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You have support from my fellow COMMUNITY OF HEALTH EXPERTS
I want you to have all you can have to get through this time of uncertainty, gain strength, and become empowered. The following article is from my fellow experts. YES, we are all experts when we share what we know and serve a need.
March 19, 2020
During times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to understand how to take care of ourselves on every level: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. These aspects of primary food – all that nourishes you off your plate – become crucial elements of day to day life when navigating the unknown.
There’s so much we don’t know right now, and that’s enough to keep us living in fear. But we do know some things, such as how important it is to be feeding our bodies well; getting adequate sleep; practicing breathwork; and keeping our social connections (even if they’re virtual). All of these things keep us grounded in the present, give us opportunities to think on our greater purpose and learn from what it means to take a step back from normal life.
Knowing and practicing what will keep us feel safe, contained, and as anxiety-free as possible, is bio-individual. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to coping through times of extreme stress, so we’ve gathered free resources from some incredible experts in the IIN community, including Visiting Teachers, conference speakers, and more, to help you in whatever way you need right now.
How to support yourself physically Food
Eating nourishing, immune-supporting foods is important no matter what you may be going through. The obesity epidemic and lifestyle-related diseases are still contributing to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, board-certified specialist in preventive medicine and public health, speaks on The Upgrade podcast with Mark Bittman, New York Times bestselling author, about food science and the diets that can actually contribute to greater health. Dr. David Katz is also a guest on the Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg podcast, discussing why being healthy isn’t a fad, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frank Lipman, MD, integrative and functional medicine pioneer, founder of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City and Chief Medical Officer of The Well, has always approached food as medicine and considers the refrigerator your “edible medicine cabinet.” Check out his article on 30 ways to boost immunity right now, which includes way more than just food to support your health and immune system.
Exercise Moving in a way that’s right for you and your body is key, especially during times of stress. When your body is in a constant state of stress, your cortisol levels are going to be higher. High intensity exercise can certainly have a cathartic and endorphin-producing effect, but sometimes it can have a compounding effect on stress, keeping your cortisol high. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what movement feels right and how it makes you feel, which should be calmer and more focused.
Patricia Moreno, the trailblazing founder of spiritual fitness and a speaker at our most recent IIN Live, is hosting free virtual workouts in addition to free conversations to connect with people all over the world.
Sleep Sleep is crucial for your immune system to function properly. It’s when your body can properly assimilate and detox what you’ve consumed during the day and re-charge for the next. Lack of sleep impacts your hormones, your gut, your brain – there’s literally no system in the body that goes unharmed. If you could call this a silver lining, being forced to slow down and stay inside can do wonders for your sleep and your health. Frank Lipman, MD, offers lots of content around sleep, as does Mark Hyman, MD.
How to support yourself emotionally
As humans, we crave physical contact and a sense of closeness. “Social distancing,” while very important to implement for the health and safety of the greater public, is already proving detrimental to our emotional health. It’s imperative that we find ways to satisfy these cravings for connection while also adhering to guidelines that keep us physically healthy.
The Well, the New York City-based wellness club founded by IIN grad Sarrah Hollock, wrote this powerful piece about normalizing our feelings of loneliness, nervousness, and fear, and how to maximize feelings of connectedness during this difficult time.
Lissa Rankin, MD, physician, speaker, and founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, has been sharing her thoughts on her blog and on her Facebook about how she’s working through these difficult times.
How to support yourself mentally Learning how to manage stress will be a challenge for us all right now, but it’s doable if we take each day as it comes.
Andrew Weil, MD, integrative medicine pioneer, focuses on a holistic body, mind, and spirit approach to health and wellbeing. Breathwork has been proven to relieve stress and anxiety, and Dr. Weil shares these three breathing exercises that you can return to every day, night, or whenever you need.
Speaking of meditation, this practice can greatly support your mental health during trying times, relieving stress and anxiety, and even helping manage depression and pain. Robyn Youkilis, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, speaker and gut health expert, shares meditations with her audience on Instagram, oftentimes with her young daughter, showing you that yes, it can be done with children!
How to support yourself spiritually
Spirituality can mean anything you want it to; it doesn’t have to be religious. Spirituality is the celebration of being connected to one another and everything around us. The practice of spirituality can be grounding and help provide a sense of meaning and belonging. It’s exactly what we need right now.
