I hope everyone is doing well under these difficult times amid the Corona Virus. I have tried to keep-up with the news and reports about the virus and found some interesting history on the Spanish Flu, which happens to date back to the time of the Destiny’s War series during World War I.
History is doomed to repeat itself, so it is sometimes worthwhile to take a look back to see what they did right and wrong.
The East cost of the United States saw some of the worst outbreaks, as soldiers and sailors returned from Europe. A medical officer in Boston noticed the worst cases among sailors were those who had been in bad ventilated spaces, most likely below decks aboard ship.
The medical officer decided the sailors needed fresh air and moved the sick sailors into tents. On sunny days, he moved them out of the tents into the sunshine. This practice, known as Open-air Therapy, was common on the Western Front in Europe during the war. It most likely began because of the lack of room to treat the injured. However, it was noticed that fresh air and sunshine significantly improved the injured, probably boosted their moral as well.
The sailors improved significantly; one report states it reduced death from 40% to 13%. Open-air Therapy became the treatment of choice for those sailors and soldiers with Spanish Flu and respiratory illness. It remained a popular treatment until antibiotics replaced it in the 1950s.
If fresh air (oxygen) is important, why not more of it?
I know we are all under various levels of quarantine, however I do try to get my daily fresh air and sunshine in; walking to the pharmacy or grocery store – even though it maybe a long walk. While inside I open the windows and stretch and exercise.
Following the reports on the virus, it seems the ventilators as well as oxygen treatment seem to be vital for those facing more critical conditions. I had read about oxygen therapy for cancer survivors to help recuperate faster as well as those facing the test of time as we get old. This research led me to read about a very interesting person, Wim Hof, also known as the Iceman.
He practices a form of hyper-ventilating breathing, similar to monks in India and Nepal, combined with cold therapy. From what I have read (in layman’s terms) this technique saturates the blood with high-levels of oxygen and boosting the immune system. Wim Hoff can hold his breath for 10 mins and also swims in ice water and can stay submerged in ice for hours, holding several Guinness records. The breathing technique seems to keep his core body temperature fairly stable.
He has volunteered for several tests, including one a while ago in which they injected him with some viruses to see how his body would respond, amazingly his body helped fend off the virus. Scientist believed perhaps Wim Hof was unique, but he said he could train anyone to do it. He took a few volunteers and trained them, both breathing and cold therapy. The trained volunteers submitted to tests along side a control group, the Wim Hof volunteers show significant improvement in their immune systems compared to the control group.
I decided to watch a video on his breathing technique and download the free ap. I thought, why not? Improve my breathing and lung strength, some more exercise, and if it can fend off or improve my chances, it seemed worth the extra time in the morning. I am able to hold my breath now for almost 3 mins.
More info on Wim Hof and the Wim Hof Method
- Wash your hands (often)
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, nose.
- Wipe down common areas
- Social Distancing and limited contact with others and public places
- Exercise (walking, stretching, and check out the Wim Hof Method)
- Drink water and eat healthy
- Practice some mental exercise (keeping your mind and mental health strong is as important as keeping your body healthy)
- Spend time reading or listening to a good book or writing the next good book (wink wink)