We realise times are tough at the moment and with the current lockdown many of you are asking about what you can do to self-care at this time?
Public Health experts are recommending important strategies about handwashing, social distancing and self-isolating when needed and its crucial we all follow this guidance to reduce the speed of spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the vulnerable and our incredible health workers on the frontline. The majority of people are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, but for some the illness is more virulent, which is why reducing the number of seriously ill patients means the NHS can cope. Increasing doctors and nurses and ventilators is how the NHS can build resilience and prepare for what is ahead.
We can also build our personal resilience with additional lifestyle and holistic approaches that, along with crucial conventional approaches, underpin the Integrative Medicine Model.
In terms of building personal resilience it is important to keep moving and exercising even if we are self-isolating. We also need to enhance our food intake and where possible try and increase the number of rainbow coloured foods we eat with plenty of salads and consider increasing the amount of turmeric, ginger, dark chocolate and plenty of herbs and spices, all of which are anti-inflammatory foods, along with garlic and olive oil. The mint family including thyme and oregano, lemon balm and mint have been shown to have antiviral properties and bees use thyme to stay healthy. We are including a Roast Butternut Squash and Thyme soup recipe for you to try and don’t forget simple hot herbal teas made with e.g. fresh mint or lemon balm. Whilst science searches for treatments that strengthen the immune system there is some evidence that mushrooms of all sorts gives us a top up of Vitamin D and can have immune strengthening effects so eat plenty of those and make sure to cook the more unusual mushrooms like shitake really well.
To spice up your salads, we enclose a salad dressing recipe and there are other recipes we can forward to you which form the basis of our Food for Wellbeing courses. This salad dressing is a good way to add turmeric on a daily basis and I put it in my home-made Granola!
In terms of Homeopathic Medicines, the medicine Anas Barb 200c, two tablets twice weekly, can be used during this time, increasing to two tablets once a day if you do have exposure to the virus or have symptoms and have to self-isolate.
Other Homeopathic Medicines that are being recommended include:
- Arsenicum Album 30c: three times daily if anxiety is strong
- Gelsemium 30c: twice daily if weakness and headache predominate
- Bryonia 30c: two-three times a day for dry cough particularly if movement aggravates the cough.
If cough becomes more problematic you can use Antimonium Tartaricum 30c three times daily.
If fevers are a problem and particularly if they are periodic (coming at certain times of the day) use China officinalis 30c three times daily.
For any COVID-19 symptoms seek appropriate conventional advice and reassurance. You can also book in for a consultation across the clinics if you feel you need to look at your symptoms on an individual basis.
The other recommendation would be to take Vitamin D as a supplement as many of us can be deficient in the winter months and this is thought to be an important vitamin whilst fighting off a virus. Vitamin C and Zinc are often combined and worth taking. There is some suggestion that avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naproxen and using paracetamol instead could be advisable, although this has been questioned.
Where possible try not to worry! Mindfulness approaches can help us relax with short daily meditations and remember our immunity as a society will be building and our bodies learning to defend itself against this new virus. Here at NCIM we will continue to deliver our clinical and education services online and by telephone.
Sending our very best wishes.
Dr Elizabeth Thompson
NCIM Holistic Doctor & Clinical Lead