IIN is always here to support you We’re dedicated to helping our community thrive, no matter the circumstance. Everyone’s priorities look different right now and that’s OK. You may be caring for an older relative or loved one; you have children at home to look after and keep busy; you have clients who need your guidance; you’re navigating unchartered territory to keep your small business running. Maybe you’re doing all of these things, while also trying to maintain calm and healthy yourself. It’s not easy, so don’t be too hard on yourself as you take each day as it comes.
Our content on the blog has always been free because we believe knowledge is power. Knowledge is also health, wisdom, strength, and support. Here are some further resources to look to, and know that we will continue to provide meaningful content to continue coming back to:
NOTE: If you choose to use this time that you have to sign on to take courses with IIN, please shine that love back to me as your referral, and use this link to sign up so that they know what alumni sent you, and so that I know I have a fellow coach to add to my team of connections.
As referenced in Guido’s Week 6 class, here are the recommendations he discussed concerning COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Immune Support NOTES:
We know very little about this virus, its seasonality, and its transmission. It does seem to be more contagious than the flu, and does affect those over age 60 with heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes more significantly. There is no evidence that any of the classic herbs we use for cold and flu “treat” the virus. Instead of treatment, we have been focusing on good hygiene and prevention by strengthening immune function.
PLEASE take care of yourself: good food, good hydration, and most importantly GOOD sleep. If stress around all of this is an issue, consider adaptogens like American ginseng (if available organic) or Eleuthero (“Siberian” ginseng). IF you suspect infection (dry cough and fever are the most common symptoms, with little nasal congestion), CALL your doctor/Emergency room and ask for directions on how to proceed.
Astragalus and medicinal mushrooms, esp. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum/tsugae/oregonensis). Relatively high amounts: 1 tsp. Astragalus tincture 2x/d, 7-12 g Astragalus total in caps/powder/decoction daily. 2 mL mushroom extract and/or blends, or 3-4 g mushroom extract powder, or 4-5 g mushrooms decocted daily.
2. Lung support herbs include Pleurisy root (Asclepias tuberosa), Licorice root (caution w/ high blood pressure), Mullein leaf, Elecampane root, Balloon Flower root (Platycodon grandiflorum), Usnea spp.
3. Warming aromatic diaphoretics are theoretically a good idea: Ginger, Angelica, Lomatium, Ligusticum (Osha – caution – endangered)
4. CONSIDER AVOIDING Elderberry for those at greater risk to reduce the risk of over-stimulation of an immune reaction. Elderberry lectins, not present in other berries, ramp up immune function and inflammatory cytokine production, which is THEORETICALLY a concern as the cause of death is connected to sepsis and cytokine storm in vulnerable folks (See this paper from China as reference).
Treatment NOTE: Needs to be in consultation / coordination with the healthcare establishment. DO NOT “go it alone” on this one, especially with higher-risk populations. The virus can cause symptoms to progress into a danger zone quickly. Don’t delay asking for support. Key Symptoms are dry cough and fever, though this can vary. CALL your healthcare provider(s). FOLLOW their directions.
1. One formula (Shuang Huang Lian) is receiving attention for herbal TREATMENT of the virus, but keep in mind it is often used as an injection. It is Baikal Skullcap root (Scutellaria baikalensis), Forsythia fruit, and Honeysuckle flower (Lonicera japonica). We know nothing about other herbs for treatment. Get help, and once you have a plan, consider options
2, 3 and 4 listed above if practical and safe to do so.
Hand & Surface Sanitizer (2 options)
NOTE: Hand washing with regular soap and water for 20-30 seconds is BEST. Sanitizers are an OK alternative, and also a way to clean doorknobs, surfaces, etc.
Option #1 – Alcohol-based (basic recipe) • 2 parts Alcohol (*see below) • 1 part Aloe Vera gel • 5-10 drops your choice of essential oil per ounce of sanitizer (optional, to improve odor). Dispense into squirt bottles. Squirt a pea-sized amount on your hands, rub in, and allow to dry. *Key consideration: The alcohol you use can be rubbing (isopropyl) or “regular” (ethyl, or ethanol), but must be at least 90% (180 proof). Concentrations are listed on the bottle (eg. at the drugstore, rubbing alcohol should say “91% isopropyl alcohol”). Don’t use 60% isopropyl or anything lower than 90%. Alcohol-based sanitizers need to be at least 60-70% alcohol.
