How to Boost Your Immune System During Covid-19.
In podcast episode 29 of Real Shift Happens, we’re talking about three proven ways to help boost your immune system during the global pandemic and for life in general.
We’re also featuring our brand new 5-minute Focused Shift guided visualization to help boot your immune system with an immune-boosting Rife Frequency in the background.
But before we jump into our discussion, we start off with our five-minute focused shift guided visualization meditation. But for now, keep scrolling and you’ll be able to listen to the episode shortly.
So let’s talk about meditation and mind-body-spirit connections can help boost your immune system. For the last six months during lockdown everyone is talking about staying at home and wearing masks in public and no one is talking about how to boost the immune system. To me that says a lot. No matter if you think this whole Covid thing is a farce or not, it’s important that we keep our immune systems functioning at their peak levels. But especially now.
Personally, I know from experience that yoga, meditation and breathing exercises have helped me out of depression and I feel like I got 10 years of my life back. I’m more energized than ever and I feel better than ever so I know for a fact it works.
So I really wanted to find some research papers on the positive effects of yoga & meditation on Covid-19 and sure enough I found studies on yoga, meditation and breathing and their effects on Covid, flus and colds and the respiratory system. So there is a lot of research-based information out there supporting the benefits of these ancient practices on the immune system.
I want to mention the research that I found and also give some tips on how to strengthen the immune system. There are so many great resources on the Internet with tons of research papers and studies to help boost your immune system and really on just about anything you can think of. I found multiple articles in the database on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.
In particular, there are multiple studies related to yoga, meditation & breathing practices and their effects on the immune system, COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.
Just to name a few titles in the database that you can go check out: Effects of Various Prāṇāyāma on Cardiovascular and Autonomic Variables, The effects of mind-body therapies on the immune system: meta-analysis, Advantage of meditation over exercise in reducing cold and flu illness is related to improved function and quality of life, Using Mind–Body Modalities via Telemedicine during the COVID-19 Crisis: Cases in the Republic of Korea and so many more.
So much good stuff but I won’t bore you with all the statistics though some do like the numbers. I think it’s best for one to do their own research and apply your own practical application.
I can say that what has been known by yogis for centuries is now being confirmed by science, that meditation, yoga and deep breathing have a tremendous positive effect on the immune system.
One article titled, “A Perspective on Yoga as a Preventive Strategy for Coronavirus Disease 2019,” was published online on May 1 of this year and in the abstract it states,
the current COVID-19 emergency calls for rapid development of potential prevention and management strategies against this virus-mediated disease. There is a plethora of evidence that supports the add-on benefits of yoga in stress management, as well as prevention and management of chronic noncommunicable diseases.
The main ingredient in preventing diseases and helping the immune system is the reduction of stress in your life. And we all know that we all have major stress in our lives, good and bad.
As the world seems to be filled with chaos even if it’s not our own personal issues.
3 Proven Ways to Boost Your Immune System
1). Breathing Techniques
Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof method involves breathing deeply from the diaphragm and releasing the breath several times in row, then retaining the breath on an exhale and holding the breath on an inhale. It’s a very simple technique and the benefits are astounding. Boosts the immune, relieves stress, better sleep, more focus , clarity and creativity and much more.
I started Wim Hof breathing techniques towards the beginning of 2019 and had been doing three rounds a day for at least 6 months straight. Since then I’ve continued the practice at least 3-4 times a week simply because Wim Hof breathing can become kinda labor-intensive.
I truly feel a noticeable positive difference in my mind and body, my energy, and how I breathe. I notice each breath I take is longer and deeper. And no lie I can hold my breath doing the Wim Hof method for two a half minutes. Plus, it just feels like a natural high from oxygen. It’s amazing!
The Oxygen Advantage
Another tip that I use regarding breathing is from the book, The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown. This involves breathing only from your nose at all times even during sleep. With this, you become very aware of your breath at all times because you are consciously making sure to never breathe from your mouth.
