Tips and Tools for Staying Healthy
There are a few obvious guidelines, like drink lots of water, get plenty of rest or sleep, and eat whole foods. Listen to your body when it is trying to tell you something! Most importantly, it is your number one job to keep yourself healthy and protect your instrument. Especially if you are rehearsing for a play, concert, or performance.
There are a few things you can do that will help your body withstand and fight off ‘germs’ if and when you come in contact with them.
- Take Vitamin D. Not just any Vitamin D. A high-quality supplement from Thorne Research. You might spend more, but you will receive much more benefit. My Naturopath recommends 5,000ius daily, more for people in northern climates. Why Vitamin D? According to Dr. Rick Marschall, ND, Vitamin D is actually a hormone produced by the body when it interacts with sunlight. It helps to regulate metabolism, neurotransmitters, and many other body systems. See if your mood doesn’t improve when you start taking it, too! Curious about your current blood levels of Vitamin D? You can get an inexpensive test-kit here: http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ and see how much Vitamin D your body will require to get your levels into the optimum range.
- Use Cleanwell thyme oil hand sanitizer, or Thieves oil hand soap or sanitizer. These natural oils are more effective at killing germs than rubbing alcohol, and smell better, too!
- Sleep when you’re tired, drink water when you’re thirsty, and listen to your body!
- Stay home if you’re feeling a little down, and start taking the supplements listed below!
- Boost your immune system with Arabinogalactins. We’re not talking about video games, here. These are essential sugars found in the Larch tree. You can get a powder, IAG, or capsule: ARA-Plus. This also has quercetin, a natural decongestant.
- Surround yourself with white-gold light every day.
- Use real mineral salt instead of ‘table salt’ – either sea salt, Himalayan salt, or another high quality type. I keep it in my purse in case I start to feel tired. Just a little pinch will pick me right back up.
If you know you’ve been exposed to the flu or a cold, take immediate action! Wash your hands and face with hot soapy water, and use the hand sanitizers mentioned above. Plan to get more sleep and drink more water. Start listening to the symptoms early, and take immediate action so that you can head off the infection before it takes root. Use the Sore Throat remedy below, as well.
- Take Garlic! Not just any garlic. Alli-Ultra. (buy locally at Natural Healing Clinic!) One capsule at first niggling sensation of swollen glands or scratchy throat and it will keep an infection from catching hold. Take one to three caps a day until the symptoms are gone. You might want to pair this with a high quality pro-biotic. No, you can’t just eat yogurt!
- Take Emergen-C packets (up to 4 a day) or other Vitamin C boosters.
- What about Echinacea and Goldenseal? They will help you in that pinch, but you can’t keep taking them all the time. Ask your body if they will help you this time.
- Use your powerful self! In your head, say, “Return to sender” whenever someone sneezes or coughs near you, or someone tries to tell you that ‘you will get…’ No, you do not have to.
As SOON as I feel not quite right, I take 1 each Alli-Ultra and ARA-Plus. I’ll keep taking it twice a day until I feel totally better. If the infection has gotten a hold, I do three times a day.
How do you know how much of something to take? Ask your body. Never asked your body before? Close your eyes and focus on your heart. Now, think of something that you absolutely know that you enjoy, that makes your body feel good. How does your heart feel now? Some people say lighter, some see a change in color, some people might feel a tingle. It’s your body. Make a note of that feeling. Good. Bring yourself back to neutral. Now, think of something that you hate, like Lima Beans or dirty socks. How does your heart feel now? Heavy? Black? Numb? Good. Make a note of that. Ask your body to go back to neutral. Get some practice with this, use it on what to wear, what to eat, etc.
What does this have to do with staying healthy? Well, it has to do with everything. Listening to your body is paramount to becoming the best singer you can be. Hold a bottle of pills in your hand. Does your heart feel heavy or light? If it’s light, it’s the right one for you. Then hold one capsule, then two… see how many your body says is the right number for you. (You should consult a physician before taking more than 5 of anything at a time.)
Another great thing to keep in your fridge is a jar with raw honey, a couple of lemon slices or wedges, and a couple of slices of ginger root. Stir it up so that the lemon and ginger can interact with the honey. Let it sit a while, then refrigerate. Then take a teaspoon straight, mixed in cool water, or stirred in hot water as a tea. You can also gargle this concoction to kill the bacteria that might be invading your throat. Use a clean spoon every time and keep it tightly sealed. You can keep adding raw honey and replace the lemon slices, or use it up and start fresh every month or so. If it starts to smell ‘off’ or taste a little funny, start over.
Another great throat remedy is to gargle warm salt water. Distilled water is best. Mix 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon sea salt. Gargle as much as you need to! Careful not to swallow!
My favorite lozenges are Thayer’s Slippery Elm. They come in a couple of flavors, and actually contain an herb that produces a protective film over the mucus membranes of the throat. Very important for singers! Beware of harsh brands that strip the mucus and cover you with sugar instead… Sugar only feeds the bacteria and viruses! Just Say No!
Where to Buy?
Many of these products are available at your local natural grocery, herbal apothecary, or you can shop online at The Embodied Singer Amazon Store . Note that shipping may apply, and some items ship from different vendors. I encourage you to shop locally when you can, and things like Raw Honey are best procured local to your region. Here are some sources local to our headquarters in Port Angeles and Sequim, Washington:
Country Aire Natural Foods, Downtown Port Angeles
Good To Go Natural Grocery, Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles
Sunny Farms Country Store, Highway 101, West of Sequim
Sunny Farms Supplement Store, Downtown Sequim
Natural Healing Clinic, off Highway 101, East of Port Angeles 457-1515
Nash’s Farm Store, Dungeness
Port Townsend Food Co-op, Port Townsend
I hope that these ideas will help you stay whole and healthy this winter. Keep yourself well. It’s your job to protect your instrument.
Jaie Arianna Livingstone
Creator, The Embodied Singer