It's on every persons mind this week - to not catch the Corvid-19 virus, known as 'Corona' that is now labelled a 'pandemic', meaning it's worldwide. It's been 10 years since the last flu pandemic (in 2009) and I can't remember the media going this crazy last time, but I guess the next 2 to 4 weeks will tell how we're doing.
You know by now that there has been a run on toilet rolls, hand sanitiser, tinned tomatoes and pasta, but really, are people thinking about their health and their immunity right now, or just panicking?
If you step back for a moment and look at hand sanitiser, it says 'Anti-bacterial', and to be perfectly clear, this will not kill a virus! What we all need in our lives is some common sense, some anti-virals AND to understand how we can strengthen our immunity to not get the virus in the first place.
This is where I come in and can give you some sensible measures for precaution, then I'll get to the Shiatsu part.
The best anti-viral oil to get is Tea tree, you can get it in any shops that sell essential oils or purchase online, a small bottle holds about 200 drops, and you only require about 2 drops per 100ml so it's going to last you.
Buy a cheap hand soap and hand cream in pump action dispensesr, Open them up and pop a couple of drops of Tea Tree in. I've also added Thyme (anti bacterial) and Lime (anti bacterial and viral!) so it not only smells great, but has added protection too.
You can pop this oil or all 3 into a water base and use to spritz and clean surfaces. Either change the water daily, or pop a few ml of alcohol in and keep in the fridge to last up to a week.
I'm a therapist, and my bathroom gets used a lot throughout the day, so I have single use hand towels, anti-viral hand wash, lemon multi surface wet wipes (with essential oil look for 'linalool' in ingredients) and additional anti-viral spritz for the toilet seat - this is important as this can be a neglected way to spread the disease.
Also anti-viral hand cream in the treatment room for both me and the clients.
The point is I'm not panicking about the virus, I'm taking sensible precautions to deter cross contamination and these are the measures you can take too; especially if you're in a house with more than one of you and if you work in an environment with others.
Remember the virus can live on a hard surface for up to 12 hrs and fabric for at least 6 hrs. Don't share towels, use only single use, or your own personal items for the foreseeable.
And, if you have a runny nose, you don't have the Corona Virus!
IMMUNITY - LIFESTYLE, SLEEP AND SUPPLEMENTS
The average person is strong enough not to warrant going to the NHS if they do get this virus; take paracetamol and fluids and ride it out like any other flu. I've had flu 3 times in my life, it is a miserable experience, I'm not going to lie, but there is a reason why I got it at the age of 11, 23 and 31, but NOT at 44, and I know it is because of Shiatsu.
I spent my life run down, I still remember the first day I got flu when I was 11 years old. I'd played netball, in the rain, in the middle of winter, came home, felt ill, and had a hot bath, and bang.... I was off school for 4 weeks, and was quarantined at the GP surgery, and it was just a dire time. Orange juice tasted like battery acid, and anyone who knows me, knows I love food, but I barely ate for a month - that is flu.
In my 20s, after college and going into media I lived a draining lifestyle, I worked till I dropped, went out socially till late, didn't think for a moment about my health and hit a wall again at 23, it came on in the day, I went to bed and didn't get up for nearly 2 weeks ... and again at 31.
Flu barely gives you any warning its starting, but it does hit you on the first day of symptoms, so self isolate the moment that happens, and notify as many people as you can that you have come into contact with over the previous 5 days; I'm talking about those you've had a face to face contact/talk with; pass the knowledge on so they can take action too.
At 32 , thank heavens, I found Shiatsu, and I haven't had flu again, and I do not plan on getting it. Hence all the precautions about and if you have a appointment booked but feel a sore throat or fever coming on, please contact me, we'll defer your treatment.
Now at 48, I eat very healthily (most of the time, I still love chocolate and gin, and that isn't going to change :) I do take supplements (which I'll list below), I aim to get as much sleep as possible, and have my Shiatsu treatment every 4 weeks, so I have a minimum of 13 a year. I also dog walk twice a day so that covers off getting fresh air and exercise too.
