It has been widely stated that in the majority of people who have a healthy immune system, COVID-19 will be a relatively mild illness, but what can you do at this time to help to support your immune system?
As a professional acupuncturist, this is an area where I can make some suggestions, based on Chinese Medicine theory.
Firstly, it’s really important that whilst socially isolating, you have an appropriate balance of activity, rest and sleep. So resist the temptation to stay up late at night watching box sets; try to get a regular 7-8 hours of quality sleep.
Avoid staying in bed until late in the morning too. Morning is the best time of day to practise meditation or mindfulness exercises, both of which can be helpful in dealing with the stress of all the current uncertainties in our lives.
And make sure you do some kind of exercise each day. Going for a walk outside in the fresh air is ideal, if you are able to do this. If not, try to do some activity within the home. There are lots of ideas springing up on line for how to do this, have fun and connect with others.
What we eat is really important in helping to support our immunity. In Chinese Medicine, the immune system is referred to as ‘Wei Qi’. This is understood to be created by the combination of Kidney Yang and Stomach Fluids. So foods which support these aspects of our constitution should be favoured.
These include moistening breakfasts like porridge and slowly cooked foods such as soups and stews. Avoid processed foods and sugar and also avoid cold, uncooked foods, especially whilst the weather remains cold. Plenty of vegetables, with as wide a variety as possible, are a good idea as they contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Having more time at home will give us all the opportunity to cook wholesome, fresh meals.
This is proving to be a very difficult time for everyone, but following a few simple guidelines to take care of ourselves will help us to cope better in the long run.