Many thanks to guest blogger Myofunctional therapist Caroline Smith for her tips to stay healthy during this difficult time. You can also follow Caroline (pictured with breathing guru Patrick McKeown) via https://www.instagram.com/thefunctionalhygienist/ and https://www.facebook.com/caroline.smith.7311
I’m hoping this information may help those who are feeling anxious about the current situation.
The current COVID19 virus affects the respiratory system so protecting the airways is the most important thing we can do
The best way we can do this is to breathe through our NOSE as much as possible. The nose filters the air so that the immune system is under less stress.
We create a gas in our nose called NITRIC OXIDE which helps our body uptake more oxygen and also acts as an antibacterial and antiviral.
Keeping the tongue up in the roof of the mouth and keeping a straight spine means that when we breathe through our nose, the air can get to the base of the lungs easier. This engages the diaphragm and helps slow down the breath and also pumps our lymphatic system.
Slowing down the breath allows better gas exchange in the blood so more oxygen can get to the cells where it’s needed to help us make more immune cells.
TRY POPPING YOUR HANDS ON YOUR BELLY- AS YOU BREATHE IN, TRY TO MAKE THAT PART OF THE BELLY MOVE OUT
Water is essential for life and needed to help flush out toxins, protect our organs and helps carries nutrients in the blood. It helps us make saliva, stomach acid and helps moisten the air as it passes into the lungs. Please keep hydrated.
Sleep is the time for our body to repair and the cells to regenerate. Getting some good quality sleep will help boost your immune system and allow your immune system to become more robust. Doing some guided meditation before bed really helps and it slows down our breath.
Vitamin D is essential for numerous functions in the body and especially for the immune system. Try to get outside when you can to absorb light onto your skin. Light at sunrise has less damaging UVA rays.
Magnesium is a mineral essential for over 350 reactions in the body especially to help the body absorb vitamin D. Epsom salts are a great way for your body to absorb magnesium. This will also help your body detox and help you sleep.
ONIONS, GARLIC AND GINGER
These foods contain compounds that are highly antiviral. If you make soups and stews, fry off onions and garlic before cooking the main vegetables. Bulk cook and store in the freezer.
This mega nutrient is a potent antiviral for influenza – green leafy veg, yellow pepper and citrus are brilliant sources. The herb thyme is a great way of adding extra vitamin C
Foods with omega 3 reduce inflammation. Tinned mackerel, sardines and tuna are a great source and easy to store. They will keep you filled up for longer as they contain healthy fats. Fish is also a great source of ZINC which is essential for the immune system.
Colourful foods contain ANTIOXIDANTS which helps the body protect itself against harmful damage by FREE RADICALS. Soups and stews again are a great way to get lots of colour. Add herbs and spices for an extra boost.
When you are feeling anxious, bringing yourself back into the NOW can really help
• Name five things you can see in the room with you.
• Name four things you can feel.
• Name three things you can hear right now.
• Name two things you can smell right now.
• Name one good thing about yourself.
Once you have calmed, revert to nasal breathing, deep into the belly and think of the clean oxygen getting to the cells where it’s needed.
Be well folks