A strong immune system is vital with the COVIR-19 challenge and for generally keeping ourselves healthy. But, are we missing fundamental messages that will keep our health at the most optimum level throughout our lifetimes? I have added two blog articles because of the COVIR-19 challenge. Your spiritual-heart leading you to keep God’s commandments is our greatest defense and leads us to the perfect law of love. I also add significantly to the Harvard Medical School list, which suggests the following to boost your immunity system:
Choose a Healthy Lifestyle
· Don’t smoke.
· Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
· Exercise regularly.
· Maintain a healthy weight.
· Control your blood pressure.
· If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
· Get adequate sleep.
· Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
· Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category
They mention almost nothing of the key messages I share below. According to Dr. Herbert Benson, also of Harvard, the stress response turns off your immunity system. The relaxation response turns it on. Dr. Lissa Rankin, author of the book, Mind Over Medicine, takes these concepts even further, as also shared below. The challenge is in our current society, the average person has about 50 stress responses per day – making it difficult for a person to move into the relaxation response mode.
Stress Responses are Not All Bad
The stress response is not all bad. The Lord designed it for a wise purpose. The autonomic nervous system sends signals to our heart, muscles, and glands to respond to some instantaneous need; it is sometimes called “the fight or flight mode.” But it is much more than that; people have done incredible things, as adrenaline, and cortisol are released, along with many other magical body functions – allowing us to be spurred on to greater heights of achievement. It is when the stress response becomes chronic that it is deadly, as Dr. Leonard Coldwell so clearly shows in his book, The Only Answer to Stress, Anxiety & Depression, The Root Cause of All Disease.
Adding to the problem of the high stress levels in our society is the mantra of specialization. While specialization has resulted in phenomenal progress in many areas of technology, science and medicine, for which we are grateful, and the specialist can typically make a lot more money with his/her doctor’s degree, the specialization often has coldness consequences.
Research of Dr. Lissa Rankin
Dr. Rankin was eight years an OB-GYN before she bailed out so that she could help people in loving health-care relationships and help them turn on the relaxation response, so their bodies could heal, or not get sick in the first place.
In an interview with Jonathan Fields, Lissa shares her findings regarding the placebo effect. She found the work of Dr. Ted Kaptchuk at Harvard in looking at the placebo effect as a healing modality rather than — as is typically done — as a comparison to test some new drug or treatment modality. Her findings were life changing. Dr. Herbert Benson — also at Harvard — helped Lissa to appreciate that the placebo effect works if you move out of the “stress response” and into the “relaxation response.” Then your mind can help your body move into a mode where it can heal itself.
Lissa uses the placebo effect in a positive way showing the great effect the mind has over our health. Dr. Bruce Lipton’s work shows similar results from a biological point of view. He wrote the book, Biology of Belief. Bruce had a major paradigm shift in his life as he came to see the spiritual dimension to biology and the importance the mind plays in our health.
The Community of Roseto
We have the famous Roseto, PA community, who kept their Italian esprit-de-corps while moving from Italy to America for a better life. I believe Harvard’s recommendations are important, but without the relaxation response being turned on, these are empty efforts. The community of Roseto, unknowingly, had the relaxation response turned on because of the love and support of family, community, and their common religion. Virtually no one under the age of 55 died of a heart attack; yet, what they ate, drank, and smoked flew in the face of Harvard’s recommendations and were seemingly contrary to the unusual-good health they enjoyed. They had little of other diseases as well.
The good Lord designed the body to heal, but in our high- stress level society, this can be a challenge. Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa’s guidelines for relaxation outlined in Chapter 13 of my book are very helpful in this regard. Add those relaxation modalities to that of a caring-loving care-giver, supportive family and community, and you greatly help to have a strong immunity system and healing as the Lord designed.
In addition to Harvard’s recommendations, we also know of other turn-off, turn-on immunity system dietary guidelines. Along with being a slow poison, sugar turns off the immunity system; in contrast, vitamin C and D are critical supporters of this central body function. These vitamins along with a healthy diet, and simple-relaxation suggestions of Dr. Khalsa, as outlined in this article, is different from Harvard’s, but are important for your immunity system.
Health and Hydration
The world’s expert on the importance of body hydration, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, says we should drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day – of course, the amount depends on exercise, work ethic, and body weight. In his book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water with subtitles: You are not sick, you are thirsty! and Don’t treat thirst with medications, he gives the reasons why. I would suggest that you read his book. Even though the book is written for a lay audience, it is quite technical. Quoting from one of a large number of inspiring testimonials in this book (several of whom are Doctors), M.D. Dan C. Roehm says, “…it is very apparent that this work is revolutionary and sweeps nearly all diseases before it. As an Internist/Cardiologist I find this work incisive, trenchant and fundamental. This work is a God send for all. Getting good water today in our polluted world is a challenge but there is a solution.
The importance of loving relationships in our families, in our communities, and in our health-care providers is much more important than most realize. The love that exists in the Roseto community is a touch of the ideal society called Zion. They have astounded the world with their amazing health statistics, in spite of their non-optimal diet. Extrapolating that love to its full bloom leads you to a Zion society where there is no disease, and that society is purely motivated by love of God and each other. The relaxation response mode of living is a natural consequence of so doing – along with knowing how to properly deal with the stressors in our lives. We see why the first two most important commandments are FIRST. Let us live them and enjoy the blessings of optimal health to body, mind, and spirit.
So, my additional bullet list for you is:
· Foster love of God and His creations; [Chapter 4 of my book: “What is the True Nature of Love;”]
· Build loving, caring, uplifting relationships.
· Foster faith and great thoughts in your life.
· Forgive all that you may be forgiven of all and hold no resentments.
· Have regular prayer, meditation, yoga, etc.
· When negative thoughts come into your life, think of how they can be turned into a positive good; [Chapter 13: “Growing the Brain and Fullness of Joy;”]
· Enjoy nature and sunshine; take 5000 IU per day of vitamin D3 during the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring.
· Avoid sugar and processed foods.
· Eat good fats and avoid the bad ones.
· Grow your own food, as much as you can.
· Drink 8, 8 oz glasses of good water each day.
Building a strong immune system is extremely important now with the COVIR-19 challenge, but will give us the opportunity to not only enjoy good health now, but can bolster well-being for years to come.
David W. Allan