Preparing for CoronaVirus in Mind, Body & Soul – Macrobiotics & Integrative Healing
Last night as I sat in my living room quietly reading I decided to spend some reading up on what is taking place in our world right now, the fast spreading CoronaVirus Epidemic – or Covid-19. As I did this I was very conscious not to get pulled into the drama and terror that is being spread through the media and catch as much useful information as possible in order to make conscious choices on what to do next.
And it seems clear that this is not ‘just going to go away’ and it is going to spread.
So with that realisation and in part, acceptance to this reality, I think it’s time that we all start preparing ourselves as much as possible for when it comes. Because we do not get told in the media or reminded by politicians that we as human beings have the power within us to get strong and resilient from the inside out. And we we panic and get pulled into the fear and start feeling like victims to this deadly monster that is going to come and get us.
Which is why I felt it necessary to write this post for you. To remind you all that every single one of us can take our health and wellbeing into our own hands in order to get ready, to get prepared and to get strong. So when the virus comes is can come and pass and we do not need to give it all our power.
What is Coronavirus or Covid-19?
The coronavirus belongs to a spectrum of viruses that include the common cold. The word Covid-19 identifies its specific genetic makeup. Therefore, it has similar symptoms to the cold or flu. The obvious difference is that it is more contagious and more fatal. The flu typically kills about 0.1% of people infected. This sounds small, but during this winter’s flu season in the U.S. we had 32 million people with the flu and 18,000 deaths, which is a lower percentage at .06%. Meanwhile Covid-19 has a death rate of 2.0%. As a comparison the influenza pandemic of 1918-19 had a death rate of 2.3 to 4.0% of people infected. With an estimated 500 million infected people, there were 20 to 40 million deaths worldwide.
Two interesting historical notes about the pandemic of 1918:
1) One theory of its origin is that it began in northern China in 1917 when 140,000 Chinese laborers were recruited by the French and British to perform manual labor to free up troops for the wartime.
2) That influenza began in the springtime with a low rate of infection, lessened during the summer, then became most severe in the fall and winter.
Important information about Covid-19 virus is that it can attach only to lung cells. This means that the only way to become infected is through your nose or mouth. What you touch, then touching your face can infect you. Droplets from someone’s cough or sneeze can also infect you through your nose and mouth.
How To Prevent or Reduce Symptoms?
The main thing we need to focus on is strengthening our immunity and in particular our lungs. The ones who are most vulnerable to the virus where it is dangerous are those with weakened immune systems and lung energy. The elderly and those already with poor health. These are the people who will need to take extra precautions and care. So these guidelines can be helpful too if you are caring for an elderly person/relative or someone with pre-existing poor health.
From a Macrobiotic Diet Perspective:
In order to keep ourselves vital & strong we need proper foods and good digestion. These support strong blood which strengthens our immunity. The core aspect that depletes our immunity is chronic acidity in the blood. Therefore we want to get ourselves in as much an alkalised state as possible. To do this we can reduce or extract foods that create acidity from our diet and bring in alkalising foods daily starting NOW:
Foods that create acidity and to be extracted:
- meats, especially red meats, organ meats. Fish is of less concern.
- sugars, especially agave, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar. Barley malt and rice syrup are best. Very small amounts of honey can be fine, too.
- alcohol, especially wine and beer
- acid vegetables, such as tomatoes and nightshades
Foods to add daily that are alkalinizing:
- umeboshi plum/paste (can be used with cooking grains or in tea)
Eat a plum daily for adults (1/4 plum for children daily)
- miso (as traditional miso soup or in any soup with grains, vegetable or beans)
Have a bowl of Miso Broth daily (for children too! Link to my recipe for Miso Soup)
- seaweed (wakame and nori among others)
Eat a sheet of Nori Daily (half a sheet for young children. 1/4 sheet for toddlers).
- fermented pickles (such as sauerkraut) Daily (children too!).
- Good quality sea salt (no more table salt please!)
- Wholegrains daily especially short-grain brown rice & quinoa
- Good variety of vegetables daily
- Vegetarian proteins & some fish if needed daily
- Lots of greens- green juice, leafy greens, greens greens greens.
These are all sources of salt, in other words minerals. Macrobiotics has been correct in emphasizing these salts in the diet. All grains and beans must be cooked with one or the other of these salts. Furthermore, eating extra root and leafy vegetables, mostly cooked, are helpful for keeping the blood alkaline. As always, salt should be used carefully, not more than your individual system can handle without craving sweets and excessive liquid.
Other important lifestyle factors include
- good chewing
- not over-eating
- ample sleep
- good elimination
- regular exercise
Deeper Emotional and Mental Health:
All anxiety, fears, stress responses and chronic tensions will create an acidic condition. Because, for example, the stomach will overproduce acids when we are anxious, which can then enter the body and bloodstream. Muscle actions cause the release of lactic acid; so chronic muscle tension creates excessive lactic acid in the bloodstream.
And so staying rooted and calm amongst the storm is our learning and healing here. How much can you be a rooted tree blowing in the wind but all the time still rooted?
- Daily Meditation Practice
- Daily Journalling (to stay conscious of the fears, thoughts and stories taking hold in the mind)
- Sharing with trusted friends and loved ones (Do not hold it all alone)
- Connection & Community to warm the heart (Even if we can’t meet up we can Skype and zoom and share together)
- Simplifying Life (letting go of busyness, rushing around. Let go of everything that does not NEED to be done and let life get more simple for a while. Learn to be more still and rest)
- Feeling Feelings – Lungs are all about grief. Its is time to allow ourselves to feel the sadness and grief being suppressed inside in order to feel and release it. This will strengthen the lungs and immunity of lungs enormously)
- Get help working with a coach or therapist to release and heal.
There are two principal ways of releasing these acids from the body’s tissues, organs and blood. One is through kidneys’ role of regulating acid-alkalinity of the blood. The other is through lungs’ capacity of exhalation. Since Covid-19 attaches only to the lung cells, the condition of our lungs becomes paramount. This is the reason people are advised not to touch their fingers or hands to their mouth or nose without first washing their hands well.
But there is also a bigger invitation here. And that is to use these challenges as an opportunity for deeper healing. How much can we look deeper into ourselves and face the fears coming up for us? How much can we see that we have carried these fears our whole life? How much grief and sadness are we holding on to? Who do we need to forgive and what do we need to let go of?
With every crisis there is opportunity – it will not be all smooth sailing and it will not all feel easy or good, but the possibility of healing and transformation is huge. In macrobiotics there is a wonderful saying “With every front there is a back. So the bigger the front, the bigger the back”.
What this means is the bigger the crisis the bigger the opportunity for healing.
Do not get caught up in the drama of the mind with this virus. It will NOT get you or us to a new place, it will only feed the survival. Instead look at the bigger process – for some reason planet earth is taking hold and a huge process of transformation is occurring. Let’s choose to be an active part of this and transform and heal within it all.
I wish you well. Remember your health and wellbeing is in your power. You have the power to heal yourself every single day! You are your own guru.