it feels like for your life to be dominated by Yin and not Yang. Now is the time, if you can, to take rest. Even if it's just prioritising sleep and honouring your body's daily rhythm. This will serve you more than you can imagine. So many of us are addicted to our outward expression, to ‘doing’, to being busy and productive. Yin is inward and internal, it doesn't look great on Instagram, and it isn't sexy. It might even be a bit uncomfortable. But it is essential. Use this time and take advantage of not being scheduled, with social obligations and things to do. Concentrate on your personal or family values. Learn to just be. This time is an incredibly potent time to ramp up your spiritual practice. We will share some meditations and yoga classes over the next few days.
8. Wholesome Foods, Mindfully
Eat mindfully. Lungs like warm food, white foods. NOT shitty white foods like processed sugar and flour, think clean white foods (like cauliflower and potatoes), turnips, parsnips, almonds, daikon, (cooked) apples, pears, rice, oats, sesame seeds, onion, garlic, and white pepper. Also, white legumes (we love cannellini beans), white meat (chicken, turkey, fish), and broths are amazing to support the Lungs and immunity in general. Food to support immunity is similar to baby food - mushy, well-cooked, full of nutrition, and warm. Avoid cold foods and raw foods. Congee is a classic Chinese food to nourish and support - this is an excellent recipe with chicken, and this is a great recipe for vegans.
9. Water Water Water
Hydrate. We love spring water, as you know, but any good quality water, shaken and with some minerals added (we use a pinch of sea salt) is going to do you good. Why shake it up? Vortexing your water takes water from being flat to more conductive...water that moves is more electronically alive. Think of water in the wild - if it stagnates, it becomes impure. So keep your water moving, and it’ll keep your cells happy. Same goes for adding minerals - sea salt helps to ensure your cells actually get hydrated by the water you drink and it can charge your water with negative ions and electrolytes. The old eight cups a day is a great place to start. Make sure it's room temperature or warm, not cold, as your body prefers warmer foods, especially when unwell or fighting something off.
Other tactics to consider are detoxification and mineralisation strategies - we recommend working with a good practitioner for this so check in with your fave health guru for an online consultation if this is of interest to you.
We hope this helps you feel supported and nourished in this confusing and unprecedented time. We are grateful to be connected to this community of conscious, motivated, proactive humans and glad to be able to offer whatever support we can. We will be here, so please feel free to write or call, or connect to us on our social media @tahneeyoga and @masonjtaylor and via @superfeast.