It's a simple message about how to keep your immunity up, however in today's world we have an added complication - Stress.
Stress hammers our immunity, and for most of us there is no way to get away from it. It's in our lives, so we have to look at how to manage it. If you can see stress as part of life but not to let it get you down, then your bodily response to stress will change.
And this is where Shiatsu comes in, along with a certain amount of mindset, but this is where Shiatsu is great, it can help with mindset too!
You can go into your treatment with your smile upside down, your shoulders slumped, and dragging your feet. Your day at work has been arduous, you get no peace and quiet at home, you're lucky to get to bed before 11pm, and you're awake with a swirling mind again around 4am... and then it all starts over again.
This is not good for your nervous system, I don't need to tell you that but what you need to know is just how bad this is for your nervous system. If you carry on this state, you will get a bug, a cold or the corona flu because your immunity is shot and no anti-viral hand wash in the world is going to save you as you're a magnet for illness.
Shiatsu will intervene and cut the cycle, and reset your body and mind. It's sympathetic to how your body is feeling, gentle where you need it, more robust if required, detoxing, and destressing.
Ever had a massage and felt achy and rubbish the day after? That's your body detoxing! The more regularly you have a treatment, the less you'll feel rubbish the day after.
Shiatsu helps you manage your stress, it relieves tension in muscles, in doing so, it releases the toxins that you're holding in. These toxins are detrimental to your immunity, one of these is cortisol, the 'stress' hormone. It' can cause your body to struggle to regulate its inflammatory response and attack itself. Your body will not producing enough lymphocytes (white blood cells), these are the cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders - You need these, a lot!
Cortisol that is stuck in our system can turn into belly fat, which is why we find it harder to lose weight around the middle as we get older. There are real positives to stopping cortisol from building up, and this is why people feel great after they start receiving regular Shiatsu.
I say regular as the first couple start the detoxing process, and after that it's about feeling healthier, stronger, brighter and more energetic. You don't know how good you can feel until you've had about 3- 5 Shiatsu.
I encourage anyone who tries Shiatsu to have it monthly, you'll feel lighter in your body, joints will work better and aches will ease, your brain will feel clearer and your quality of sleep will get better. It is totally short sighted to just have one or two, this is only just starting the process, we should be maintaining our energy levels and immunity in the same way as we service our cars.
At 45- 50 years old we're only half way through our time in these bodies, so to keep them strong in the face of future flu-adversities a de-stressed, supple, energetic body and mind is where it's at and you get this in abundance with Shiatsu!
WHAT SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD I TAKE?
When stressed, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol which impairs immunit and your sleep, the time of night when your body works to repair itself, normally between 3 and 5am is the time you wake up. If you're not asleep, your body isn't repairing, and the cycle exacerbates.
So, you need a good nights sleep, and some supplements.
Most of my clients are in their 40s and 50s, and we now need more support for our mind and body, and we can't get this just from food alone. We need essential vitamins and minerals - start with a Womens Health or a Mens Health, don't get anything generic, do get an age appropriate if you can. You can go to a proper nutrition centre (Bath Road or Winchcombe st in Cheltenham, Holland and Barrett is probably the best in Gloucester and Stroud has Sunshine Health shop who also do online at naturaldispensary.co.uk. It's good to see that they are experiencing a high amount of orders at the moment.
Also add in Magnesium this aids sleep, helps about 300 processes in the body and you never get enough in a standard multi vitamin, it's salt so it's bulky, so you do end up with torpedo like tablets, I recommend 'Kalm Assure' by Natures Best. It's powdered in a capsule and easy to swallow and not full of bulking agent (calcium carbonate - check ingredients on anything you buy, this should not be the #1 ingredient).
Finally a Probiotic and eat plenty of veg! Probiotics are live bacteria that help your gut health, the immune centre, and these thrive when your nutrition intake is good, plenty of veg; give the little critters something to munch and live on. No nutrition and your gut bacteria dies, and with it, your immunity.
A healthy immune system reduces your chance of viral infection and flu. With these natural ways to boost the immune system plus regular shiatsu, you can achieve a healthy immune system.