Elena Charis is a healer. She runs her Alternative & Holistic Health practice a little down the road from the new hospital in Larnaka. The wall of her reception is coated with certificates and diplomas from numerous colleges round the world, colleges that teach established alternative therapies such as reflexology and therapeutic massage. On Facebook she is to be found as Elena Therapeutic Centre.
I asked her, “What can we do to protect ourselves from Covid in Cyprus during this pandemic?”
“How can I explain?” she replied. “It is a matter of frequency, of positive or negative energy. Most important of all is to try to avoid stress, and unfortunately there is a lot of it about these days, what with people suffering economic problems as a result of lock-downs and on top of that getting depressed at being cooped up at home. Seek to build positive energy. It will fight not just Covid-19, but all viruses and illnesses.”
Elena’s business card bears the tag line: “A bridge between science and spirituality.” Elena says that modern medicine has its role to play and that sometimes even surgery is necessary, but insists on seeking positive energy as a means of combatting disease. She talks of opening Chakras. Many will be sceptical about this concept of positive energy. To them, I would say, “Experience just one therapeutic session with Elena and you will feel differently”.
Someone else who points out that stress leads to viral susceptibility is Dr Eric Berg, a doctor who has uploaded numerous information videos on both Covid and on other medical matters. He has some 4.2 million subscribers. He has an interesting video that contains explanations on why you are more vulnerable to catching Covid when under stress. The You Tube video is called “Susceptibility to the Coronavirus. No one is talking about this”. He says “Stress significantly increases the risks of infections and viruses.” The video is quite long (over 14 minutes). If I were to extract a single point to highlight I would home in on the part about half way through where he says that the adrenal glands are really the gland that regulates stress levels. He talks of experiments were the adrenal glands of mice have been removed and all sorts of problems with the immune system, infections and viruses followed.
Another interesting video from Dr Berg is called “Cheapest Covid 19 therapy in the world.” It is not just the cheapest but absolutely FREE – It’s from the sun! It is vitamin D. It suffices for us to go out each day and let it reach our skin. We are fortunate in Cyprus to have an abundance of sun. It may be one of the reasons for which at the time of writing we have about 200 deaths from Covid for our 1.2 million population, compared to the UK’s 2.22 million for a population of 66 million. This vitamin can of course also be obtained in supplemental form. Even in Cyprus we have some overcast days.
Dr Berg backs up his suggestion of the force of vitamin D with various pieces of evidence: One such is data on a small group of Somalians living in Sweden. They make up .84 of a per cent of the population of Stockholm yet 40% of the covid deaths in Stockholm come from that group. What is it about those Somalians that make them more prone to the dangers of Covid?
Dr Berg considers the known factors that make people more vulnerable to Covid such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure. Dr Berg notes that the Somalian community, for the most part, did not suffer from such preconditions nor were they in the higher age bracket. So what was different about the Somalians? The melanin that gives them their darker skin protects them from excess dosages of Ultra Violet light in their original habitat, but it also blocks out the vitamin D they need in countries with less sunshine. So here we have one batch of data that suggests that vitamin D has an important role to play in combating Covid 19. He further mentions a study of vitamin D levels in Somalian women where it was found that 73% of them had a vitamin D deficiency. Another set of data in line with this to which Dr Berg refers is an analysis of Covid deaths in Chicago. 72% of the covid deaths were from Afro-Americans, again people with a darker skin, one less able to absorb vitamin D.
Dr Berg goes on to talk of a study in Indonesia of vitamin D levels in people who were shown, via blood test, to have Covid 19. These people were divided into three groups: those who had normal levels of vitamin D (49.7% of the total), those who had insufficient levels of vitamin D (27.7% of the total and those who had totally deficient levels of vitamin D (23% of the total) – Figures are rounded and add up to slightly more than 100%. Of the group with normal levels of vitamin D, only 4% died, of those with insufficient levels, 88% died and of those with deficient levels 99% died.These figures suggest that Vitamin D does more than help avoid catching the virus, but helps with one’s healing if one does catch it.
Another great proponent, of vitamin D as an immunoprotective and an immunomodulator is Dr John Campbell, a retired nursing teacher and emergency nurse in the NHS. He is widely respected for the calm, level-headed information he has been uploading to You Tube for more than 10 years to make anatomy and physiology more easily understandable for the general public. He now has 1580 videos uploaded and 866 subscribers.
