This is a phrase that I heard many times in my early days of my military training at the British Army’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
In light of the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic currently sweeping across the world, I was reminded of the phrase ‘Fail to Prepare and Prepare to Fail’ again recently when I read Major General Paul Nanson’s excellent book,‘Stand Up Straight’ – 10 life lessons from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Paul and I were on the same intake at Sandhurst as non-graduates in early January 1986.
So as the population listen and watch the media flooding us with the latest news on coronavirus COVID-19, they have become scared, frightened, resulting in panic buying of pasta, tinned tomatoes, paracetamol pills, flour, biscuits, and of course Loo Paper.
But are these items really going to prepare the human body for the potential fight that is fast approaching?
I think not. Fail to prepare your body, then prepare for your body to fail you. It is about ‘stacking the odds in your favour’ to win this battle. Sadly, loo paper is not going to do that.
I have been asked by quite a few people what am I doing to ready myself for this potential fight that my body will have to endure.
So what am I doing or taking?
Making good decisions when times are stressful
A lot of my work is about showing individuals and teams on how to make good decisions. When I look back at the history of data, there is a consistent factor that lets people down - low self-regard and low self-care. It is now the time to focus on yourself, your health and your body. I want to help you make some good decisions for your own wellness.
Start with the Power of the Mind
Be Positive - Eradicate negative thoughts and try not to make negative comments. Electromagnetic fields are generated by thoughts and emotions, and since proteins are altered by electromagnetic fields, this means your genes can be turned on and off by those same fields. Your thoughts control your gene activity. Harnessing your positive thoughts could well be more effective than any pharmaceutical or supplement.
This potential fight that your whole body needs to prepare for is about functional wellness. As Plato said, “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” Increasing overall wellness will allow you to make high-quality decisions and provide you with the best defence against coronavirus COVID-19.
So I am preparing my immune system as best I can by doing the following:
• Avoiding travelling and unnecessary meetings
• Careful Hand Washing
• Avoiding touching my face, mouth and nose
• Avoiding crowded areas
The BASIC FOUR
These are the Basic Four factors that are going to provide a strong base from which you can perform better in your daily lives but also against coronavirus COVID-19.
• SLEEP – sleep and rest properly. Keep your body in tune with the Circadian rhythm of the day and night. Go to bed around 10 pm and rise with the sun. Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response. Chronic sleep loss even makes the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body's ability to respond. It is well worth reading Sleep by Nick Littlehales.
• MOVEMENT – get fit/stay fit and keep moving. Exercise helps the lymph. Your lymph system is one of two major circulatory systems in your body. Its primary role is to transport immune cells and dead cellular debris through the body to where they can be removed or recycled. Rebounding and vibration are excellent forms of exercise. Start to get fit and if you are middle-aged or older then focus on strength training rather than pounding miles on your poor knees.
• NUTRITION – Green and leafy vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale and spinach boost immune function by eliminating toxins from the liver. Healthy fats and amino acids found in foods such as avocado, soybeans, and almonds support a healthy adrenal function, a key component of overall immune health. As well as eating as much fresh produce as you can try and drink 2 litres a day of water. Your body and your lymph fluid need it. I use a Magnesium water filter jug. I am also keen on a capful of Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother), mixed in with a half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking powder) and a squirt of lemon juice.
• SUNLIGHT – Get some sunlight especially first thing in the morning. It makes you feel well and boosts your Vitamin D. Early morning sunlight kick starts your melatonin (which requires about 12 hours to fill its tanks) ready for 10pm when you want to sleep. 15 – 20 mins of sun exposure to as much skin as possible will work wonders to ward off illness. Interesting in the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918, it was noted that the soldiers that were treated outside (fresh air and sun) recovered the best.
• Cold Shower – Take a 5-minute shower and break it down into 10-second bursts of Hot and 20-seconds of Cold. I now do the last two minutes of my shower with just cold on, with a quick 15 seconds hot in the middle. Cold showers or a cold water swim reduces inflammation, burns brown fat and induces a hormone response, especially adrenaline. It has been shown to increase the number of white blood cells in your body and boost your immune system. A study in the journal PLoS One found that people who take cold showers are 29% less likely to call in sick for work or school.
• Earthing – Earthing/Grounding is standing with your bare feet on the ground. The human body soaks up the negatively charged electrons from the earth. Your cells are made of atoms. Atoms possess unique positive and negative charges that are based on the number of negative electrons and positive protons your carry. When you are exposed to negative irons, your body releases positive ions accumulated via cellular metabolism. The influx of free negative electrons from the earth also combats positively charged free radicals generated by inflammatory factors as they respond to injury, infection, trauma or stress. As grounding neutralizes free radicals, the immune response calms. Healing proceeds at a faster rate in the absence of destructive free radicals. When the body is deficient in negative electrons, cells and tissue are vulnerable to destruction, leading to free radicals, systemic inflammation, and chronic immune activation. This environment increases the risks for cancer, autoimmunity, infections, chronic pain conditions, and a general decline in health. If you are housebound or are not able to get outside because it is dark and cold then you can get an Earthing Mat. Research on Earthing.
• Intermittent Fasting – Intermittent fasting and other forms of calorie restriction are increasingly demonstrated to exert potential health benefits. Intermittent fasting lowers white blood cell counts, which triggers stem-cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells, which not only boosts your immunity but also plays a role in longevity. While this hasn't been tested on humans, a study on rats shows that intermittent fasting increased lifespan as well as slowed down the development of tumours. Although humans and rats are very different species, this research is worth noting. An excellent book to read is The Complete Guide to Fasting.
