In our current crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must all be doing everything we can to stay safe and healthy to protect ourselves and others. This includes wearing your face mask, washing your hands regularly, and practicing physical distancing as strictly as possible. Along with these recommendations, building a strong, healthy immune system and robust overall health needs to be our top priority. I want to briefly go over some fundamental tips from Eastern Medicine that you can incorporate into your life TODAY to start strengthening your immune system and bring balance and harmony to your body.
Let’s get started!
1. Setting Your Routine
If you are having trouble implementing a routine in our upside-down world right now, you are not alone. Without access to many of our regular scheduled activities throughout the day, it may feel difficult to know where to start to get you, and your family, back on a routine. Don’t worry. You can do this. We are going to make this easy! You may find that trying to re-adjust everything at once doesn’t work for you, and if that’s the case, then I want you to implement ONE thing at a time. First, start with your sleep schedule, which we will get more into this next. Handwriting your daily or weekly schedule can be extremely helpful in finding a routine that works for your life right now. Start with a seemingly basic outline of the day’s events, and as you incorporate these, then slowly add in more details of tasks. Start simple!
Morning: 8 am wake up, morning walk, breakfast with the kids, create a list for the priorities of the day (work, home, family)
Afternoon: 30-minute break to assess how your day is going and reset if you are off track, eat a healthy lunch
Evening: dinner, wind down 1 hour before bed, bedtime 10 pm
Why? In creating a routine, you allow your body to physically and emotionally prepare for the expectations for the day. This can help you stay motivated, improve your digestive system, and helps manage stress and anxiety. This will help your immune system stay strong and robust as we bring more balance to your organ systems and Qi!
2. Sleep Schedule
Set a consistent sleep and wake schedule.
Set bedtime BEFORE midnight.
No screen time at least 1 hour before bed (yes, you CAN do this! Find a book, do some stretching, get creative!)
Why? If you are not sleeping well or enough, the Qi and Blood in your body is unable to replenish your organ systems while you sleep. You may then feel exhausted, unmotivated, start getting headaches, and have a lower threshold to deal with stress. Getting adequate sleep plays a HUGE role in helping your immune system by allowing this restoration.
Eliminate sugar and dairy from your diet
Focus on warm and easy-to-digest foods, like soups or stews
Slow down on the junk foods, and no sodas
Schedule consistent meals throughout the day, and do your meal prep beforehand if you can
Why? In Eastern Medicine, the Spleen and Stomach systems are in charge of transforming all the excellent nutritious food you are eating into useable energy for all the other organ systems. These systems then send the useable energy and Qi on to the Lung system. Collectively, all three systems build up the resources for the Qi of your immune system, which we call the Wei Qi (way-chee)/defensive qi!
4. Protecting your “Wind Gate”
Wear a scarf!
Why? In Eastern Medicine, the “Wind Gate” is a translation of the name for a set of acupuncture points on the upper back, but in general, we use it to refer to the whole upper back and neck area. Ok, so this deserves a more extended explanation (I will be sure to give it it’s own post!). Basically, this area is very vulnerable to what we call the “external invasion of pathogens,” and that can cause illness. The bottom line: It’s vital to wear a scarf or a covering over your neck and upper back. This is especially true when you are exposed to a cold draft or in an environment that has the AC cranked up (school and office buildings are notorious for this).
5. Move your Qi
At a minimum, 30 minutes a day is all you need to get up and to move! Dance, walk, run, workout, stretch, chase your pet, tai qi, qi gong – whatever it is, make it happen! Get that Qi moving and feel the physical and mental transformation.
Why? Our Qi is a dynamic energy in our body that keeps our organs healthy and functioning. When our Qi becomes stuck or stagnant, this can lead to pain, depression, illness, and imbalance in the body. One of the ways to regulate the Qi is to physically move it. Movement can allow Qi and Blood to circulate more evenly throughout the body and help nourish and support your overall health. Your immune system needs strong Qi to fight against pathogens effectively.
If you need a little more help getting started, send me an email today (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we can create a plan that best fits your needs! If you are struggling with your sleep, we may need to introduce you to some safe, natural, and effective herbal formulas and supplements to help you get your best night’s sleep.
As always, reach out with questions, I would love to hear from you!
Please remember to keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and physically distancing.