Weighing In on Swine Flu
"Don't panic." ~ Douglas Adams
I wasn't going to post on this topic, as I think there's enough information, for better or worse, flying around out there, to boggle the mind. And then I thought, well, maybe that's why should post something.
Not that I have any greater insight or useful preventative information. I'm with everyone else here... just watching it all unfold and waiting to see if this really is The Big One I've been hearing about for some time. (History has shown that we have been subject to some kind of large-scale epidemic every twenty years or so - the last being the Spanish flu of 1918 - so some would say we are WAY overdue.)
But even here, as I briefly scanned some resources to validate that last statement, I can see that I may not have been entirely accurate. So with that, I am hesitant to add my own voice to the growing list of half-informed sources out there and just stick to what I know.
Which is this: Panic and fear are detrimental to the immune system.
The best thing you can do in this or any situation is to calm down. Imagine all the little (and not so little) things your mind worries about as thieves of your resources. The more taxed your inner resources are, the less your body has to work with to stay healthy. Not to mention, panic creates fuzzy thinking and poor judgment.
If this thing follows the course of some experts worst fears, or even if doesn't, there's going to be a continuing influx of information from all fronts about what it means, where it's going, what to do, what not to do... not all of which will be accurate, rational or even sane. Like with all media bombardment, this kind of input affects us even without our conscious awareness. Be aware of that. And also be aware that worldwide pandemic is probably out of our immediate sphere of control. Taking care of ourselves and our own health.. that we can do. As well as taking care of what information we chose to let in.
Does that thought already feel more manageable?
Okay. So, if I were to recommend any course of action, it would already be along the lines of what you could be doing anyway. That is, support your body and mind in becoming stronger. Pay close attention to what you allow in: food-wise, chemical-wise, thought-wise.
Influenza is a virus...which, unlike bacteria, cannot be 'killed' as it's not a living organism. Our bodies manufacture specific killer cells to engulf and dispose of virus cells, like microscopic bouncers at a night club. There are 'anti-viral' foods and herbs which support the body's ability to manufacture these immune cells in a timely manner. Here are my suggestions to support your body in doing this.
As far as food...
-- The less ingredients, the better. In other words, more fresh stuff, less processed.
-- Watch your sugar intake. Sugar depresses the immune system. And don't even get me started on high fructose corn syrup.
-- Learn the joys and wonders of miso soup. Eat it daily if possible.
-- Research natural immune-building foods and herbs. There's a ton of stuff out there. Use common sense.
-- Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
-- Wash your hands thoroughly.
-- Keep your habitation clean. Wipe down keyboards, phones, doorknobs, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. frequently. No need to be obsessive.. that's not healthy. Just include it as part of a maintenance routine.
-- Chemical-based cleaning products are not only unnecessary but may also inhibit your immune function. (Once again, 'antibacterial' products are meaningless when dealing with viruses.)
-- Alcohol wipes, I've read, are fine to use.
-- Vinegar as a household cleaner is far better than the chemicalized stuff. At worst, it won't be any less effective than 'antibacterials'; at best, some believe the acidity does in fact destroy viruses, and it's just plain better for your own health.
Defending your energy.
-- Stay in your body. What I mean by that is when dealing with conversation or media reports or whatever that focus on fearful topics, pay attention to how you're responding. For those who are new to this, it can be a tremendous effort. But if you can get to an awareness of what you feel in your body and emotions... tension, nervousness, helplessness ... you can make a conscious choice to remove yourself from the conversation, turn off the computer or tv, or take some other action that is productive, rather than let your energy get mucked with anxiety.
-- Identify which actions will actually help you feel better and more prepared. Maybe it's cleaning your house. Or stocking up on Vitamin C, or other herbal supplements. Savoring how good a bowl of miso soup tastes, while visualizing your body becoming stronger. Never underestimate the healing power of feeling, well, empowered.
-- Identify which sources satisfy your need to be informed, but don't freak you out. Once again, pay attention to how you're feeling.
Should a vaccine become available.
I won't venture too far into this controversial topic except to say, please do your research. Now. And know that any 'toxin'.. medication, vaccine, even some natural products if used unwisely... put a strain on your overall system in some way, and demands energy and resource to deal with it. Please consider that before using anything, and make your choices from a place of reason and calm, clear intuition, not fear. Both ends of the spectrum- the 'medical' side and the 'holistic' side - will conveniently have the solution and will be happy to sell it to you, especially if you're freaking out. Do your research.
This would be a good time (yes, here's my particular remedy (grin) to cultivate a habit of centering, grounding, and listening to your body and intuition. Meditation, qigong, and/or bodywork will give you a foundation of calm to work from, a self-awareness to trust, and a practice to fall back on so as not to get carried away by mayhem.
Pandemic or no, these things will ultimately serve you and your well-being.
Other posts you might find interesting:
Update on 2009-04-27 17:49 by Gina Loree' Marks
Soon after posting this, I received this email update from astrologer Eric Francis. I've included the parts that made me go, Yeah! That's what I was trying to say! (Italics mine)
For the full article and to sign up for his updates, go here.
"The one thing we can say about the swine flu situation is that it is spreading fear like a nice healthy bush fire. It’s certainly one of those things that is a potentially ‘legitimate’ source of this emotion — except for one thing: energetically, influenza is all about fear. I would reach so far as to say that if you’re afraid of this thing, you’ve caught the flu. The fear level we are seeing, however, is merely an eruption of what has been around for a long time. After decades of denial and being kept under the bed, it is now spilling out into the room. Our lives these years have, in one sense, been a long litany of what to be scared of, from wiretapping to the threat of terrorism to the continuing threat of nuclear war...
... I suggest that you turn down the volume on input sources saying how bad this is going to be, and those that pump the uncertainty factor. If you are looking for vectors of this pathogen, the most prominent is television, which has nothing new to add to the discussion and is simply spreading negativity. As I have said, the disease itself is fear, but physical influenza is more likely to manifest in a state of fear than it is in any other condition. Therefore, if you want to address this for yourself, it would be wise to turn off the television and process your feelings.
Processing means more than ruminating. It means giving your fear a voice and taking appropriate action when you can: such as doing something you’re afraid of that you want to do. Fear often enough responds well to being challenged. If you can do the thing you’re scared of, the fear can vanish like it was never there. Then you can figure out that fear is a kind of invitation or magnet to grow and become, rather than some invisible force hemming us into the past."
Amen to that.