Option #2 – Alcohol-free (Thymox) FDA/EPA have approved “Thymox” (a solution of 0.25% thymol) as a coronaviruseffective disinfectant. We can recreate a 0.25% thymol solution using these ingredients: • Water, 29 mL (about 1 fluid ounce). Using distilled water is best, but any clean, fresh water will do. • Gum Arabic, a dispersant, 300 mg • Benchmark Thyme essential oil, 0.8 mL (Consistently high thymol concentration, which is assayed. See this link for more information and additional distributors.) Add the essential oil to the Gum Arabic and mix thoroughly. Add the paste to the water and shake well. Pour into a spray bottle and dispense by spraying. Rub into the hands and allow to dry.
The Coronavirus is making headlines as it sweeps across China and has entered other countries as well.
Similar to a cold or Flu, the virus attacks the respiratory system. “A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous. Some types of them are serious, though.”
The most serious coronaviruses, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) were considered dangerous.
The latest strain of coronavirus (Wuhan) is new, and it’s a bit of a numbers game right now. How many people contract it, and how many people die from it are the numbers that the CDC and WHO look at.
“It’s still early on, but Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, estimates that about 4% of people who contract the Wuhan coronavirus die from it. The mortality rate for SARS was closer to 9 or 10%, and, for MERs, about 30 to 35%, he said.”
The likelihood of contracting coronavirus increases among the elderly and people that have pre-existing conditions (poor immunity, autoimmune conditions, respiratory ailments, asthma, etc.).
The CDC says there is nothing available to protect you against a human coronavirus infection, but you may be able to reduce your risk by doing the following:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
That’s good advice, but let’s kick it up a notch, shall we?
One of the best proactive things you can do right now before the virus potentially spreads further into the world is to boost your immune system and support your respiratory system.
1. Support Immunity Naturally The immune system is the body’s protector; it creates B lymphocytes (that attack invaders outside the cells), T lymphocytes (that attack invaders inside the cells) and NK cells (killer cells that drop little bombs to destroy infected cells and cause apoptosis or death of the cell). The lymphatic system, loaded with lymphocytes, plus macrophages, monitors and filters out foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. The lymphatic system is kinda like a vacuum cleaner for the body. Your lymphatic system and immune system are intricately entwined and cannot function healthfully without each other. Read on for my 3 easy tips to support your lymphatic system and boost immunity naturally.
2. Immune Boosting Vegetable Congee Congee is a type of rice porridge or gruel that has been eaten for centuries to promote wellness. I love this recipe and use it all fall and winter long to keep my immune system up, and my risk of cold and flu down. And, when my clients are suffering from poor immunity this is numero uno on my list of recommendations for them. It’s got shiitake mushrooms that nourish the immune system, bok choy to support the liver and lungs, ginger to promote circulation, ginseng to strengthen the body, and astragalus root as a supreme immune enhancer. But, besides all of that healthy blaghetty blah blah blah… it’s pretty darn delicious!
3. Respiratory Support Infusion If your lungs have a tendency to get compromised easily, or if you are prone to every cold and flu in town, start sipping on these amazing herbs to support your body more deeply. This delicious herbal infusion contains: Mullein leaf – a classic lung nourisher and asthma remedy. It contains a healthy dose of mucilage that soothes and supports the mucous membranes. Schisandra berries – is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for thousands of years in the east. It’s called the five flavored berry and supports all of the organs. Modern studies have shown Schisandra berries to play a beneficial role in respiratory disorders like asthma. Licorice root is soothing to the respiratory tract and digestive system (where a large majority of your immune system lives), plus it’s anti-viral, and it eases congestion from colds and flu. Here’s the easy and delicious recipe for you: Lung and Respiratory Support Infusion
4. Kitchen Remedies for Respiratory Health At the first sign of a tickle in your throat, or a sniffle, or a sneeze, increase your intake of these three foods that I’ll be you have in your kitchen right now! They will help to ward off bugs and viruses, and potentially bigger threats. Garlic (Allium sativum) is both antimicrobial and antiviral. At the onset of respiratory invaders, it can work like magic to keep them at bay! Oregano (Origanum vulgare) contains thymol and carvacrol, that have powerful antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) contains volatile oils that are strongly antiseptic and promote expectoration (help you cough out mucus and unsavory invaders). Thyme is an excellent remedy for respiratory infections and coughs. Here are some delicious recipes that contain the above ingredients to get you started: Kitchen Remedies for Respiratory health
Always remember, that besides washing your hands and avoiding people that are sick, there is a multitude of immune-boosting and respiratory remedies you can access right now to keep your body healthy and happy, and able to make it through this coronavirus outbreak.
