How to Survive the Next Pandemic
In the midst of a pandemic we are surrounded by uncertainty. Many have lost loved ones, lost jobs or businesses, are experiencing financial stress, or barely survived those last few weeks of homeschool with little ones at home. The information about the pandemic is confusing. Fear and anxiety have most certainly taken center stage, while our health has been pushed aside. This seems to be our modern human response to a crisis, taking care of ourselves is the thing we are most willing to sacrifice. Our health is our most valuable asset and the ability to survive a pandemic lies deep in the body’s strength.
Think of your body like a garden. When you want a seed to grow you prepare the soil. You till the earth, make sure it is a sunny spot, has plenty of water, probably turn in some compost or some organic manure. This is the “terrain”. If something goes wrong, there is something wrong with your soil, the pH, the nutrients, the irrigation. The conditions need to be optimal.
In the same manner, the “terrain” of the body will determine what will grow, good or bad. A healthy individual, with proper nutrition, pH, and hydration will create an inhospitable environment for an invader. If the virus or bacteria alone made one sick, then every person who comes in contact with it would be affected in the same way. Maintaining optimal conditions in your “garden” will help you to thrive and keep out the bugs and weeds. Operating with this clear understanding empowers you, thereby decreasing the fear and anxiety in this or any pandemic.
We know that chronic health conditions increased potential complications and even mortality in some individuals that had Coronavirus. These chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, stress and even Vitamin D deficiency are known to increase our susceptibility to sickness. These chronic diseases rooted in inflammation and toxicity alter the “terrain” and create an environment where a bacteria or virus can thrive. Conventional approaches to chronic and lifestyle diseases involve management and control of symptoms rather than the actual improvement in health. Naturopathic medicine focuses on moving the body in the direction of health rather than seeing a condition as stagnant. Addressing these chronic conditions should be the absolute first thing on your to-do list.
Most great scientific discoveries happen as a result of someone questioning the status quo. Geniuses have been labeled charlatans only to be proven right posthumously.In the face of the current health crisis, many have turned to taking Vitamin C and zinc while others have taken enough elderberry to turn purple. That is what the average Google search will tell you to do. Now is the time to question the status quo of your health and take a step beyond the Google search.
Empowering your body by changing the “terrain” is truly the way to survive the next pandemic. Food intolerances lead to toxemia which leads to inflammation and disease. Vitamin D levels are correlated to many disease states. Probiotics impact our microbiome, the health of our gut and our immune function. Cortisol levels that result from stress impact almost every system in the body from decreasing blood flow to digestion, to our sugar metabolism, to our hormone levels. Thousands of health resources online (that haven’t been taken down) will cite things like Vitamin C and Zinc to boost immunity. However, challenge yourself to dig deeper to find out where your specific “terrain” needs to be adjusted. Work with a professional to find your food intolerances or have your Vitamin D levels checked and work to optimize the numbers. Gut healing and addressing chronic sources of inflammation and early signs of disease are critical for creating a “terrain” that no bug will want to call home. Taking zinc and Vitamin C forever is not going to prevent or cure the disturbances to your vitality leaving you vulnerable.
Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes the importance of health and terrain, not just for the sake of health, but because optimal health allows for higher levels of thought and creativity. The best thing to do to survive the next pandemic is to optimize your terrain and health now before the next health crisis is upon us.
Dr. Katy Firisin is a naturopathic physician and owner of Coastal Natural Medicine in Southport. Her practice emphasizes individualized treatment, gut health, food intolerances and optimizing “terrain”.
Call 475.999.2032 or visit: www.coastalnaturalmedicine.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.