Mammoth Health

The Power of Convalescence

convalescenceThere are a myriad of really nasty bugs around at the moment that seem to be lingering in the form of post-viral coughs, colds, lowered mood, energy and vitality.

The message we keep hearing in-store goes something like this… “I need something that works fast because I have this deadline; I can’t take time off work; I can’t be sick…”

My concern is that what we are seeing is a direct reflection of a driven, unbalanced culture that allows no time for illness.  Our society expects performance and results and advocates ‘quick fixes’. The problem with these however is that they mask symptoms and can drive illness deeper and thus have the potential to manifest in more serious illness.

Believe or not the Collins Dictionary still has the word “convalescence” in it and describes its meaning as,

“the period of time during which you recover after being ill”, or “the process of recovering”

I am surprised the term still exists because our society seems to advocate the opposite. I think we are conditioned to ‘push-through’ illness. We grab quick-fixes, that actually only mask symptoms, so we can get on with the things we want to do, or think we need to do.

Did you know that Australia is one of the nations that work the longest hours in the world? The relaxed image of the easy-going Aussie would seem a thing of the past. The pressure we feel from our workplace or family or most importantly ourselves has us continually ‘soldiering-on’  We see ourselves as invincible and that any illness is either a weakness or a nuisance that needs to be dealt with quickly so we can get on with the important things in our lives.

And as a result we do not allow any time to be sick and we don’t take the time to rebalance and recover from our illnesses.  However the long-term ramifications of quick fixes can be seriously detrimental.

 So Why Is Convalescence So Important

There are germs everywhere and we are exposed to them every day.  Because our immune systems generally work efficiently we do not always ‘catch’ these bugs.  However there are factors that do affect our immune system:

• added stress in the form of pollutants, food additives and preservatives,

• alcohol and drugs,

• pressure from relationships or work demands and

• a general lack of ‘balance’ in our lives.

• poor food choices,

• lack of exercise and sleep,

• lack of relaxation or down-time also put stress on our immune system.

Once our immune system is compromised we become susceptible to picking up one of the ever-present bugs or viruses.  Societal pressure will have us grabbing the nearest ‘quick-fix’ so we can ‘soldier on’ and push through the illness. The problem is we haven’t addressed any of the factors that lowered our immunity in the first place and we run the risk of driving the illness deeper into our body.  This may manifest initially in a post-viral cough or lethargy.

We Often Hear In-Store, ‘I Just Can’t Seem To Get Over This Bug”

In recent years I have seen more and more illnesses that haven’t been properly resolved initially,  turn into much more serious conditions which become chronic and severely compromise health and lifestyle.  These diseases are life changing and often the medical fraternity has no fix for them.

When we get ill it’s our body telling us that we are out of balance. If we don’t listen to our body it has an uncanny knack of sending the message a little louder.

I’ll give you an example of a scenario we dealt with recently.

This person works in Melbourne and her job requires lots of travel, not only to and from Melbourne but also interstate.  It requires long hours with lots of evening meetings on top of travelling time.  Needless to say life balance is very challenging for her.

It started with a cough and a headache.  She addressed this with some immune stimulating herbs but her job took her to Queensland for a week of “full-on” travel and meetings. 

She then developed a cold sore (her sure sign of a compromised immune system – her body was telling her she was out of balance). 

Of course on the weekend she had social commitments she had to attend to, so the opportunity for rest was not taken.  She was still taking immune supplements but her body also needed rest so it could fight the bug.
By Monday her symptoms became very serious and she was diagnosed with full blown influenza. Because she didn’t listen to her body’s first warning signs it sent her louder and louder signals. It has a habit of doing that until we are forced to listen to it – usually in a form of such debilitation that we can’t get off the couch. 
However what is really important now is that if she doesn’t take time to convalesce (allow the body enough rest to completely resolve the illness) it may be driven deeper into the body and manifest in a much more serious post viral and chronic problem.

Unfortunately our culture has trivialized illness and its recovery time and sees it as weakness. We have allowed no time in our hectic lives to accommodate illness. And because of this culture we are seeing more and more people who are suffering from chronic conditions.  Their lives have dramatically changed but these people can become very powerful teachers – if we want to learn from them. They have been forced to listen to their bodies, forced to feed it well and forced to live balanced lives.  Now after recognizing this need they are leading a very rich lives where they know that you can never take your health for granted. It’s like the old adage; ‘you don’t know what you are missing until it is gone’

My Treatment Advice

1.Use Immune Stimulating Herbs such as Andrographis, Echinacea, Olive leaf, Reishi mushroom complex, Vitamin C and Zinc supplement to help your immune system to fight the virus. Viruses can’t be killed like bacterial infections. So you need to boost your immune defenses which puts them in an unfavourable  environment so they won’t thrive.

2. If you find the virus is lingering and you’re not regaining full health and vitality use Immune Tonic herbs such as Astragalus, Mushroom Complex, a good Probiotic, Vitamin C and Zinc

3. Convalesce: – give yourself permission to allow your body time to fight the virus.  Nobody likes to just hang around on the couch all day (we need to resist the feeling that we are wasting time), but rest is the secret to restoring health and vitality.

4. Always address the cause of any illness. Whether it be poor food choices, lack of exercise, too much stress, not enough sleep or an overall unbalanced lifestyle, identifying the cause of your illness will empower you to make choices to live a life of health and vitality.

Because It’s Not A Rehearsal
Live Better

© 2013 Live Better Naturally Pty Ltd

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