Author's note: This swine flu story on alternative and complementary medicine is not meant to replace anything you hear from you doctor, the WHO or the CDC, but is meant to show you some natural ways to enhance your overall wellness in addition to any medication you may need either to prevent or treat the flu.
Yes I admit it. I live in fear. I'm a mom. Don't we all worry, even when there's nothing to worry about? Just two weeks ago I was terribly frightened when I discovered a broken Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb on the floor of my closet, and I looked up the government's guidelines for cleaning up the Mercury contained in those bulbs.The precautions the feds suggested caused me to be momentarily concerned that my children, my husband and my spaniel had been exposed to a toxic threat. But I got over it.
Now I have a new even more serious panic: SWINE FLU! The World Health Organization says we're at Level 5, which means they predict we're in for a full blown pandemic that shows no sign of being short lived. What's a worry wart like me or you to do?
In times of stress, what gets me through are the natural healing remedies I've been using for more than fifteen years. I have relied on complementary and alternative medicine with tremendous success. When I ran the medical news department of Good Morning America for the first half of this decade, I always relied on top medical experts for help in sorting through all sorts of stories and also produced many segments on alternative medicine, which Americans spend billions of dollars on each year.
As a mother of three children, who mostly go the doctor for their annual physicals and rarely take antibiotics, I've been fortunate to know some of the best doctors and alternative medicine experts in the world. So with my tendency to mom-panic, I've reached out to the natural healers to scream "help!" as I already know that there's not much my pediatrician can do for my family even if I do want a bottle of Tamiflu in the cabinet "just in case"!
What can I do to keep my family safe? How can I boost our immune systems now and what complementary medicines can I begin taking immediately, regardless if I ever come in contact with the dreaded Swine Flu?
Dr. Joseph Mercola, who has the worlds most popular natural health on line newsletter says he's never seen so much traffic, with his visitors all clamoring for this information. He told me how we can begin to protect ourselves now without drugs or needles.
Here are his tips:
Dose up on D
First of all, Vitamin D is essential. Dr. Mercola says it is the "single most important action you can take." Mercola urges folks to have their levels of Vitamin D monitored and to get on an appropriate supplement as soon as you can. He believes Vitamin D deficiency is the single biggest culprit to the flu situation altogether.
If you do come down with symptoms and have not been on Vitamin D, Dr, Mercola suggests therapeutic doses of up to 50,000 units a day for up to three days during the worst of it.
Cut out the sweets
This bit of advice makes good sense one hundred per cent of the time, but it is particularly true when it comes to battling a virus. Don't make your body a trans fat and processed food hotel, as unhealthy organisms won't want to check out. Fill it instead with fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Unprocessed foods rule. Common sense healthy eating is kind of obvious but use this swine flu alert as an alarm clock to wake up and strengthen your resolve.
Rest is best
Now is not the time to skimp on sleep. A well rested human is essential to fighting any bug that comes your way.
Take Omega 3's like Krill Oil. Top docs have been saying this for years and if you have not listened before, try listening now.
It may seem as obvious as the vigilant hand-washing recommendation. Hospitals and doctors offices are where the sick people are, and if you want to steer clear of Swine Flu, try to stay away from those places where germs are known to gather unless you have no choice. This common sense advice is for healthy folks who do not need medical attention.
Another well known alternative medical expert, Dr. Leo Galland, the author of Power Healing, has decades of experience in this area of healing adults and children. Dr. Galland gave me what he sees as the single best nutritional immune booster shown to actually help people avoid being infected with influenza. Dr. Galland recommends
American Ginseng (Panax Cinquefolius) 200 milligrams twice a day.
Dr. Galland agrees with Dr. Mercola about vitamin D and suggests at least
1000 IU a day of vitamin D3 and about 25 milligrams a day of Zinc.
If homeopathy is your preference, remedies that homeopaths who have been treating similar kinds of flus have used successfully in the past are Gelsemium, Eupatorium Perfoliatum and Phosphorus.
These are classic flu remedies prescribed for all the aches and pains, and lifeless feelings one gets with an illness of this sort. Remember, when using homeopathic remedies, which are available on line or at many local drug stores and health food stores, you are advised to cut out coffee, stop using products that contain camphor or mint, and avoid eating an hour before and an hour after taking your remedy. The National Center For Homeopathy has a very interesting take on the Swine Flu that's worth reading.
If you are more of a physical type and want to boost your immunity through Yoga, here are some poses suggested by my personal phenomenal Yoga teacher, Antonia Katrandjieva whose web site www.yogaglobe.com will show you what the asanas look like so you can make sure you are doing the poses correctly.
Halasana - all plough variations - massages the internal organs, stimulates the spinal nerves and brings increased blood supply in the region, nourishing many essential internal organs
Pashimottanasana - Head to toe pose, the full sitting forward bend - massages all the inner organs, stimulates and tones the digestive organs and detoxifies the body
Sarvangasana - Shoulder Stand -As the chin presses on the throat it brings a rich blood supply, the thyroid gland is massaged and brought to its proper level of activity, encourages deep abdominal breathing and promotes blood circulation
Balasana - Child's Pose variations - massage the inner organs, stimulates glandular secretion
Bhujangasana - baby cobra and all cobra variations, the arching of the spine stimulates the thymus gland and boosts the immunity of the body, increases flexibility of the spine, rejuvenates spinal nerves and brings a rich blood supply
Sirsasana - Headstand - reverses the flow of gravity, allows the hypothalamus to secrete hormones and stimulates total glandular secretion, boosts the immunity by catalyzing the thymus gland functions
Ustrasana - Camel - opens the heart, expands the lung capacity and stimulates the thymus gland, strengthens the back
Matsendrasana - Fish Pose - opens the thoracic spine, stimulates the thymus, thyroid and para-thyroid glands and expands the lung capacity.
Antonia says these postures are the so called "King's Asanas" and they are the 8 key asanas that promote full glandular secretion and are a must for a strong immune system.
Antonia is also an expert in reflexology which is something that's fun and easy to do with your children, and if they are a little older to teach them to do to themselves.
Reflexology on the foot
There are three points at the crease of the big toe, the space between the big toe and the metatarsal, and the central point on the inner side of the arch, which are also immune boosters and kidney detoxifiers. At the very center of the sole is the main regulatory point which governs all the other reflex zones and directly stimulates the hypothalamus to secrete hormones and thus strengthens the entire body.
Reflexology on the face
The next immune booster is part of the facial reflexology - the point between the upper lip and the nose needs to be pressed firmly for 5 - 10 seconds; do the same for the hollow point slightly above the chin, and the two points at the base of the inside of the eye-brows.
The next significant immune shot is massaging the ears, starting from the inner base up and then from the upper point down, then pulling the soft part of the ear in all directions to increase blood supply.
Tapping with your fingers
Another beneficial tip is tapping - especially tapping the space between the heart chakra and the throat chakra, tapping gently and doing three sets of 28.