Ingham Daily Press

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Spotlight on natural health: Making holistic health a priority in 2022

WITH COVID-19 now in our community and a reality for many there’s never been a more important time to focus on our health in a more a holistic way. So, what does that look like? Where do we start?

Local Naturopath and Health Coach, Donna (Fichera) Warr from Mind Body Love has a passion for helping people reclaim their health, energy, and zest for life through alternative and holistic health approaches.

With many years’ experience in the health and wellness industry, Donna says that now more than ever, is the time for everyone to make good health a priority and it starts with our immune system.

“Our body is equipped with its own immune system which is intricate and complex. It’s our first line of defence. If we are healthy, it will offer us added protection,” she says.

“Having a healthy immune system may not stop you from getting COVID, but it can reduce the impact of the virus and help speed up the recovery process as well. Your immune system is a pretty amazing system and there are so many things that you can do to make sure it is working well.”

Donna says whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, have an existing health condition or not there are practical steps we can all take to improve our state of health and immunity, including cleaning up our diets, moving our bodies, getting quality sleep, reducing stress and adding in supplements.

“Herbal and nutritional supplementation is a beautiful way to support your body and immune system to optimal health,” Donna says.

“Nature has provided a number of natural therapies and resources that are gentle and effective taken regularly, during illness and bringing the body back into health after illness has struck.”

Donna says that at the onset of COVID symptoms the use of vitamin and mineral supplementation can have a big impact on reducing severity of illness.

“Vitamin D, C, zinc, quercetin, curcumin, black cumin seed and andrographis are all powerful natural remedies for immunity and inflammation. Getting in early, at the first sign of symptoms will have the biggest affect.

“When it comes to COVID, different people are presenting with different symptoms, for example respiratory challenges, headaches, diarrhoea etc. There are a number of herbal preparations that can help to support your body with these issues,” she says.

“In this instance, the focus needs to be split equally between supporting the immune system and reducing inflammation as much as addressing overall underlying health for the individual patient.”

Donna says if you have an underlying health condition or taking medications, it’s important to speak to a health practitioner before starting any supplements.

Along with supplementation, Donna explains, adding doses of garlic to meals, drinking bone broth and lemon, honey water throughout the day as well as gargling salty water can all help in reducing symptoms and aiding the immune system.

While diet and exercise are both important for good health, Donna stresses that mental health and wellbeing is just as important, especially during a time of heightened anxiety and fear in the community.

“Having good physical health and good immunity is also impacted by our mindsets, attitudes and emotional state.

“If we are panicked and living in fear, immersed in stress and overwhelmed, our wellbeing will be eroded,” Donna says.

“When there is uncertainty in our lives, it is easy to experience fear. This is exacerbated when we are in a vulnerable position. It’s also exacerbated by continuing to focus on those things that are uncertain and out of our control.

“The truth is that living in this fear will not help us move through this.”

But the dedicated health coach says, “now is the time to change gears” and encourages people to learn strategies to shift out of these negative states by reaching out to a wellness practitioner, calling a friend and taking whatever necessary steps to nurture strong emotional wellbeing.

Donna knows all too well from her own personal experience, what it’s like being trapped in the downward spiral of anxiety, depression and chronic health issues.

“I grew fed up with the mainstream medical approach of “a pill for every ill”, an approach that failed to improve my quality of life, so I finally decided to take back control of my health journey and embarked on years of research and learning to find my own answers,” she says.

Donna’s dedication to supporting others is borne from this personal experience, and is the reason she has made it her mission to help others on their health journey.

Born and bred in Ingham, Donna went on to study and travel the world before returning to Ingham almost 4 years ago with her young son and is now excited to be building relationships and working with Ingham locals to help them live their healthiest and happiest lives.

Through immersion in traditional natural medicine, herbal therapy, nutrition, positive psychology, NLP, and spirituality, Donna has inspired many with her holistic health framework that she has used with thousands of clients, with great success.

“It’s a time when we really need to come together as a community. This is not the time for bullying and segregation. It’s not the time for shunning others because of fear or for creating stigmas that lead people to secrecy and isolation. These are all damaging to every aspect of our wellbeing,” she says.

Donna warns of the damaging impacts of watching hours of bad news and spending too much time “stewing on all the negative possibilities and worst-case scenarios”.

“Limit the amount of time you spend on social media and watching news that has you immersed in the chaos of COVID. Sure, it’s good to know what’s happening, but immersing yourself in hours and hours of bad news is not good for the mind, body or soul,” she says.

