Coronavirus: Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Posted on Mar 27, 2020
Covid-19 and the necessary Shelter-In-Place order can cause more anxiety than usual for all of us. Our chests can feel tight from this tension and stress. Stress supresses the immune system, reducing our ability to fight any infections.
In Chinese Medicine, the Lung meridian and organ system circulates our Qi, keeps our nose and skin healthy, open/closes our pores to regulate sweat, and is the home for our Wei Qi aka immune system. Here are some things you can do throughout the day to keep your lungs happy:
Reduce Chest Tension
Calming breath: Slowly breathing into the nose on a count of five and slowly breathing out through the mouth on a count of five. Do this ten times.
Steam therapy involves inhaling warm water vapor to open the airways. People with lung conditions may notice their symptoms worsening in cold or dry air. This climate can dry out the mucous membranes in the airways and restrict blood flow. Steam adds warmth and moisture to the air, which may improve breathing and help loosen mucus inside the airways and lungs. Inhaling water vapor can provide immediate relief and help people breathe more easily.
Regular exercise can improve people’s physical and mental health and decreases the risk of many health conditions, including stroke and heart disease. Exercise forces the muscles to work harder and increase the body’s breathing rate, which in turn invigorates the lungs. It also improves circulation to our bodies, especially our skin and organs. Since we are sheltering-in-place, you may not want to go outside. So put on some music and dance! Dancing is fun, relaxing and great exercise.
Ginger is extremely beneficial for your health and has high levels of Vitamin C, magnesium and other minerals that are so good for your body. Ginger tea has calming properties that may help lower your stress and tension. This is thought to be due to a combination of strong aroma and its healing properties.
Ginger tea can help strengthen your immunity due to the high levels of antioxidants in ginger. It can help relieve congestion associated with the common cold. Try a cup of ginger-tea for the respiratory symptoms associated with environmental allergies. The vitamins, minerals and amino acids in ginger tea can help restore and improve blood circulation that may help decrease the chance of cardiovascular problems. A cup a day keeps your lungs and sinuses happy.
Inflammation of the airways can make breathing difficult and cause the chest to feel heavy and congested. Eating anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce inflammation to relieve these symptoms. Foods that help fight inflammation include:
- Lightly cooked vegetables in a variety of colors
- Protein (chicken, fish, beef, pork, tofu, eggs, etc.)
- Gluten-free grains (brown rice, oats, quinoa)
- Legumes (black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.)
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats (olive, grapeseed, coconut, and flaxseed oils, avocado, grass-fed butter)
- And fill up your glass with 2-3 liters of water per day with lemon juice or a small pinch of mineral salt to aid absorption
For more information on eating an anti-inflammatory diet and menu ideas, read my 3 part series:
You can also email me to request calming herbs and supplements. And remember, laughter is good medicine. Laughing keeps our stress down, loosens our tight chests, brings more oxygen to our bodies and exercises our lungs. Read the comics and watch funny movies. Laugh everyday to keep your lungs healthy!
Filed in Current Health News
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