In 1918, the Spanish flu pandemic threatened the world population which was at about 1.8 billion people. 500 million people (about 1/3 of the population at the time) were infected.
Mass graves had to be dug around the world as a result. Since then it seems we have been living in a state of fear and on high alert, for not IF but WHEN the next deadly mutated virus will hit again.
The fear is even propagated and heightened because of our fixation; as evidenced in all the TV shows and movies about pandemics and zombie holocausts, like Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Contagion, and AMC’s The Walking Dead.
There have always been accounts of flu outbreaks. Remember SARS, the plagues of leprosy that stained faces, and those vanishing populations like the legendary Spanish flu of 1918?
The Spanish flu was the perfect example of what happens when a mutated virus meets malnourished, stressed, injured and inflamed soldiers, who jumped on boats at the end of the war to get home, and brought with them more than big hugs for their family – they brought the virus back to their homeland.
These soldiers lived in less than sanitary conditions. Food options were limited to those that lined an aluminum can or those that were dried, requiring the simple addition of water (if you could find water, that is).
With limited hydration and good quality food the body suffers, plus add insult to injury of the severe mental stress that accompanies war-torn locations and PTSD, that many soldiers suffer from. I’m sure that not much can compare to living through that. Their physical bodies were wounded, inflamed and tossing and turning in their sleep.
In essence, they were the perfect debilitate jalopy, the very best vehicle to propagate this deadly virus around the world.
At home, many countries were ravaged by war, and once again, we see malnourished mothers and children who were stressed out and overworked. Trying to make ends meet and manage a household; the perfect receptacle to welcome the gift from their loved ones returning from war.
Likely to Get Sick | Conducive Conditions for Disease
What conditions are ideal for diseases like influenza to flourish in? Think of it this way; our body is no different than a garden, or an ecosystem.
This is contrary to popular belief where many define the body as a machine. A machine can get pieces taken out of it. An ecosystem cannot; when one aspect is ripped out, it can be devastating to the entire system.
There is one thing that is notorious for throwing off the beautiful balance in the ecosystem of our body. This one thing is STRESS, and in our bodies, this causes the “dis” in dis-ease.
Here are a few of the many possible types of stress:
- Digestive stress
- Nutrient deficiency stress
- Inflammatory and immune stress
- Mental and emotional stress
- Microbial stress
The list goes on and on…
We know that when we are weak and devitalized from repetitive, non-ceasing stress we are more prone to sickness. This is why influenza typically affects elderly populations, children and those with “dis-ease” or immune-compromised conditions more often.
Notice the spelling of “dis-ease”.
The meaning of the prefix ‘dis’ is a body or system that is not in balance.
This is the same as a garden. One that lacks proper nutrients in the soil, adequate sunlight, water, or love messages won’t grow and is likely to develop infestations and disease.
It only makes sense that the Spanish flu reached such staggering proportions and infected 1/3 of the world’s population at the time.
The true epidemic, in my opinion, may not have been one of the virus, but rather the overall state of health of the population of the world at the time.
How about them apples? They should have been eating more!…
It was World War I, after all. Living in that time would mean constantly feeling an inner sensation of imbalance, that the ‘dis’ could come upon us at any time, and stress became programmed into the makeup of our bodies. Stress was the norm, not the exception as it should be.
Why We Focus On The Bug
You may be familiar with Louis Pasteur, who in the 1800s popularized the idea of The Germ Theory and made it mainstream. The bug (virus, bacteria, yeast, parasite, etc), became the enemy to attack. Kill it and life is good. It was widely accepted as the main tenet that permeates medicine to this day; including in cancer treatments with the bug being our own tissues.
But what most aren’t privy to, is that at the same time, Claude Bernard was promoting and proving the terrain theory, or physical vitalism. He postulated that the body is an ecosystem and that an ecosystem in health, has a vital force and can beat all disease1.
The difference, it was said, was that Pasteur had friends in high places that moved his philosophy forward. These have served us well, as we have learned an incredible amount about the bug and how it affects an unhealthy body. On the other hand, vitalism went backstage once Bernard was out of the picture.
However, there is hearsay that Pasteur, on his deathbed, recanted his theory and said: “Bernard was right, it’s not about the bug, it’s the terrain”.
Why We Should Focus on Terrain, Vital Force, and Physical Vitalism of The Body
The ancient doctors of the past, Hippocrates, Galen, and Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors always searched for ways to support the system as a whole. They focused on the foundation, the pillars that would create health.
This is the mechanism of wellbeing, of positioning for success in spite of what is going on around you.
You really can’t control what is happening around you but one thing is for sure, you can control what you do.
A healthy, well-balanced body with a solid foundation is in the right position to overcome anything that may come its way. This was the work that Bernard was so passionate about.
If you have ever seen a naturopathic doctor, functional medicine doctor, or any other holistic healer, this is the premise of their work.
A resilient, strong, balanced foundation in the body prevents all disease.
The reality is that it’s about both the bug and the terrain, and keeping them in balance.
Balance means we want a little bit of acute stress, not longterm constant stress as that becomes damaging, but a little goes a long way2, because it is actually protective, especially to the digestive tract and gut.
