POSTED IN WELLNESS APRIL 3, 2020 BY BEC CONFORTI
With all the heaviness that is going on in the world right now surrounding COVID-19, I have noticed the shift more than ever in people wanting to stay on top of their health and influence their loved ones to build stronger immunity...
So, I thought it would be the perfect time to share my favourite immunity boosting rituals that I have been practicing for many years. Like most people, I fall off the bandwagon (hello endless loco love chocolates and G & T cocktails), but right now I’m more motivated than ever and have a bit more time up my sleeve (thanks to self-isolating) to make all of these things part of my daily routine - and because I know they make me feel exceptionally good!
I should note that what works for me, may not be the right thing for you, but I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone, do your own research and try something new! You may end up finding something that makes you feel amazing, healthier and stronger.
Wim Hof Breathing
I discovered Wim Hof (aka The Iceman) a few years ago after watching his Vice Documentary (a must watch). He is a super-human who holds 16 world records at the age of 60. Wim’s philosophy is simple - breathing, mindfulness and ice baths. My husband also did a course with Wim himself a few years back and I’ve been doing his methods ever since. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I follow his breathing exercises via his App - this takes me around 20 minutes to do three rounds and afterwards I feel energised and ready to take on the day and my email inbox. The breathing exercises flood your body with oxygen and make your body alkaline, which helps improve your immune system. You can use a pH test before and after the breathing to see the difference - officially mind blown! After doing this method pretty religiously - I can now hold my breath after his breathing exercises for 6+ minutes (What?! I know!).
I’m sure most of you know the negative effects stress has on your immune system. I have a pretty full schedule most days with running my business and meditation is my life saver for stress! I love to take 20 minutes out of my day (doesn’t matter what time) to just sit and be still and meditate. It makes me feel calm, present, and just takes the edge off. My favourite apps I use for meditation are Insight Timer and Headspace.
Moving my body every day is a must for my wellbeing. I’ve learnt to listen to my body and just roll with what I’m feeling on the day. I used to put so much pressure on myself with intense workouts every day, which lead me to exhaustion. I now mix it up and don’t feel guilty if I just feel like a gentle stretch session. My favourite type of movement is an early morning walk with my dog listening to an inspiring podcast or a mix of reformer or mat pilates or a HIIT training class. Now in self-isolation is the perfect time to join an at-home workout you’ve been wanting to try. My favourite at home workouts at the moment are: The Body Method, Hustl., Sweat and Fluidform Pilates.
Acupuncture is another one of my non negotiables. If I get sick or have any imbalances, my acupuncturist - Andre Artmann is on my speed dial. I make the time in my schedule at least every fortnight to get an acupuncture session. It helps to keep my body in balance and reduces my stress levels, balances my hormones and keeps my immune system strong. My acupuncturist uses the Japanese method (Japanese needles are so fine, compared to Chinese needles which I love). I’ve also started to do Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture, which is a natural alternative to Botox (seperate post coming on this).
I feel like this could be one of the most underestimated things that we could all do. These days everyone is so busy and eats on the go, whilst mindlessly scrolling The Gram. I’m a culprit myself, even though I know how important it is to sit down and chew your food slowly with no distractions. While I have more time at home, I’m going to make a habit of sitting, taking a deep breath, chewing properly and enjoying every bite of my food. Doing this will help you absorb more nutrients and give you better digestion (goodbye bloating!).
Supplements can be a good way to get a boost of added nutrients to your body and build immunity, on top of eating well. I take a range of supplements because I have had thorough testing with an alternative doctor and know what my body is lacking in due to genetics. I take Zinc, B Vitamins, Iron, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Vitamin C and Folate which are all amazing for your immune system, but I would recommend getting testing by a professional first to see what you’re lacking in. Laying in the sun with a cup of lemon water to get some extra Vitamin D and C could definitely not go astray right now though! I also take a few supplements (from Prae of course) to add in some extra nutrients and to support my gut, because 70% of your immune system resides in the gut. My go-to products right now are The Beauty Chef's Gut Primer, Glow Inner Beauty Powder, Body Inner Beauty Powder and Welleco's Super Elixir Greens Powder! I’ve also just recently introduced The Beauty Chef's Well Spray for an extra immunity boost and I’m loving it!
Where do I even begin with Ayurveda? Ever since I found Ayurveda and geeked out for hours learning about it all I fell in love and the whole concept really resonated with me. Ayurveda is one of the oldest holistic medicines originating in India. The thing I love most about the Ayurvedic medicine is that it’s not a one size fits all approach (because I’m sure we can all agree, everyone is so different).
Ayurveda is based on three different body types which is called your dosha - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. And most people can be a combination of the two (I’m a Vata-Pitta). You can jump online and find a quiz, to figure out what you are and I’m sure it will make sense pretty quickly. I always wondered why my husband and I were SO different and what worked for him, never had the same effect on me and vice versa and after immersing myself in Ayurveda I understand why. He’s a Kapha (earth) which is very grounded and me being predominately Vata (air) - I’m much the opposite to grounded - so that’s why he can have 3 double shot long blacks in a morning and if I'm out of balance and just have a small latte - I’ve set myself up for a full blown panic attack! Based on your dosha, you will find what diet is right for you and this has really helped me throughout the years to feel good. Some Ayurveda rituals that I love and do regularly are: Tongue Scraping - Using a copper tongue scraper first thing in the morning upon waking is something I do every morning without fail. This removes bacteria and toxins that accumulate overnight and improves overall health.
Abhyanga - is a daily self-oil massage that I do regularly. It restores the balance of the doshas and enhances overall well-being. It is especially grounding and relaxing for my specific dosha, but everyone can benefit from doing it. I love to set the scene by lighting a candle and doing this before my shower in the evening. I usually have the BEST sleep afterwards, and did I mention I wake up with the smoothest skin. I use The Ayu’s Vata Body Oil, it's so beautiful, luxurious and smells divine, but you can also just use sesame or coconut oil.
Infrared Sauna - if accessible
I’m lucky enough to own an infrared sauna and if you can go to one - I would highly recommend. Infrared saunas heat your body instead of the air like traditional saunas. Infrared saunas are known to help to detox heavy metals, improve skin, increase circulation and boost the immune system. Nimbus & Co in Byron Bay is a fav of mine to visit while I’m in the area for a good old sweat sesh!
I hope you enjoy these rituals that I am finding comfort in especially in this crazy time and hope they might even sneak into your daily routines. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below if you tried any of them or share your favourite rituals with me!
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