“This is a time when we all should be taking conscious, positive action, checking on our neighbours, touching base with people who may be isolated and coming together as a community to ride this through.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Promo-Facebook-Facebook-feed-donna-819x1024.jpeg
Donna was a special guest speaker at the Women of Achievement event held at TYTO last year sharing about her passion to help women live a vibrant life of health, joy and vitality.

Donna shares seven helpful steps to help boost your immune system and improve your quality of life.

  1. Clean up your diet

So many people underestimate just how important diet is for health. It’s time to change the way we think about it. Our food is not just about taste and feeling full. It SHOULD provide us with all the nutrients our body (and our immune system) needs to work effectively.  Cut out sugar, junk/ processed and fried foods and reduce alcohol as these all stress our body, add additional toxic load that must be dealt with, and negatively impacts the immune system. Our white blood cells (our immune cells that fight infection) drop by about 50% for at least 5 hours after eating sugar. There’s a direct link.

Imagine owning a luxury car. You would make it a priority to use premium grade fuel to keep it running optimally. The same goes for our body. If you want good health and a strong immune system, then make it a priority to build a diet based on plenty of fruit and veggies, nuts and seeds, fish, lean protein, and good fats as these foods give us the vitamins, mineral and antioxidants the immune system needs for optimal functioning.

2. Move your body

Regular exercise can boost the immune system and strengthen the body. Just moving your body for 30 minutes three times a week can make a huge difference. Don’t get put off by having to do high impact exercise. Consider walking, riding a bike, or even going for a swim in this hot weather.

3. Get good quality sleep

Good quality sleep is also an important activity for good health. When we sleep, the body has the opportunity to rejuvenate, restore and heal itself. Different lifestyle choices, medications and stages of life can make good quality sleep seem like a luxury. Sleep challenges are definitely on the rise. If it’s a problem for you, then get some help. Good sleep hygiene, minimising the use of technology before bed, changing your diet, minimising alcohol and various herbal preparations can all benefit sleep.

4. Manage overall health

Over the last two years we have seen that those people who react worst to COVID often tend to be those with underlying health conditions. Inflammation is one of the factors that can exacerbate symptoms. If you are working with your doctor to manage an underlying health condition, this might be the time to think about broadening your support network and accessing help from additional practitioners who can help create a plan for address underlying lifestyle factors that could be problematic.

5. Add in some supplements

Just as we are all unique, our supplement regime should be tailored to that uniqueness too. Some of my favourite additions to support immunity include vitamin C and Zinc. Vitamin D is probably my favourite vitamin here. There has been some research linking severity of symptoms to insufficient vitamin D levels. It’s a powerful nutrient for immunity and inflammation. Even though we can get vitamin D from the sun, and there’s plenty of that here in North Queensland, many people are still actually vitamin D deficient. So, adding this to your daily routine is a great idea. Beyond that, consider adding a supplement formulation that address any other health issues that you may be experiencing, to provide improved overall protection.

6. Wash your hands

The way viruses and bacteria make their ways into our bodies, is often from hand to eyes/nose/ mouth. If we can prevent it from getting in, then we prevent the illness. Remember to wash your hands frequently with good old-fashioned soap and water.

7. Reduce stress

Focus more on those things that are in your control and doing things that make you feel good. This boosts your immune system and adds to quality of life.

Focus less on the things that are out of your control and the things that make you feel bad. This will tighten cortisol (the stress hormone) and erode your immunity and quality of life.

We know that there are actual physical steps we can all take to boost our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing during this time. Immersing yourself in those positive actions will help to keep you present and confident that you are doing something that is making a real difference.

Following this simple strategy will shift you into a positive emotional state. Whenever you catch yourself feeling stressed, anxious or fearful, reflect on what you are doing and then move yourself into thoughts and actions that will shift your energy.

Want to know more?…

Donna will be sharing more helpful holistic and alternative health advice as she comes on board as a regular contributor for all things health and wellness.

For more information and topics you would like discussed, contact Donna on 0448 149 944 or go to her website www.mindbodylove.com.au

Finding your mojo: Donna’s expertise lies with helping women overcome stubborn weight gain, cravings, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, burn out and the many uncomfortable issues that occur with hormonal change.
Donna has created a number of online resources, courses and e-books, including “Frazzled to Dazzled”, “The 8 Week Body Reset”, “Body Beautiful”, “30 Days to a New You” and “The Vibrant Life Project”.

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