I just got back from Miami, and while flying there last week I had the great honor of sitting next to a sick, pregnant woman. I spent the majority of the flight praying that if I had to contract anything, it would be the less permanent of the two afflictions. Then, on my flight home yesterday there were tons of folks wearing face masks, and someone responded to my Instagram ‘Ask me anything’ story question with: What are your top hygiene habits for staying germ free on the airplane?’
All of this got me thinking and I wanted to write to you to share my thoughts on the Coronavirus/COVID-19/the thing everyone is freaking out about but seems to actually know nothing about.
Speaking of, here are a few helpful links:
In true Capricorn/Enneagram 5/”I like to do my research” fashion, once I started seeing Coronavirus memes all over Instagram (this is the most accurate form of news reporting FYI) I immediately texted my friend who is an infectious disease specialist and works closely with the CDC. Here is what she wrote to me:
“So big picture, it’s gonna be ok. I do think there will be spread in the US soon, and it might start in CA. But I think it will basically look like a bad flu season, just in summer. So, you want to wash hands and stay away from sick people. It's not to be minimized, but it’s gonna be ok.”
Of course I was reading this text while sitting next to that sick, pregnant woman on the plane, but, it did give me some comfort knowing that I wouldn’t die.
I figured I’d share with you some science that could perhaps help you if/when you get any kind of unhappy symptoms. No, I’m not saying that I can cure Coronavirus or anything like that, but there are some other things you can try besides face masks and prayer. I actually shared this as a post exactly one month ago, but it bears repeating:
“Yes, this actually helps. It’s science.
Earlier this week I was stuffy as hell and feeling all types of pressure in my sinuses so I used some @rocktape and some nasal breathing to help things out while I slept.
I put the tape over where I was feeling the most pressure to provide some decompression. How? @rocktape, aka kinesiology tape, has stretch built into it, which means when you take it off the paper and put it on skin it wants to recoil back to center. In doing so it provides a biomechanical lifting effect to the tissue underneath and around…because it’s all attached. We’re not Mr. Potato Head.
Am I moving bones or holding joints in place? No. I’m simply lifting the tissue, providing information to the nervous system, and helping with fluid dynamics by providing decompression to the area. Peep the lymphatic system in that pic on the right.
As for the tape over my mouth, nasal breathing for the win. Nitric oxide is produced in the paranasal sinuses. Nitric oxide is an awesome vasodilator. Breathe through the nose, get more nitric oxide circulating, and if you add in some breath holds (while you’re awake…for the love 🤦🏽♂️) you keep that nitric oxide in the nasal cavity longer, theoretically dilating the nasal passages and helping to get rid of that stuffy feeling.
Additionally, mouth breathing (so gross) decreases your ability to filter the air you’re breathing, dries out your mouth which makes it a real nice place for bacteria to hang out, and can decrease the quality of your sleep (in addition to so many other things). So, yes, I tape my mouth to ensure nasal breathing.
I could talk about this stuff all day, but IG won’t let me, so come nerd out with me at my in-person course Moving with the Maestro and learn all the things. Heading to Vegas this week and Miami at the end of this month. Come get some palm trees in your life.
PS – Please don’t try this at home and then die. Use common sense.”
I’m actually using a bit more tape this time around, and putting it over the area just below my collar bones as well as right behind my ears, extending down to my neck. Basically I’m just looking to cover areas with lymph nodes and help them out a bit.
The Instagram account @OxygenAdvantage did a similarly-themed post yesterday, extolling the benefits of nasal breathing:
Nasal breathing helps to defend against the Coronavirus.
Yes, COVID-19’S mechanism is unknown. There are no studies showing that nose breathing will stop COVID-19. But there are many papers showing that Nitric Oxide helps defend against airborne viruses. Nitric Oxide is produced in large quantities in the nose and sinuses. This post is to draw attention to the functions of the nose to help defend against viruses.
It's logical and makes common sense to breathe through the nose.
As concern about the spread of Coronavirus (CoV) deepens, shops are selling out of protective face masks – despite advice that they may actually make us more vulnerable. The virus is spread in the same way as other flu-like illnesses, in airborne droplets of saliva or mucus, but masks do little to prevent infection and can give a false sense of security.
The good news is; each of us already has an inbuilt ability to filter air as it enters the body, simply by breathing through the nose rather than the mouth. Nasal breathing harnesses the gas nitric oxide (NO), which is produced in the paranasal sinuses. In 2005, scientists demonstrated that NO has an antiviral effect, specifically inhibiting the replication cycle of SARS CoV in the early stages of infection (Åkerström et al., 2005). The results of this research are consistent with a 1999 paper that describes the effects of NO on the growth of various pathogens, including viruses. NO is believed to be vital to the protective role of the white blood cells in killing certain microorganisms. The naturally high level of nitric oxide in the nasal airways supports the theory that the gas acts as the body’s first line of defense against infection (Lundberg and Weitzberg, 1999). You can read more about the incredible health benefits of nasal breathing at https://buteykoclinic.com/”
So, what the heck am I trying to say with all of this:
Alrighty. Long email, I know, but hopefully you found it helpful. Thanks for reading along. Now go wash your hands. That phone/keyboard/mouse is filthy.