Updated: May 4
Well, this week it's all about the Corona Virus, and people going crazy to buy hand sanitiser, so before I get stuck into how you should be strengthening your immunity I'll just remind you that nearly all shop bought products are anti-bacterial, which is pretty useless to protect against a virus.
A natural and strong anti-viral is tea tree essential oil, you'll most likely have to buy from online now but one bottle will have over 200 drops in it so you'll have plenty. You pop some drops into your soap, sanitiser, hand cream or even coconut oil (around 10 drops per 100ml of product, start less and add until you can just smell tea tree, that should be potent enough)!
The one thing I've thought about over the past 2 weeks is that people must be feeling quite vulnerable about their immunity, you know the types those that get sick very often and some are more prone to catching colds and viruses more regularly. It’s all about the body’s immune system. The immune system is the first line of defense of our body against an alien microorganism entering the body. The stronger your immune system, the smaller chance you have of falling ill. But then again, having a strong immune system doesn’t make you invincible, in chinese medicine it is healthy to have at least 2 colds a year, with the changing of the seasons, a bit like a body have a Spring and Fall clearout!
With little change in your diet and routine, you can ensure that your immune system is strong enough to protect you against infections. From sleeping for 8 hours to walking in the sun to eating a balanced diet, the ways are simple but they can really be helpful. Follow them and witness the change in your body’s strength to fight illness. It's also a common sense list but sometimes we need to be reminded and know why we're doing these things.
During the menopause our system takes a hit from all directions, but the main underlying issue is the stress hormone Cortisol. It leaches nutrients from our system where they are really needed, it plays havoc with our estrogen levels, creates belly fat, strips our gut of healthy bacteria and leaves us susceptible to increased levels of irritability, stress and anxiety, as well as lowering our immunity and ability to relax.
It's a flippin' pain, and it needs to be dealt with. The first step is to understand that our body chemistry is changing in a way that we don't understand and at first don't even realise. Until we get to a snapping point and wonder if we're going mad!?!?!?
Who's been there?
I know I was, about 3/4 years ago, and I hadn't given the 'M' a second thought in my life let alone attributed the way I was feeling, and what was happening to my brain to it!
Thank heavens when I found out I was ticking a LOT of perimenopause symptoms, I had an answer, then it was just a question of what to do about it. I've spent years now researching this, putting these changes into my life, and my clients, strengthening my immunity, lowering my anxiety and improving my gut health. I have no concern about catching the Corvid 19, if I get it it will help me in the future, so I don't plan not to catch it, however I expect my bout of it to be pretty light.
Another major reason to look at lowering the cortisol in your body as if strengthening immunity and relieving anxiety isn't enough of a reason is to know that your brain health is in peril if you don't. Scientists have now found the link to alzheimers in women, high cortisol levels during the menopause - it's a fantastic 13 minute Ted Talk (link at the end of the blog).
HOW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNITY
I think you already know you have eat well, sleep well and get good exercise - but sometimes that just trips off the tongue and bypasses our brain, so let's break it down:
Eat well - vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, as well as being packed full of the vitamins and minerals that we need they are our pre-biotics for our get health. If you take a pro-biotic but don't eat fruit and veg there's no point. Our gut needs both. For a healthy liver, cruciferous vegetables like Kale, Broccoli and Cabbage should be included in daily diet. Healthy liver ensures the body’s’ natural detoxification process.
Sleep well - this is a whole area in itself, which I'll go into below but a major component of bad sleep during the menopause is that our nervous system doesn't get time to relax and repair. It needs this time to replenish our constitution, and if it doesn't get it you're far more likely to get stressed, overwhelmed, anxious and ill.
Good Exercise - the 'good' part is tapping into nature and /or listening to your body. So hitting a treadmill in a gym 5 days a week is not good. Getting out into the woods and fresh air, switching high impact to more mindful exercise like Qi Gong, Yoga. You can still do gentle impact and cardio, but if you're a person that is then tired the day after going to the gym, you're over doing it and this isn't helpful to your body.
Now here are a couple of things you may not know:
Are nature’s way of breaking down the organic matters to convert it into fertile soil. One of the healthiest food on the planet, mushrooms are rich in essential nutrients and minerals
ALCOHOL - A LITTLE IS GOOD FOR YOU
Numerous researches have shown that excess intake of alcohol can tamper with the immune system and its pathway in a complicated manner. However, moderate consumption of alcohol can be helpful to the overall health of the body.
Stepping out in the natural light is one of the major contributors to the production of Vitamin D in our body. Vitamin D is essential for healthy functioning of the immune system as it helps the body to produce antibodies. Low level of Vitamin D in the body has been termed as one of the major reasons for respiratory problems. You can also take an additional supplement, either tablets or spray and along with calcium and magnesium is the magic 3 for bone health.
THE STRESS BUSTING SUPPLEMENTS
All of these are proven to work at relieving stress and anxiety, alleviating low moods and increasing sleep - what a power combination!
SHIATSU FOR YOUR IMMUNITY
I may be biased that Shiatsu is the best therapy for increasing immunity, but I have a whole bundle of reasons why it is :)
Shiatsu works to gently rebalance your body, and the first thing it does is give you a detox, you can't feel healthy and energetic whilst you have grotty toxins in your system, so these do have to go but the outcome is that you'll feel happier, lighter and have more energy.
On a deeper level you hold a lot of emotional tension in your body and this can affect muscles (like tension shoulders, migraines), it can weaken your gut (giving you IBS), it can make you prone to throat and chest infections. None of these things are wanted, so we need to become more emotionally robust and that means have our energies strengthened. It's ok to be emotional, that's not the problem, the problem is when we 'suck it up' and hold it within. Shiatsu supports you to expel this tension.
All in all not only will you feel great, joint problems will dissipate, muscle tension will ease, and underneath it all your immunity will be strengthening.
Life happens, we get in a mess, but regular Shiatsu in your life will help you maintain your good health, and I haven't even started today on how it helps menopause symptoms - check out my other blogs to find out :)
FINDING SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS YOU
One of the major issues with your menopause is that no one else quite gets it. GPs can be helpful but still aren't getting where you're at, you may have friends in the same boat where you support each other but are you moving forwards with solutions?
If you're the type of person that wants to relieve your symptoms not put up with them, and you really need someone to talk to then I'm here and most importantly - I understand.
If you're not local to me I do online consultations where we discuss your symptoms, how you're feeling, and work together to help you find natural easy solutions to start alleviating symptoms. If I think HRT is your best route, I will also tell you this :)
Contact me to get started on feeling a whole lot better, Best Wishes, Andrea
Link to the TED talk about your brain during the menopause - click on picture:
K N O W L E D G E . P A U S E . F L O U R I S H
Andrea is a Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine Practitioner who has specialised in helping women alleviate symptoms and understand perimenopause from the earliest signs. Since shocked but relieved to find out all her symptoms were menopause related 4 years ago she has dedicated her business to helping women find relief, she aims to help you 'Blossom in Your Menopause'.