On Coronavirus and Cultivating Health
originally published 3/3/20
Diseases are Many. Health is One. Rather than exhausting yourself by doing battle against the Many, Nourish yourself by Cultivating the One. ~Folk Saying, said by someone who clearly knew what they were talking about.
With all the talk about the coronavirus and concerns about our collective wellbeing reaching a fever pitch, here is a little something that may provide some useful information, as well as some levity to help balance out the gravity surrounding the situation.
1. Don’t Panic. Science Fiction author Arthur C. Clark has said that Douglas Adams use of
“Don’t Panic” was perhaps the best advice ever given to humanity, and I wholeheartedly agree. When we are operating out of fear or in a state of panic we do not think clearly, we may take actions that are most likely unnecessary, and we end up putting undue stress on our nervous and immune systems. None of these will help us in the ways we could stand to best be helped. If you find yourself slipping into panic mode stop what your are doing, bring your awareness into your body, breathe into the shape of your body (perhaps a couple of times), and notice the focus of your mind. Repeat as often as needed, and until the focus of your mind is broad and relaxed.
2. Take a “Sigh of Relief”: Take a deep breath in and audibly exhale (maybe even with a little shake of the body as you audibly exhale). This is a deeply therapeutic exercise that can be done as often as you feel you need it. It relaxes the nervous system (helping to switch us out of fight or flight and into rest and digest), supports lymphatic circulation (which eliminates toxins from the body and enhances immune system function), and simply feels very good. It is easy, it is effective, it can be done almost anywhere at anytime, and it is completely free of charge.
3. Get out into Nature. As the Spring weather is moving in, move yourself outside and into
Nature. Forest Bathing is a real thing and backed up by scientific evidence. Spending time out in Nature among the trees and other elements has been shown to: Improve immune function and increase Natural Killer cells (the ones that our body makes to take out bugs and viruses), reduce stress, increase the speed of healing from illness or surgery, improve sleep, and best of all it gets you out moving and breathing and away from television and the internet and cell phones and all the things that make us miserable!
4. Maintain your Wellness. There are many things that we all do and supplements we take to
keep ourselves feeling healthy. Keep doing and taking those things. Some of these things include, but are by no means limited to: Getting regular sleep. Eating well. Washing your hands regularly. Vitamin C (I love the local company Sarvaa and their whole food product Superfruit C, available at DNF and Nature’s Oasis). Vitamin A. Astragalus. Monolaurin. Zinc. Raw Garlic and Onions. Gentle exercise like Qigong and Yoga. Spending time thinking good thoughts and feeling grateful about good things.
5. If you are starting to feel like you are coming down with an illness See Point #1. If you are feeling sick it does not mean that you have the coronavirus or that you are going to immediately die. Even if it is the coronavirus, or the flu, or allergies, what you have can be treated, so get treatment from a provider of your preferred medical tradition. And continue to follow the principles of Cultivating Health because they are still very applicable and very effective.
In conclusion: There is a lot of information swirling around out there. Some of it is true, some of it is false, and some of it is meaningless. It is up to us to discern which is which, and if we are not calm and clear minded our abilities of discernment may become compromised. Peace does not come from thinking about War, Community does not come from focusing on Division, and Health does not come from worrying about Disease. Health comes from Cultivating Health, so lets all support each other in doing just that. To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut “We are all here to help each other get through this thing, whatever the hell it is. And we are all going to be okay.”
Here is a link to a QiGong video with Oley Smith that includes a nice guided sitting mudra meditation and an simple qigong form: https://youtu.be/ZOinwwba8q0
Anyone who is interested in getting the invites to the online qigong classes can sign up to my email list on the bottom of the first page of my website: https://www.openheartacupuncture.com/
With Much Love and Gratitude,
Oley Smith with Open Heart Acupuncture and QiGong