• Infrared or Steam Saunas or Infrared Sauna Blankets - Spending regular time in an infrared sauna or a blanket can also help boost the immune system. Infrared saunas raise core body temperature, helping to keep the immune system strong and in good working order. Spending time in an infrared sauna can help draw toxins out of the body, lower blood pressure and reduce stress. In general. viruses do not like hot temperatures and therefore are more prevalent in colder climates.
• Thieves Oil – This concoction comes from a tale in the 14th century when the bubonic plague was spreading through Europe and Asia, and four thieves were robbing dead bodies of their valuable possessions, yet the thieves never contracted the highly infectious plague. Eventually, they were caught, and in return for a reduced sentence, they revealed their secret. Each day they consumed a blend of medicinal herbs, specifically Cloves, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary. This blend has been proven to kills airborne bacteria, enhance the activity of white blood cells and increase lymph fluid circulation. Use a diffuser to burn it in the air.
• Red Light Photo Biomodulation – Red Light PBM is a natural, non-invasive therapy that delivers beneficial wavelengths of light to your skin and cells. It is very good at activating the lymph glands, which in turn boosts your immune system. It is also used instead of botox on the face, as it has no side effects or chemicals, and can reduce wrinkles and sun damage. The photons of red and near-infrared react with the mitochondria in your cells, where they stimulate the electrons during cellular respiration. It is also good for skin health, anti-aging, muscle recovery and repair. Contact me if you are interested in a treatment. Research on PBM.
• Body Alignment – when something is obstructing the organs and structures in the upper part of the chest – such as the spine or rib cage, it can prevent the lymph system from properly collecting and removing toxins. Body alignment will improve lymph flow and improve oxygen delivery to the cells. Book a treatment now.
Quercetin with Vitamin C – A flavonoid found in fruit and vegetables has unique biological properties that may improve mental/physical performance and reduce infection risk. This has been found to inhibit kappa b. Recent research points to a flavanol anti-oxidant, quercetin, as having therapeutic properties. Quercetin has been shown to reduce viral internalization and replication in vitro, and viral load, lung inflammation and airways hyper-responsiveness in vivo. There is a lot of talk and research about Vitamin C administered intravenously to fight virus infections. Research on Quercetin.
Vitamin D3 with K2 – The best source of Vitamin D is from unfiltered Sunlight, Mushrooms and Animal-based sources. Research suggests that animal-based sources of Vitamin D are about five times more effective that supplements.
Zinc – Research has shown that this supplement has been shown to work over and over again. Zinc modulates the cell-mediated immunity, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties Zinc lozenges are even better as they act differently. They release ionic zinc which is the key to its antiviral activity. Sucking on a lozenge slowly releases free ions into the pharyngeal region in the nasal cavity, which can have a greater effect on reducing respiratory and nasal symptoms.
Oil of Oregano – Research claims that Wild Oregano Oil (I take the capsules) can help reverse digestive complaints, boost the immune system, cleanse the body of fungi, yeasts, bacteria and viruses and protect against common illnesses. Over 1,000 research studies show the benefits of carvacrol – a main ingredient of oregano for fungal infections, parasites, viruses, inflammation, allergies, tumours, indigestion, candida and small intestine bacterial overgrowth.
Bone Broth – Fresh Bone Broth (or Stock as my mother would say) can boost your immune system. Add in some herbs, vegetables including mushrooms and you have a full immune meal. Remember Mama’s Chicken Soup! There is a South American proverb that claims “bone broth raises the dead”. Bone broth contains substances that are vital to the innate immune system such as amino acids arginine (immune and liver), glutamine (cellular metabolism) and glycine (aids glutathione production and improves sleep). The bone marrow in the broth contains lipids that are crucial for the production of white blood cells. They also control the growth of cancer cells. The chondroitin sulphate in bone broth has both anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory effects. Proceed with caution when choosing which broth to buy or failing that buy concentrate or make it.
Mushrooms – mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse, providing B vitamins and other bioactive molecules that fight harmful bacteria viruses and toxins. Many mushrooms are also immunomodulators that stimulate the immune system is defence mechanisms. Look for Cordyceps, Maitake and Shiitake or Four Sigma Foods Superfood 10 Mushroom Blend. The ‘king of medicinal mushrooms’ is Chaga.
Fermented Foods/Yoghurt/Probiotics/Kefir – It is estimated that three-quarters of your immune system resides in your gut and therefore looking after the gut microbiome is really important. Fermented foods contain critical bacteria that help your immune system. Problems come with age because diversity in the microbiome goes down.
Manuka Honey – with an MGO rating above 83 is the best, but otherwise, lozenges will suffice. Honey has so many enzymes that it is the only food that does not go bad. Manuka honey especially has been found to be effective against upper respiratory infections. Honey has potent antiviral properties and can speed recovery from viral infections. Methylglyoxal (MGO) is the primary anti-flu component of manuka honey. The higher the MGO, the better.
Propolis – Propolis is most potent of the immune-supporting compounds from the bees. It is literally the immune protection for the beehive. Studies on humans have shown that it has several applications in treating a host of diseases because of its antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiulcer, antimycotic, anticancer, and immunomodulatory properties.
So you can see there is a lot you can be doing apart from buying loo paper. These next few months are about ‘stacking the odds in your favour’. This is something that the military try and do all the time when they are going into hostile environments. They want to win and do not want to take casualties. Please do not become a casualty yourself.
Remember Fail to Prepare, then Prepare to Fail.
The author is not a licensed practitioner, doctor or medical professional and offers no medical diagnoses, treatments, suggestions or counselling. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Full medical clearance from a doctor should be obtained before beginning or modifying any diet, exercise or lifestyle programme.