As Hippocrates stated:
“All disease begins in the gut”
How to Prevent the Flu (From a Functional Perspective)
Our goal then is to support the foundation, which begins in the gut. To keep the body and its foundation well supported every day so that it can be healthy.
Here I introduce to you The Original Cleanse. The formula used by the ancient doctors who knew the vital importance of making sure that a system can:
- Poop well
- Sleep well
- Cleanse well
- Bloat less and digest well
- Stress less and feel well
The simplest of functions and by far the most important is to feel better and be resilient against anything that comes its way.
The Original Cleanse is the combination of two ancient, powerful, time-honored practices; the castor oil pack and castor oil sleep mask routine.
The Doctors of the Past
Doctors of the past lived by this adage:
The doctor dresses the wound and God [nature] heals it.3
As such, they would use the simplest of therapies such as a compress in the areas that needed help, in order to invigorate the vital force within to heal! Just like you do with a bandaid for a boo-boo.
Why do you think it’s so natural to simply put a bandage on it, or wrap it up? It is literally instinctual to us that it will help us heal. This is why they call it The Original Cleanse. It’s part of our origin story. It is that which will help us regain faith in our healing.
The fact is wearing a compress, such as a castor oil pack, eye mask or bandage, stimulates the receptors of the skin that transfer information to the nervous system to put the body into the relaxed state.
The skin provides the ‘on’ switch to the relaxed state by promoting the hormone oxytocin4, which reduces cortisol (the stress hormone).
So the reason soldiers in World War I were so susceptible to the Spanish flu, was simply that wounds (whether an actual wound on the skin, emotional wound, or a misbalance in the immune system), don’t heal under stress5. It’s an impossibility. The system needs a calm, relaxed state that is flooded with oxytocin6 to heal.
Wounds occur when the “equilibrium between synthesis and degradation has been shifted toward degradation”7.
The Natural Law of Balance
The body follows a natural law of balance, otherwise, dis-ease predominates. The Original Cleanse works on setting up the foundation so there can be balance and no dis-ease. It is the simple practice of wearing a castor oil pack and eye mask with castor oil to bed every night.
My first experience with the castor oil pack was transformational, and later clinical experience with thousands of patients proved the same result. And it’s why I’m here telling everyone about them.
For my patients and I, the first thing The Original Cleanse did was bring back FAITH in our ability to heal and feel better. It helped us to believe that balance could be achieved again, despite many failed attempts.
Very appropriately, I use the acronym FAITH to describe the five main foundations of health that castor oil packs support, which help to prepare it for any bug that comes its way.
F: Function of the digestion, absorption, and elimination
Research demonstrates that castor oil enhances prostaglandins8, nitric oxide9 and stimulates capsaicin-sensitive sensory neurons10 in the presence of acute glucocorticoids (the hormones of stress), which actually has a protective effect on the gastric lining, thus improving its function.
Castor oil can enhance defensive mechanisms such as gastric acid as well as digestive enzymes, that serve as a barrier for bugs entering the body.
Castor oil packs have been shown to improve the frequency of elimination11, and via prostaglandin stimulation of smooth muscle and nitric oxide electrolyte shifting, reduces food sensitivities thus relieving the immune system.
A: Antioxidant support
Castor oil is a source of vitamin E, omega 6, omega 9, and the end result of what you get from fish oils12. It has also been shown to preserve levels of one of our most important antioxidants, glutathione13, which is required for detoxification in the liver. Wearing a castor oil pack over the liver supports circulation and flow to this area, allowing it to cleanse more efficiently.
I: Inflammation & Immunity
Inflammation must be reduced in the body to make space for healing. Castor oil is a strong anti-inflammatory14 and wearing a castor oil pack is an excellent way to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Castor oil packs have also been shown to support white blood cells of the immune system15 which protect our terrain from the bug.
Stress is another key factor that must be reduced in order for healing to take place. Castor oil packs create a gentle compression that helps to move the body into the parasympathetic state16 and that stimulates feel-good hormones like dopamine17 and oxytocin18. Wearing a sleep mask helps to further support the reduction of stress by improving sleep via melatonin production19.
H: Host Microbial Balance
As mentioned earlier, the terrain is just as important as the bug. Part of the terrain of the body is the trillions of bugs (microscopic bacteria), known as the microbiome. A healthy balance of good bugs and bad bugs is a key player in the balance of our digestion, hormones and immune system function. Castor oil packs support the microbiome by helping to breakdown biofilm created by bad bugs20 21 22.
The Original Cleanse for Physical Vitalism
The Original Cleanse is a nightly practice that only takes 2 minutes, and helps to strengthen and balance the terrain of our bodies so that they are prepared for the bug, should it come-a-knockin’.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Prepare your castor oil pack by applying 1-2 tbsp of oil in the center of the soft cotton side of the pack, then tie it onto the body over the liver.
Step 2: Pour a dollop of castor oil into the palm of your hand. Use an applicator brush to apply castor oil to eyelashes and eyebrows, then dab the remaining oil into the delicate skin around the eyes. Cover with the eye mask and go to sleep.
That’s it! The Original Cleanse revitalizes, strengthens and balances your body as you sleep.
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