5 min|Dr. Eric Posen
Insights and Inspiration: A Heartfelt Message from Dr. Eric PosenClinic Updates, Wellness, Mind Health, Education
Embracing Wellness in Challenging Times
As we are all in a new world that is defined by a global threat and challenge, I wanted to reach out. This time, which is so unique for the majority of us, is making me wonder about the impact of social and physical distancing. I would also like to share my thoughts, offer some lifestyle tips and an invitation to you all.
This pandemic has required us to close our clinic and to shift away from what has been, the cornerstone of our Naturopathic practice and that is: one-on-one physical contact.
As human touch is the first nutrient that we receive when we are born, to now be denied that contact is a profound and eviscerating withdrawal from a fundamental need. What can arise are all the signs of a state of unease: bewilderment, anxiety, feeling untethered and abandoned. These are physical and emotional feelings that are beyond our sense of control as they are responses rooted in our primordial will to survive.
We are all now having the experience of walking down a sparsely populated street and when we encounter other human beings we see and feel that they are a potential threat to our survival as we are to them. This is counter intuitive to how we have lived up to this moment. Seeing every interaction with another as being fraught with threat will inherently fortify a feeling of defence and need to arm oneself. I see this as an insidious nascence of anthropophobia, which is the fear of people and probably more damaging than the virus itself.
There is the reality of what we are going through which requires information and considered action. But, there is also a more subconscious response, that is triggering a whole panoply of chemical messengers and endocrine stimulants that time and again put us in a state of hyper awareness. If this is protracted, it will leave us exhausted and more vulnerable.
In other words, being aware is one thing but feeling constantly frightened and anxious is unsustainable and ultimately even more isolating.
There is only one answer to this, which is the acknowledgement that we are all experiencing a shared burden, a shared response and ultimately a shared recovery. We are all experiencing the common reality of this pandemic and we must all muster a common perspective that we are in this together. We have already established the bonds that have connected us up to this point and now is the time to nourish them. As simplistic as it sounds, love, mutual respect and concern are the most formidable medicines that we can dose ourselves and those in our communities with at this time.
What We Can Do
1. As always we must maintain the physical preventatives of this time such as hand washing, social distancing, post travel or symptom based isolation, reduction of facial touching. Read more
2. Include daily servings of colourful vegetables and fruits
3. Cut out refined sugar as even a small amount can decrease your body’s white blood cells response to pathogens for several hours after consumption. If you can’t help yourself and must have something sweet, have a small amount after exercise as there is some evidence that it will replenish that which is lost through the exercise and will sensitize the cells to insulin which is a good thing. In this case dried fruit might be an option.
4. Daily exercise is critical and should be related to what you are capable of and what you have or have not been doing.
5. Don’t forget to hydrate throughout the day and do your best to have a nourishing sleep.
6. Managing your physical and emotional response to the stress of all of this, as discussed above is just as critical as foods and exercise. As the ubiquitous triggers of what we are dealing with will impact our immune system’s ability to adequately respond so too must our response in letting this move through us and not take up a permanent residence.
The most science based protocols to help with this are based in mindfulness meditation. A simple, short and easy entry into this is a free daily mediation at noon (PDST) Monday to Friday at TEN PERCENT
7. And to go back to what I spoke of at the beginning of the article, I would encourage you all to consider touching those of you who you either live with or know in your community by connecting without physically touching. I found the following, as a quite profound attempt to encourage and create intimacy when, as in this case, physical contact is a challenge.
Adapted from the work of Steven Lake the following actions are:
- The Look
- The Smile
- The Listen
- The Voice
- The Deed
- The Gift
- The Appreciation
- The Attention
- The Share
- The Time
These are all either self explanatory or at least offer a creative impetus to figure out how you can accomplish the action. Let your imagination run wild within the constraints that we all have.