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Since it is now June I can officially say that I have reached a new milestone in my overall health: I have not had one upper respiratory infection for an entire year. Zero. Nada. Zip.
This is a huge event in my life since just a few years ago I suffered from chronic sinusitis and frequent sinus infections. Every single cold (and there were many) ended up in a sinus infection. At about the time I started the BTD I also purchased the book “Sinus Survival” by Robert S. Ivker. Dr. Ivker is a D.O. and part of the American Holistic Medical Association. In his book, Dr. Ivker relates his own struggles with chronic sinusitis and how he healed his sick sinuses. And as of the writing of the book, he had been free from chronic sinusitis for almost 8 years and for almost 5 years had not had one cold. When I first read that information I thought to myself , “That will never be me. Never.” And now here I am on that same path; I can’t remember when I last had a sinus infection and its been at least a year since I had my last cold. I began to reflect on the past year to see if there were any significant lifestyle changes that could have played a factor.
Some background information: I live in a geographical region where it is difficult to have healthy sinuses. We have what is known as an ‘inversion season’ during the winter months where warm air aloft traps colder air and pollutants close to the earth. My city also uses coal for its energy source which creates a higher level of particulate matter in the air. And I live in an arid or semiarid climate that makes for very dry air to breathe. It is no wonder that sinus infections are the number one reason for seeing a doctor out here.
Certainly, following the BTD has played a crucial role in my overall immune system health, but what else? I do use a saline nasal spray and occasionally nasal irrigation to keep those mucous membranes healthy. And we have a hydrometer to measure humidity levels in our house. But I have been doing that stuff for years. There are only a couple of things that I did differently, but I think they are keys for me, and perhaps other B’s as well.
Firstly, I started following more closely the exercise recommendations for type B’s, which for me meant letting go of some of my strength training beliefs. When I trained for 4 days a week, for an hour to an hour and a half a session, I was too exhausted to do anything else. I feel much better at 3 times per week for about 40 minutes a session. And I also increased the cardio and exercised with others which played a significant factor in “mood control”; I just feel happier when I exercise with others.
Next, I rested. A lot. It was a priority. I did not allow myself to get overtired. On those rare occasions when I did recognize I was doing too much, I dropped everything and hit the bed. If I knew in advance that a stressful week was coming up, I would get extra rest in preparation.
But lastly, and most importantly, I challenged myself in ways that I hadn’t before, taking on new tasks, trying on new roles out in the world and, in a sense, reinventing myself. One such example is participating in this blog project. I submitted my application on a whim, and afterwards thought “What am I doing, I don’t journal, I can’t write!” I can sing, I can dance, I can do the hokey pokey, but I always viewed myself as a non-writer. And then it hit me, I needed to challenge that long held belief.
Sooooo... here I am. Challenging that belief with every blog I write. I know that not only nurturing the creative part, but also stretching my self concept in new and exciting ways is vital to my overall health and wellness. I bet it is for you too.
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