I am so excited! Stupidly excited! I am happy happy happy! I have craved a slice of homemade bread for a while now…just never tried making it. This week I finally did it. I decided to try gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, BREAD – just quit putting it off; quit buying it, and see if I could make a loaf of bread!
I did it!!!!!! It is beautiful.
When you have a sensitivity to stuff, these little things make all the difference! I am dancing and laughing! Like a little kid excited!! It works! It is real bread!
In a small bowl, add the yeast to warm milk and let sit until yeast begins to foam (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine all remaining ingredients. Add yeast/milk mixture and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula, if needed. If you do not have a stand mixer, an electric hand mixer will also work.
Place dough in a greased 9 x 5-inch nonstick pan. Smooth top of dough with a spatula. Cover and let rise in a warm place (75-80°F) until dough is level with the top of the pan (approximately 30-40 minutes).
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 60-65 minutes. Do not under-bake. To prevent over-browning, cover with foil after the first 15 minutes of baking. To test for doneness, tap loaf with a fingernail. A crisp, hard sound indicates a properly baked loaf.
Remove from oven; turn loaf out of pan and cool thoroughly on a wire rack before slicing.
I used canned coconut milk so I had the thick cream and water well mixed before using it in the recipe. I think the cream helps a lot!
ALSO, IMPORTANT: take three eggs and blend them a bit, then measure, as in the instructions; this is a better measure than just measuring whole eggs.
Where I am at in AR, It took about 30-40 minutes to rise to just above the pan, and it took about 30 minutes to bake. So, just watch the baking and when it is browned on top, and the internal temperature is 160 or above, it is done
The key to this whole thing is this Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour. This special blend of gluten-free flours and starches makes it easy to transform traditional recipes into gluten-free recipes – no additional specialty ingredients or custom recipes required. It is made to be a direct replacement for all-purpose flour.
what can I do for you? This is the third in a series this week.
Affecting nearly 200,000 Americans every year, Parkinson’s disease is another special condition that significantly interferes with a person’s daily living activities. Traditional treatments include dopamine boosters, antidepressants and antitremor medications. However, some new findings are showing that integrating massage therapy with some of the more traditional pharmacological approaches can be beneficial to people with Parkinson’s.
The Chulalongkorn Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease & Related Disorders has reaffirmed the value of integrative medicine with a 2018 study on therapeutic Thai massage (TTM). Splitting a total of 60 Parkinson’s patients, 30 who received six sessions of TTM in three weeks and 30 who received standard care, the study compared the muscle strength of the two groups. The findings were encouraging. “Our findings provide objective evidence that TTM used in combination with standard medical therapies is effective in improving upper limb muscle strength in patients with PD,” researchers explain.11
A survey done by the Department of Neurology at the University Medical Center Hamburg- Eppendorf furthered the claim that anti-parkinsonian drugs are incomplete without integrative therapies like massage. Of the 181 outpatients with Parkinson’s surveyed, only 33.6 percent found anti-parkinsonian drugs alone helpful. In contrast, 96.3 percent and 89.5 percent of participants found rehabilitative therapy and physiotherapy, both of which involve massage therapy, most effective.12 Once again, this suggests that massage can serve as an essential factor in the health care formula when practiced alongside other integrative approaches.
Additionally, a study done by Glasgow Caledonian in 2016 suggests abdominal massage can help with troublesome symptoms of Parkinson’s, like constipation.13
Research continues to show that an integrative approach to many chronic health conditions is not only effective, but resonates with the patients who are looking for ways to relieve some troublesome symptoms. For massage therapists, that is a big opportunity. “Simply put, traditional medicine can only do so much,” Tatninov believes. “It can only do so much for the pain that accompanies these diseases, such as the imbalances that come with scoliosis. Massage has a direct, immediate effect and can help fill in the holes in care.”
what can I do for you and your loved ones? This is the second in this week’s series. Watch for more each day.
Arthritis is one of the most common conditions in America, as well as one of the most painful. With symptoms that range from pain and swelling to reduced range of motion and stiffness, arthritis can seriously inhibit a person’s ability to maintain a normal or active lifestyle. Pain medications are often prescribed or purchased over-the-counter, but can have some side effects, like stomach upset, that can further impact daily living. New research, however, is showing that massage therapy may be the ideal nonpharmacological substitute.
The Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment conducted a systematic review of treatments for chronic pain, one of the key symptoms of arthritis. Their research indicates there is “strong scientific evidence” that massage reduces chronic pain by 20 to 30 percent more than treatment that does not involve physical movements.4
In 2018, a study by the Health Qualitative Research Center of Birjand University looked at the effects of aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil on osteoarthritis, one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders. Results showed that after one week of treatment, the quality of daily life was increased significantly.5 Tatninov also sees success with aromatherapy, finding that for her clients with chronic pain conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia, lavender and other oil blends can help with relaxation.
Additionally, numerous studies on osteoarthritis suggest that massage therapy can help with the pain involved in joint degeneration, as well as stiffness and function.6,7 One randomized controlled study found that participants who received an eight-week massage therapy intervention for symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee had significant improvement when compared to those who received usual care.8 A similar study of 125 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee showed that a one-hour course of massage given for eight weeks provided better pain relief than usual medical care.9 Even when compared to just exercise, researchers found that patients with knee arthritis pain who received massage therapy with exercise showed significant improvement on the pain scale, get-up-and-go test and the WOMAC index.10
Working with clients with chronic pain conditions, however, does require massage therapists to make some adjustments. According to Tatninov, some of her clients who have been receiving massage therapy for a time can handle and request deeper pressure, while others who are new to the practice may need a lighter touch. “I will check in more than I would with an average client to make sure the pressure I am using is comfortable,” she adds.
What can I do for you and your loved ones? The following article is just one. See my series this week for more.
Most commonly forming in adolescent years, scoliosis causes nagging back pain and fatigue. While these symptoms may sound minor, back pain and fatigue can mean that people are sometimes forced to miss opportunities for personal growth, like athletics or performing arts, as well as potentially having to give up some of their favorite hobbies. If not treated, scoliosis can persist for years, and in some cases, a lifetime.
In a study done by the Good Posture Association, the effect of consistent massage on Cobb angle, or the curve in the spine caused by idiopathic scoliosis, was analyzed. Thirtyminute treatment sessions, which involved soft tissue massage, were administered three times a week for eight weeks. “It was established that the Cobb angle was noticeably decreased after four weeks of the intervention,” researchers concluded.3
Cynthia Oberdier, a massage therapist from Columbus, Ohio, has significant experience treating clients with scoliosis. For Oberdier, focusing on the muscles around the spine is essential. “In my experience, massage for scoliosis is to encourage strengthening of the open side and lengthening of the shortened side,” explains Oberdier. “Massage strokes are then lengthwise to the short side with stretching to encourage opening of the curve. Myofascial release to the opposite side, encouraging myofascial unwinding and taking the tension off of the shortened side.”
Sonia D. Tatninov, a massage therapist from Tulena Wellness in Brooklyn, New York, says massage therapists working with clients with scoliosis should be prepared to do a lot of their work in side-lying position, and that many clients with scoliosis are going to need their neck worked. “I pay a lot of attention to the lamina groove,” she adds, “since I find that those with scoliosis tend to have a lot of holding at the attachments here.”
For clients with scoliosis, Tatninov also cautions massage therapists to talk with clients who have fusion and rods about how they affect their dayto- day life and range of motion. “These clients are often fine in supine positions, but I am always sure to have a sheet or towel handy to bolster their head,” she explains. “A client who has a rod may need to have their head bolstered to a very specific height.”
Similar to dementia, some of the biggest benefits of massage therapy surround its being able to be customized to individual needs. Tatninov emphasizes that clear communication is vital to providing proper treatment. “Those with severe scoliosis are often acutely aware of what’s going on in their bodies,” she says. “They are more than happy to give you a rundown of everything new going on in their body since they last saw you and to tell you specifically what they want the focus of the session to be that day. The best thing I can do for them is to listen to them and then plan that day’s session in response to the information they’ve given me on that day.”
There are no disease monsters. Create your world. Move from the outer, “incurable”, fear world, to the inner, “be still”, world, AND crush the negative. Discover how empowering you can be.
Do you feel like you have to take care of everything because no one else will? Lyme, co-infections, allergies and Alpha-gal (AG) have direct correlation with intimacy issues, vulnerability, emotional commitment; these issues are people support starved, frustrated and resentful.
Part of healing, for me, has been getting to the core of what and why causes it to stick in me (the AG). I knew, because of the work I do, it could not be the fault of the tick creating the awful allergy symptoms; my body should be able to combat that stuff. It was deeper, inside, and not just outer symptoms or measurable data.
The mind IS the body and it is in all parts of the body. When we decide we are not victims, and act as so, the seemingly “monsters” or “weeds” cannot survive. #holisticmud #naturalhelpinghands #healthlivegive www.naturalhelp.net