I am writing today about the importance of taking primary responsibility for your own health and wellness, and in the process strengthening the overall terrain of your body and your immune system, to ward off the SARS COV-2 virus and any others that might show up in the years to come, so that you can not only survive, but thrive in this toxic 21st century world. This blog is a bit long, but stay with it, it will provide a roadmap to optimize your wellness potential into the future. Once the worst of the current pandemic has past, Functional Wellness & Acupuncture will provide workshops at yoga and exercise studios and gyms in the greater Philadelphia area to help you adapt these strategies to your particular circumstances.
SARS COV-2 and the COVID-19 illness caused by it have provided a wake-up call to all world citizens. We are experiencing a disaster that has the potential to impact everyone; not just some people half way around the globe, or the disadvantaged or those living in certain geographical areas or climates. Since there is so much that is unknown about this new threat, governments have enacted stringent measures in an attempt to keep their populations safe. Many highly qualified medical professionals are doing their best to offer advice on the best way to treat COVID-19 and strategies for avoiding SARS COV-2. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D. in Systems Biology from MIT, believes that the focus of healthcare during this crisis should be on bolstering the individual’s immune system, rather than developing a one size fits all vaccine to combat the virus.(1) Additionally, Dr. Enric Sala, marine ecologist and part of National Geographic’s Campaign For Nature, reports, “I’m absolutely sure that there are going to be more diseases like this in future if we continue with our practices of destroying the natural world, deforestation and capturing wild animals as pets or for food and medicine.”(2) Julio Vincent Gambuto in an article that he wrote makes a compelling case that we should use this pause, caused by the pandemic, to look closely at problems with, and the lack of sustainability of the ways we have been living, and to carefully choose what we bring forward with us once the pandemic related restrictions end.(3)
In his work the Point Institute The Standard Roadmap Series, Thomas G. Guilliams, Ph.D., defines physiological resilience as the immediate capacity of cells, tissues and organ systems to respond to changes in physiological need and metabolic reserve as the long-term capacity of tissues and organ systems to withstand repeated (chronic) changes to physiological needs.(4) Both of these concepts are critical for the maintenance of homeostasis and health, and both are adversely impacted by toxic exposures. When we strengthen the body’s terrain and its immune system, we are building physiological resilience and metabolic reserve to see us through illness and toxic exposures.
With regard to the current COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and Lyme disease, leading clinicians and researchers in integrative medicine have postulated that toxic exposures may lead to increased morbidity and mortality. Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., a senior research scientist at MIT, has devoted over 12 years to trying to understand the role of toxic chemicals in the deterioration of human health. Her research strongly suggests that glyphosate (the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup) has been causing the skyrocketing rates of autism in America, and she makes a compelling case that it is the reason that the SARS COV-2 virus is so virulent in the United States.(5) Glyphosate is water soluble and so widely used in U.S. agriculture that it is ubiquitous in our water supply and environment generally. Beyond exposure to our digestive tracts from food and water, glyphosate is now in the air that we breathe as corn stalks and other substrates used for making bio-fuels are contaminated with glyphosate. Bio-fuels are used with the good intention of limiting carbon emissions in airplanes as well as mass transit vehicles in cities, notably New York City and Washington, DC. Well known health writer Dr. Joseph Mercola speculates that glyphosate may eventually be found to have worse human health consequences than DDT.(6)
Another toxic exposure that may be increasing both morbidity and mortality in the current epidemic is electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) exposure, especially the latest, 5G. As it states in the referenced summary from Dr. Mercola, pandemics seems to occur in the world when there are step changes in the levels of man-made EMFs in the air. As Mercola elucidates, Dr. Thomas Cowan, who has extensively studied the teachings of Rudolph Steiner,(7) was among the first to postulate that the virulence of SARS COV-2 seemed to be greatest in areas of the world saturated with 5G radiation.(8)
Let’s be clear, these toxicities do not cause COVID-19. They adversely impact integrity of the terrain and immune system of the human body allowing the SARS COV-2 virus to enter human cells more easily and replicate with less resistance. And glyphosate and EMF exposure are only two of the toxins we encounter in everyday life! We must wonder what the impact of our exposome (the sum total of everything we’ve been exposed to since conception) is on our physiological resilience and metabolic reserve. What can we do optimize our wellness potential in this toxic world?
