It is my deepest hope that you are in good health while reading this article. During this time of uncertainty and stress it is more important than ever to support our body’s natural immune system. Like most pathogens, most viruses are opportunistic organisms. They take advantage of a weakened host and exploit its resources to replicate and spread its offspring. This is why it is so important to make it our top priority to support our natural defenses. Here are some of the top science-based strategies for you and your family:
Bring on the Hugs.
One of the most powerful ways you can support your health is the simple act of hugging. It has been scientifically proven through many studies that hugs can reduce stress, reduce the statistical chances of getting sick, allow people to adapt to stressful situations, release oxytocin, which makes you feel better and happier; help your body release natural pain killers, and help you deal with negative emotions (Cirino, 2018). The longer the hug the better. Professionals recommend that people should hug at least 8 times a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth. These are not the quick side shoulder hugs; these are full frontal, heads-on-each-other’s-shoulder kind of hugs that are at least 20 seconds long (Cirino, 2018).
Chiropractic Adjustment Therapy
There is a reason that your chiropractor encourages you not to miss your monthly spinal check and adjustment. Spinal adjustments (scientists prefer to call them musculoskeletal manipulations) have been shown to cause positive biochemical changes within the body, such as the release of oxytocin, a hormone that makes you happier and healthier; substance-P, a biomolecule that stimulates immune function; and neurotensin, a natural pain killer which can help the body adapt to the numerous types of stresses your body encounters on a daily basis (Gustavo Plaza-Manzano, 2014)(Kesava Kovanur-Sampath M.Ost, 2017).
It is relatively common knowledge that what you eat will affect your health. We see this in many chronic disease patients. Diet change and exercise could potentially reduce chronic disease in America up to 80% (Walter C. Willett). I would guess that this is not a surprise to most of you, since most of our mother’s taught us to eat our veggies when growing up. But what are some researched methods for fighting viral infections? Increasing your intake of vitamin D3 has shown some promise in supporting your immune system against viral infection. (William B Grant, 2020). Studies have also revealed effective results in treating the common cold with patients who took more than 2,000 mg a day, seeing a reduction in the length of symptoms as well as symptom severity (Hemilä H, 2013). One study found that taking high doses of vitamin C (1,000 mg three times a day for maintenance and 1,000 mg every hour for six hours a day when you have flulike symptoms) can reduce flulike respiratory symptoms up to 85% (Gorton HC, 1999)! To get an idea of how much vitamin C that is, the average medium orange has only about 51.1 mg of vitamin C, so I would recommend supplementing these levels of vitamin C. I also must warn you that consuming large amount of natural vitamin C can lead to rare cases of side effects such has diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, headaches, and insomnia. If you start experiencing these symptoms, please consult your primary physician.
There is no scientific evidence that the wearing of masks is effective in reducing the risk of exposure to our current virus. Researchers state that all surgical masks should be saved for at-risk healthcare workers and have very little if any benefit to the general public (Brosseau Lisa D & Sietsema, 2020). Cloth masks are completely useless in preventing contamination or spreading contamination. Surgical masks will actually reduce blood oxygen levels when worn for extended periods of time, adding additional stress to the body (Beder, Büyükkoçak, Sabuncuoğlu, Keskil, & Keskil, 2008). Masks are not the answer for prevention and/or containment of any virus in the general public according to the research. Of course, if a state or local law enforces mask-wearing in public settings, then please follow all state and local laws. Just realize that these mandates are based on fear, and not on scientific facts.
I would like to encourage everyone reading this to take the time to encourage your family and friends. This is not the time for emotional isolation, but a time for encouraging and strengthening one another. Our ancestors faced many wars, depressions, and plagues. We are here today because our parents and grandparents stood strong and faced the world’s challenges and we are asked to do the same for the next generation.
Dr. Samuel McGinnis B.S., D.C.
Beder, A., Büyükkoçak, Ü., Sabuncuoğlu, H., Keskil, Z., & Keskil, S. (2008). Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major. Neurocirugía, 121-126.
Brosseau Lisa D, S., & Sietsema, M. P. (2020). COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data. Center for Infectious disease and policy.
Cirino, E. (2018 , April 10). What Are the Benefits of Hugging? Retrieved from www.Healthline.com: https://www.healthline.com/health/hugging-benefits#1
Gorton HC, J. K. (1999). The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. , 530-3.
Gustavo Plaza-Manzano, P. F.-V.-A.-C. (2014). Changes in Biochemical Markers of Pain Perception and Stress Response After Spinal Manipulation. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 231-239.
Hemilä H, C. E. (2013). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Databace syst. Rev. , (1).
Kesava Kovanur-Sampath M.Ost, R. M.-G. (2017). Changes in biochemical markers following spinal manipulation-a systematic review and meta-analysis. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, 120-131.
Walter C. Willett, J. P. (n.d.). Chapter 44: Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Changes. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd edition.
William B Grant, H. L. (2020). Evidence That Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths. Nutrients, 12(4).