HOW can we avoid Covid-19 when the virus is all around us? This is a persistent question to many anxious persons in these pandemic times, especially with close friends and kin being afflicted, and some dying from it.

The way to health and empowerment exists the elimination of all health-destroying causes that produced sickness. In the words of Dr. Chaitow, "To regain health once it has been lost, we need to begin to reverse some, and ideally all, of those processes which may be negatively impacting us and over which we have some degree of control." We have a choice. We can take responsibility for stopping lifestyle choices that we know are harmful, whether that is smoking, excessive alcohol intake or using drugs. One major cause of being Covid-19 susceptible is lack of sleep--turning night to day. I believe many are falling ill, succumbing to Covid-19 because of long bouts of sleep deprivation caused by screen addiction -- endless Facebook or social media scrolling, Netflix, and YouTube viewing.

Young and old alike these days spend only an average of four to five hours of sleep because of internet-related nightly activities. As I pointed out in my book, Fighting Sickness: Natural & Herbal Way, the consistent breaking of the Circadian Rhythm -- a theory that prescribes the need for a deep sleep from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. whence the body repairs damaged cells, and produces new cells. Ignoring sleep will make one easy target of Covid-19. Once infected with the virus, sleepless nights spent in fear and worry, weaken one's ability to fight viruses and other infections.

The journey back to health calls for a commitment to eat more nutritious food, sleep, and exercise in balance, ensuring modest exposure to fresh air and sunlight. Personal hygiene, body cleansing, and detoxifying, determining and paying attention to chemical and structural imbalances, including stres management are further important pathways to health. This prescription may seem overwhelming, yet as Dr. Chaitow avers, "...even if only some of it can be addressed, such as diet and relaxation, a remarkable phenomenon occurs as homeostasis begins to function more efficiently and health begins to return."

For those who have been sick for some time, especially those suffering chronic illness, the help according to Dr. Chaitow, should come from the treatment that is most appropriate for the individual -- like alternative treatments aimed at helping to restore nutritional balance or treatments designed to remove toxic burdens in the body. This in fact is the plus factor in holistic medicine-the provision for the individual, a broad range of healthy treatment options. Though conventional medicine prescribes that your condition (whether it be diabetes or hypertension for example) is incurable, or that your only choice is "to live a life dependent on drugs with troublesome side effects," there is hope for improving or reversing your condition, according to Dr. Chaitow.

But how do we guard ourselves against the pandemic? Avoid excessive "stress." Research studies in mind/body medicine revealed the direct link between mental and emotional distress and the body's ability to fight sickness. It has also been found out that unresolved or unarticulated negative thoughts and sentiments are decoded by our body system as neurochemicals. These body chemicals communicate with our other internal systems, causing it to react similarly to when physical stress is present. An example is fear -- an emotion that arouses the nervous system and triggers a flood of stress hormones. Adrenal hormones, causing accelerated heart rate and intensified respiration. Under normal conditions, such response readily subsides, but incessant fear, anger, grief, and other strong emotions can maintain the nervous system in a constant state of activation. Stress builds up in the body, inevitably assaults bodily organs resulting in much-reduced immunity and diseases like ulcers, high blood pressure, or heart diseases, and cancer.