The answer lies in WellCare: taking personal responsibility for our own health, and working to optimize it even when we feel well. The following “WellCare Pillars of Health” and “Tenants of the WellCare Approach” provide us with guidelines for optimizing wellness. They will be followed with specific suggestions for avoiding and detoxifying from glyphosate and EMFs as well as a discussion of laboratory tests to assess and track the status of our immune systems and how prepared they are to defend us from threats.
The WellCare Pillars of Health
Diet & Nutrient Status
Sleep, Rest & Recovery
Stress Reduction & Coping Mechanisms
Toxin Avoidance & Detoxification
Eliminating Sources of Chronic Inflammation
Relationships & Community
The Tenets of the WellCare Approach
Proper diet, exercise, sleep, rest and recovery, avoiding negative internalization of mental and emotional stress, avoiding toxins and gentle detoxification methods provide the foundation upon which to build a healthy life.
Each individual has unique hormonal and biochemical responses to foods. An individuals’ diet should consist of the cleanest, highest quality foods available and be tailored to an individual’s unique biochemistry, lifestyle and budget. The majority of the diet should be vegetables. Use organic, local, non-GMO and in-season when possible. The Environmental Working Groups dirty dozen and clean 15 provides a resource regarding what must be organic and what is okay to eat grown conventionally.(9, 10) Animal products should be organic, free range or grass fed. Pro-inflammatory foods that are highly processed and laced with sugar must be eliminated in favor of whole, natural, organic foods. Generally healthy foods that create inflammation in the individual must be eliminated as well. Common offenders include gluten, dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, corn, and egg. Tests are available that can identify otherwise healthy foods that create inflammation in a specific individual. These tests can be done at home from a blood spot.(11) Please contact Functional Wellness and Acupuncture for more information.
For many individuals health benefits accrue due to intermittent fasting. All food is eaten within an 8-12 hour window each day with a 12-16 hour fast in between. This approach affords metabolic flexibility; the mitochondria seamlessly switch between burning carbohydrates and fats for fuel. The last food of the day should be consumed 3 or more hours before bedtime, preventing insulin levels from spiking before bedtime. Late evening insulin spikes can promote insulin resistance and inhibit the release of melatonin and growth hormone.
Given modern farming practices, food is not as nutritionally replete as it once was. In order to insure optimal nutrient status, and gently detoxify 21st century toxic exposures, a high quality, individualized dietary supplement regime is integral to attaining optimal wellness.
People can learn the basics of a positive relationship with food: proper food choices, optimal preparation options, a relaxing eating environment and the proper way to chew and enjoy a meal.
Regular exercise is paramount to vibrant health, especially exercise that includes the following features: weight bearing, aerobic, interval, and the movement of lymph.
There are optimal amounts and types of exercise for each individual. Moderate exercise is best. Too much or too little exercise can create stress rather than relieve stress. Chronic stress suppresses immune function.
Regular and sufficient hours of sleep allow for optimal physical repair and psychic regeneration; helping to create vibrant health. Seven to nine hours per night is considered optimal. Recent studies have revealed that the glymphatic system, the brain’s lymphatic system, accumulates toxins and only eliminates them during deep delta wave sleep, thus underscoring the importance of the quality as well as the quantity of sleep.
Human beings benefit by aligning their lives with the natural rhythms of the earth as our ancestors did. The circadian rhythms in our brains and our waking and sleeping cycles should be aligned with the day’s natural light and dark cycles. In support of this, individuals should be encouraged to make their bedrooms an oasis reserved for sleep and love making and as dark as possible – absolutely no electronic devices should be used in the bedroom.
Alcohol and caffeine, if used should be used in moderation; tobacco and street drugs are to be avoided totally. Cannabinoids like full spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil may be helpful for many individuals.
The ability to reduce and constructively deal with stress is a critical factor in optimizing health. Individuals are encouraged to find stress busting outlets and activities. Examples include: yoga, tai chi, walks in nature, arts, crafts, hobbies and music, time spent with family, friends and pets.
To remain vibrantly healthy in today’s world, individuals need to take appropriate measures to avoid toxins. Toxins of many kinds are ubiquitous in our environment: Heavy Metal Toxins in air, water, silver fillings, and food (especially fish and some grains and vegetables); Chemical toxins in food, air, and water and out-gassing from newer furniture, carpets, automobiles and construction; Bio-toxins from tick borne illness and mold exposure; EMF exposure from Wi-Fi, cell phones, smart meters, microwave ovens, cell towers, GPS and smart appliance signaling. This electro-smog can cause inappropriate nerve activation and is most deleterious to the brain, heart and genitals. It also depletes antioxidant defenses and reserves and can damage DNA leading to cancer. Children are often affected to a greater extent than adults. This toxic exposure will only get worse as the communication companies move toward 5G technology.