The idea is that you are breathing lighter to increase carbon dioxide in the blood which improves your body’s oxygenation. McKeown has done extensive research on the topic and says, “eliminating over-breathing is the key to harnessing the potential of the CO2 you already have inside you.” But there is much more to it than that and the author goes into detail on the science of it all along with the special breathing techniques.
A nice, unexpected side effect is that I’ve also noticed that I’ve lost weight using these breathing methods. I wouldn’t have believed it if I did not experience it myself.
Both Wim Hof and The Oxygen Advantage technique have their advantages so you can check them out to see which is best for you. Both will help boost your immune system and so many more benefits. There is tons of information online regarding both methods.
2). Yoga Asanas
People still think of yoga as just stretching, however, it is so much more than that. Each yoga posture is designed to work on certain areas of the body and chakras thus helping relieve blockages in the body and subtle energy center. Plus, you are gaining strength, balance, mental clarity and so much more.
Usually, I go to a yoga class for an hour at least 2-4 times a week but with my gym still being closed I decided to create a yoga space in my garage. So in the mornings I get myself up and go to the garage to get in at least 30 mins of yoga and movement a day. I have to admit that there are days I drag myself to the garage and simply sit there. But as I continue to create the habit I notice myself doing what I have to do without hesitation. And it feels so good.
Definitely look up yoga vids online, there are tons. We are also offering a live online yoga class every week via Zoom. Go to relaxunwind.eventbrite.com to sign up for the class.
Also, a few Yoga Asanas that were presented in Yoga as a Preventative Strategy study are:
- Sun salutations
- Standing forward and back bend
- Standing or seated spinal twists
- Cat/cow with tiger breaths
- Fish pose (matsayana)
The next two are yogic breathing techniques so I’m leaving them under yoga asanas.
- Breath of fire (kapalabhati)
- Alternate Nostril breathing (nadi shuddhi pranayama)
There are several types of meditation and that many more ways to actually practice meditation. Some people feel like performing a task you love and being in that zone is a form of meditation. And perhaps that is for some people but in this case we’re speaking of actually sitting down in silent meditation.
The two most popular types of meditation are concentration meditation where one is focusing the mind on a single point and mindfulness meditation where one is simply aware of passing thoughts while practicing present moment awareness.
I’ve practiced both types of meditation in the past and I feel like a combination of the two will yield the best results.
However, for the past a little over two years, I’ve been practicing Transcendental Meditation and it is sort of a combination of those two styles where you are given a mantra to help you focus and you are also becoming aware of your thoughts and allowing your thoughts to pass. But there is a major difference in the outcome of the techniques.
The difference between the three techniques can be seen in brain wave studies where TM has been shown to produce widespread alpha coherence in the brain.
Numerous research has shown that Transcendental Meditation takes your brain waves to the alpha state which is relaxed, happy, and focused. Mindfulness takes your brain to the Theta state which is a dream-like state of consciousness. And Concentration takes your brain to the Beta state which is logical-thinking and problem-solving.
I recommend maybe starting off with mindful or concentration meditation and develop a daily meditation practice first. Then look into Transcendental Meditation which seems more advanced but it’s actually very simple. The challenge is committing to practicing 20 minutes twice a day. But once you get in the swing of things, you will not want to miss a day of meditating.
Also, there is a fee to learn the official technique, one-on-one from a professional TM instructor. So you definitely want to be sure you’re serious about learning the technique. Honestly, it’s life-changing and I recommend it to everyone. You can find one near you at TM.org.
It’s really that simple, all of these techniques that will boost your immune system and have positive influences on the physiological system because it’s all about the mind-body-spirit connection.
There are several factors that go into practicing well-being and self-care for the immune system and our overall health. Living in the present moment awareness is a large component as well. Being aware of our bodies and the space we hold. Taking care of ourselves from head to toe, inside and out, from being aware of what we eat to what we think and say. At the same time embracing our humanity and knowing that the progress is a process.
And on that note, I think I will wrap it up here. And until next time, what do we do? We must do the inner work and create a shift in our own consciousness which will create a shift in the collective consciousness. That is the goal.
Listen to Ep. 29 – 3 Proven Ways to Boost Your Immune System
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