A strong advocate of vitamin D for combatting Covid and other viruses, he also highlights the benefits of zinc supplements in this fight against the virus. He has uploaded an interesting video called “Covid 19 and zinc”. In the video, he looks at two studies relating to zinc in relation to Covid. The first was from the first wave of the virus in Barcelona. It was a retrospective study rather than prospective study, but at least it was a study. It was on patients admitted to hospital between 15th March and 30th April 2020. “Every patient who came in routinely had their fasting zinc levels recorded,” he says, “on 611 patients.” Because the doctors got increasingly busy they only analysed data from 249 of the 611 patients, but felt this was still a representative sample.of the 249 patients 21, ie 8%, died. On average they had 43 micrograms of zinc per decilitre in their blood. In the surviving 228 people the average zinc levels on admission were 63.1 mg/dcL.. So we have here an interesting correlation between zinc levels and survival.
John Campbell goes on to describe another small study, this from the peer-reviewed International Journal of Infectious diseases published in India. In this study healthy controls had 105.8 micrograms of zinc in a decilitre of blood.In zinc deficient patients (as compared with the healthy controls) 70.4% developed complications against the almost 30% with the high amounts of that did not develop serious complications.
Both the above studies provide correlative evidence – enough, one would have thought, to inspire someone to conduct full clinical trials. The same goes for evidence amassed concerning vitamin D.
But, as John Campbell points out, both zinc supplements and Vitamin D supplements are extremely cheap to produce. There is not quite the same incentive for pharmaceutical companies to engage in clinical trials as there is with expensive drugs and vaccines.
The Well-known Mayo Clinic and many doctors on You Tube talk of the importance of Exercise during lock-down. This is both to stop our muscles weakening in these times of sitting around a lot, and also to boost our general health. Our healer, Helena, agrees. “You need to look after your bodily health and your spiritual health. The two go hand in hand . Look at the joy in the face of a person who does regular exercise and compare it with the face of a couch potato. I am reminded of the tag line on her card, “A bridge between science and spirituality.”
What did our healer, Elena, think of the earlier comments on vitamins. She agreed with them wholeheartedly. “We should do everything in our power to fulfil our body’s needs: vitamins, good nutrition in general, exercise. She goes back to her points on stress. “It feels as if a psychological war is being waged on people. They are deprived of their income, they are kept cooped up in their houses. Children can’t run around and play. On top of that the media are constantly instilling fear into people. All these things are stressful and fill people with negative energy, making them sick”. Elena fears that a veritable explosion of illnesses will follow: cancer, heart attacks, all types of disease.
How can we overcome all this? Elena says that it is a matter of what most people would call attitude. She calls it positive energy, positive vibrations or frequency. Yes, lock-downs are depressing and stressful, but in this awful situation can we actively choose to find positive aspects to it? Can we spend more time with our children and our families? Can we communicate with them more over the Internet if they live far away. Can we read or study things that interest us and for which we never normally have time? “Listen to the news less often,” advises Elena. “It is stressing you. Just enough to keep abreast with what is happening. Listen to harmonious music, Dance, Connect with nature, Breathe fresh air, Take walks”.
Elena continues: “Avoid stress as best you can, but go a step further. Seek out the positive even in our current awful situation. To help you do this, practice (according to your religion or lack of) prayer/meditation/affirmation. Seek to connect with the divine. Invite its healing power to enter each cell of your body, each organ of your body, each system of your body. Do not block good energy by holding on to hatred and bitterness. Forgive; let go. Be loving. And your body will be stronger and better for it”.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am a writer. I am quoting here what various medical and therapeutic professionals have noted. Their comments are largely based on correlative evidence of small studies, not clinical trials. So we cannot say “do these things and you won’t get Covid 19,” because the trials have not been carried out. Simply the evidence described in the article suggests that there are natural ways to help boost your immune system so that you don’t become infected with the virus or if you do, that the illness may be less severe than otherwise.
The 5 ways to boost your defences against Covid 19 described by the professionals quoted in this article:
- Avoid stress as much as you can.
- Make sure you have enough vitamin D. Vitamins C and E are also well-known immune boosters.
- Make sure you have enough zinc.
- Do regular exercise.
- Seek out the positive.