immune system

Staying Well in Unsettling Times

Fear is raging in our world like we’ve never seen before. These are uncharted waters for almost everyone. So, what can we do to stay healthy and sane in this most challenging time? Self-care has never been more important. Here are some tips:

  • Sleep! It is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and well-being. It enables our body to repair and be fit and ready for another day. Statistics show that most adults need 7 or 8 hours to be at the top of their game. A good night’s sleep should leave you revitalized and ready to go in the morning without the need for stimulants to kick start your day.
  • Avoid foods that weaken the immune system. There’s a delicate balance between our state of mind and the functioning of our natural defenses. This is an especially important time to eat “high octane fuels” to maximize our health. Lean toward the purchase of nutrient dense foods – fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and mostly plants vs. fatty and highly processed packaged foods laced with sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
  • Stay hydrated. We want to flush toxins including bacteria and viruses into our digestive tract. For that water, not soda or alcohol, is vitally important. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells and are crucial to staying healthy and maintaining every system of the body including digestion and elimination. Sipping water throughout the day is more beneficial than drinking large amounts periodically.
  • While what we eat and drink makes a difference. According the oldest known health science, Ayurveda, what’s equally important is how we eat and when we eat. A positive development coming from this scary time of isolation and social distancing is that more people are eating home-cooked meals with their families. Eating in a settled environment aids digestion and health. Consider the difference between eating a leisurely lunch or dinner with the family vs. gobbling down a burger or candy bars as you drive to your next appointment.
  • Try your best to get adequate exercise, movement – especially if you can get outdoors in nature. I walk for at least 20 minutes each day, and on most days do 15 – 20 minutes of yoga. You don’t have to pump iron in order to benefit from exercise. If you enjoy exercising, you are more likely to do it! In the last few weeks, I’m enjoying watching parents playing outdoors with their children.
  • And finally, a catalyst or complement for all these wellness approaches is the practice of Effortless Meditation. It is an antidote for health enemy #1, stress. During this time, we can all benefit from more peace in our life. I know of no better way to do that than with a regular meditation practice.

In this most unsettling time, we need to be gentle and treat ourselves well. Millions watch and read COVID-19 news on their TV, computer or on your cell phone way too much. During this our heart and respiration rates rise, our muscles tighten, stress hormones spike, and our immune systems take a hit. We become the news!

Relax. A meditation client said his meditation is a mini vacation that he takes every day. To be healthy, we need balance in our lives so meditate to enliven the peace and joy of your core self. We suggest 15 – 20 minutes twice a day for maximum benefits, however 5 minutes is much better than nothing.

We will get through this, and when we do, we will have hopefully learned some big lessons – one of those is the importance of self-care, and how to effectively do it. Be well.

Greg Schweitzer, MBA, D.Ay

Wellness Coach, Meditation Teacher, Speaker

Learn more about Effortless Meditation™ 

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

By Greg Schweitzer

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress. Under chronic stress and relentless pressure, the fight or flight response is activated. You can see it everywhere. Drive thru a yellow light today and probably 3 cars are following behind.  Look to your right or left, drivers are on cell phones.  Most of us know that studies have proven that multi-tasking while driving at high speeds is fraught with unnecessary risk and danger.  Why do we live this way?  Is our priority to live fast or to live well? We need to heal our brains if we want a better quality of life.  A healthy brain creates a solid foundation for life.  So, how do we create a healthy brain?

The ancient traditions say the way to heal the brain is with:

  • Stillness
  • Daily experience of a quiet mind, if only for minutes

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle, but the restful alertness it produces can reduce stress, anxiety, and develop inner peace.  This restful alertness means that while the body is gaining deep rest and inner peace, the mind experiences quieter and quieter levels of thought. This can lead to a strong immune system that in turn will lower not only the risk of allergy suffering, but many other unwanted conditions.

Daily meditation practice benefits include:

  • Deep healing and rejuvenating zest
  • Release of stress and fatigue, more energy
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved memory, creativity and focus
  • Relief from headaches and pain
  • Stronger immune system, less illness and better sleep
  • Better moods and increased happiness
  • Mental clarity and peace of mind
  • Enhanced self-esteem and emotional stability

The message of well−being through training to heal the brain and mind with meditation, is resonating with people everywhere.

Join our Effortless Meditation™ class that is offered 4 times each month at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.. Call 610-3953355 for more information.

Greg has been teaching Effortless Meditation for more than 30 years.

 

Meditation, a Stress Relief Strategy to Ease Allergy Symptoms

Do daily pressures make your allergies spike?

 Anyone with allergy symptoms knows about chronic stress. Common allergy symptoms include: difficult breathing, poor sleep, fatigue, and problems concentrating. While medications may help, they may produce side effects such as: changes in appetite, low energy, or irritability.  All these symptoms are stressful in themselves.

There’s the catch-22, when you’re stressed out, your body releases the hormone cortisol and other chemicals including histamine, a powerful chemical that leads to allergy symptoms – a runny nose, sneezing, etc. So while stress doesn’t cause allergies, it makes an allergic reaction worse. 

Allergy symptoms are said to be an overreaction by the immune system to otherwise harmless substances. Under stress, our immune systems are compromised; they do not function as designed. Our immune systems are not responding appropriately.  A psychologist said that “stress makes us stupid.”  It seems that stress has the same effect on our immune system.

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to deduce that the level of stress in the world is increasing.  Drive through a yellow light today, and there’s probably 4 cars following you.  Look to your left and right and you will see the driver next to you talking on their cell phone.  And yet, most of us have heard that multitasking while driving is fraught with risks.  Is our priority to live fast or live well?

Here’s some evidence of how we are doing.  In the 1960’s, an estimated 1 in 10 people reported some form of allergy and now up to 1 in 3 suffer from allergies of some kind.  To say something is amiss, is an understatement.  Clearly we need to do better in the way we handle stress if we want relief from allergies.

To reduce stress, making the following lifestyle adjustments will work wonders.  Getting plenty of sleep each night will help us restore balance and heal our allergic bodies.  Making time for some regular exercise is a key to reducing stress and building a strong immune system.  Even during a short walk, your body will release epinephrine which acts as a natural decongestant, helping you breathe easier.

Finally, neuroscientists on the forefront of healthy aging research are telling us that we need to create a healthy brain in order to enhance the quality of our life.  In that regard, the above lifestyle strategies are important.  However, nothing is more important for your healthy lifestyle than relaxation and bringing peace to our brains.  We need to restore ourselves from the frantic pace of modern life.  And, there’s good news.  For over 40 years, scientists having been researching the influence of meditation and the results are conclusive. 

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion or philosophy.  One physician described his meditation practice as a mini-vacation, and then happily declared that he now vacations every day!  This practice restores us and keeps us healthy.  Allergies and many other ailments often disappear for those that meditate regularly; and at the very least, they become much more manageable, less stressful.

Greg Schweitzer, a meditation teacher for more than 35 years, teaches at Twin Ponds Center Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.

The daily practice of meditation is shown to lift anxiety and depression, restore balance and strength to our immune system, increase energy, improve breathing, reduce stress and so much more.  The scientific evidence is undeniable, people who meditate regularly live longer and healthier lives.