A strategy for toxins that cannot be avoided is to prevent bio-accumulation by gently detoxifying on a regular basis using appropriate methodologies and support. Detoxifying foods include cilantro, cruciferous vegetables, avocados, artichokes, beets, dandelions, garlic, ginger, grapefruit, lemons, olive oil, and seaweed. Dietary supplements are available that help the cells to eject toxins and assist the liver in processing them. Binding agents are available to bind these toxins when they are dumped into the bile and deposited in the duodenum so they are not reabsorbed back into the body and will exit in the stool.
People succeed more often with Wellness programs when they have goals and metrics, a support system, feedback, and a Health Coach.
Specific suggestions for avoiding the herbicide glyphosate are eating organic foods, filtering water, and avoiding GMO foods. Because glyphosate is ubiquitous in the environment, gentle detoxification strategies need to be implemented as well. Using dietary supplement forms of humic acid and fulvic acid can help to remove herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals from the body. One of the ways glyphosate disrupts metabolism is by displacing the amino acid glycine in body proteins. Therefore appropriate amounts of supplemental glycine may be used to push glyphosate out the body. General liver support is also helpful; choose a formula that includes milk thistle, N-Acetyl L-Cysteine, Calcium D-glucarate, and methylsulfonylmethane, among other ingredients.
EMF exposures come from Wi-Fi, cell phones, smart meters, cell towers, GPS, microwave ovens, dirty electricity, improper household wiring, and smart appliance signaling. The best idea is to minimize exposure, especially at night when your body is resting, regenerating, and repairing. Computers can be hard wired rather than wireless. Cell phone use can be minimized in favor of an old fashioned wired phone. When cell phones are used the speaker can be turned on and the phone kept away from the ear. Wi-Fi routers can be turned off or unplugged at night. Electronic equipment should be kept away from sleeping areas. Exposures coming from outside the home or office can be shielded with appropriate materials. Many companies now test your environment for EMFs, determine your exposures, and offer advice on what can be done to minimize or remediate them.(12)
The expansion of 5G which operates at unprecedented high frequency levels has upped the ante and what the ultimate impact on human physiology will be is unknown. In order to help you cope with the exposures that you must endure, the dietary supplements hydrogen water, along with tinctures made from rosemary and bee propolis may be helpful.
As part of an individual wellness plan, it may be helpful to track how well the immune system is functioning. The tests listed below may be helpful in determining the need for dietary supplements and herbs that have the potential to bolster your defenses against viral and other pathogens.
1. Array 14 Mucosal Immune Reactivity Screen from Cyrex Laboratory(13) – our first line immune defenses include antibodies in mucosal membranes called secretory IgA and secretory IgM which bind to and neutralize pathogens and toxins before they can gain entry into the body. Mucosal membranes protect body surfaces including the mouth, nose, eyelids, trachea and lungs, stomach and intestines, and the ureters, urethra, and urinary bladder. Array 14 lets us know how well our mucosal defenses are excluding pathogens and toxins.
2. CD4+/CD8+ T-Cell Ratio(14) – this test, available from medical labs like Lab Corp and Quest Diagnostics, measures the ratio of T helper cells to T suppressor cells plus cytotoxic T cells to assess how well the immune system is functioning. The normal ratio for a well-functioning immune system is 2:1.
3. Natural Killer Cell Count & Cytotoxic Activity(15,16) – this test, available from medical labs like LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, measures both the number and how well Natural Killer (NK) cells function. NK cells come from lymphoid progenitor cells but are part of the innate (non-specific) immune system rather than the adaptive (specific) immune system. NK cells are indiscriminate killers of aberrant cancer cells and virus infected cells. It is important that there are enough of them and that they function well.
There are a number of herbs, herb combinations and dietary supplements on the market that can bolster a sluggish immune system as necessary. Please contact Functional Wellness and Acupuncture for more information. The best option, however, is to follow the diet and lifestyle advice given previously in this blog and to allow the wisdom of the body to create health and homeostasis.
No comments made in this blog should be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice. It is for informational and educational purposes only. This blog is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Please discuss and gain approval from your doctor for any changes to your healthcare regimen, medications, or treatment protocol.
4. Guilliams, Thomas G., Ph.D., 2014, Supporting Immune Function: A Lifestyle and Nutrient Approach, Point Institute
12. www.EMFprofessional.com A EMF assessment firm in the Philadelphia suburbs