It’s hard to believe that 2021 is our rearview mirror, and that we are ready to embrace a new year. For many, 2021 was not the easiest of years – full of uncertainties and unknowns. But within all of this, I believe there are some inklings of promise of good to come. We are learning more about this virus that has disrupted so many of our lives, and we’re adapting. New treatments are on the horizon. We are understanding more about the ways to protect and heal ourselves. We are coming together as a community. We are learning the importance of being there for one another, and the heartfelt value of just being present with another person, physically present, and the human need for connection and touch. We are learning to feel a deeper appreciation for these things, and for our fellow humans. For these reasons, I believe 2022 can be better. There is a glimmer of hope of increased freedom and connection. Upon reflecting about what would be the top health goals I would recommend for 2022, I wanted these to be a mix of physical goals and emotional/spiritual goals. The last couple of years have left many people feeling depleted, both physically and energetically. It’s time to step up and embrace awareness and healing of both systems, as they always impact and balance each other.
- Boost Your Immune System
Likely a no-brainer why this is number one! While there are things that affect our health that can be out of our control, the beauty of preventative medicine is that there are SO MANY THINGS we can do to make ourselves stronger and more resilient. SO MANY THINGS. I might need to write that 10 times to really get your attention and drive this in. Ha! And while this can be a very deep discussion, and can also be very individualized based on an individual’s conditions or predispositions, I want to give you a few things to start with. As well as some resources to go further if you would like.
- Turkey Tail Mushrooms (and can add Reishi and Maitake) – these mushrooms are potent immune stimulators -they stimulate white cells and natural killer cells. Turkey Tail has been studied extensively in cancer studies, and has shown to assist in supporting the immune system while undergoing certain types of therapies.
- Vitamin D3 – most adults need at least 10,000 IU per day (make sure to check your blood levels first!). Vitamin D3 is another potent immune stimulator, and an immune modulator. An immune modulator helps to modulate your immune system by balancing her inflammatory response to pathogens. This is important – for instance, part of the reason SARS -19 can be so damaging is that the body has an overly excited immune response, creating a lot of damage. Vitamin D3 can reduce the severity of a cytokine explosion, as well as support T cells, protect against pathogens, and boost the immune cells.
- NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) – antiviral, thins mucous, lung antioxidant; ideally you would have at least 600mg per day. NAC can convert itself into a potent antioxidant called L-glutathione. However, some people don’t convert well, and it makes sense then to just use the stronger form.
- L-glutathione – a super potent antioxidant, incredible for the brain, lungs and immune system. I love it in liposomal form or IV form! For example, if I am really looking to support the immune system, I will recommend several L-glutathione IV pushes in a row. People feel incredible and get a boost to their immune system.
Diets that support immunity: Whole 30, Keto, Paleo (grass-fed meats) — all have low sugar in common. Sugar is a well-known immune suppressor!
Foods: Bone broth (from a grass-fed, well-loved animal is best)-contains immune boosting cells within; cooking with mushrooms (portabella, shitake, maitake, reishi, osyster), and dark leafy greens.
For more information, Check out the video where Dr. Julieann Murella and I do a great overview of boosting your immune system here!
Goal: Choose at least one immune boosting diet, food or supplement and add it to your nutrient regimen.
- Meditation and Visualization
Love, love, love meditation and visualization. What is meditation? Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing the mind on a particular thought, object or activity, to develop awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Meditation in studies has been shown to significantly reduce stress, depression, anxiety and pain, as well enhance a feeling of peacefulness and well-being.
Visualizations can be used to achieve very similar results, and actually contribute to other health outcomes.
Resources: Apps – Insight Timer or Calm
Goal: Add in at least 10 minutes of meditation per day. If you already do 10 minutes, increase the time at least 2 times per week, and add in 2 sessions of visualizations. For your visualization, either pick something that you would like to see happen or go smoothly, and walk yourself through this, see it happening. Or on the more metaphysical side, if you are visualizing healing, see a color of light you resonate with, that makes you feel good or peaceful and see that covering your body, surrounding the area in need of healing.
- Perform a cleanse or detox
At Sage, most of us do at least one cleanse in the year, and often times, 2-3 depending on what is happening in the year or our lives. For example, planning a cleanse for after New Years is a fantastic way to start the new year off right with your other health goals.
There are several ways to approach this, starting with a few days, last up to a few weeks (or longer!). Here are some of my favorites:
Three Day Intensive Liver Cleanse:
Three days of intensive sweating, – this could be infrared sauna, hot yoga, hot epsom salt bath for at least 30 minutes.
Dry Lymph Brushing – 20 minutes daily.
Three days of mostly veggie or bone broths, liver cleansing tea, apple cider vinegar with cayenne, and some liver supplements such as milk thistle or blends.
-Making sure you have good bowel movements daily – adding fiber as needed.
Two week Liver Cleanse and Detox
Begin with the three days above, OR start with a diet such as Whole 30 (no sugar, only whole foods/carbs, no dairy) for 2 weeks.
Add in Fiber, Liver Blends, Bentonite Clay and Activated Charcoal. Add on: Sweating – Infrared Sauna for 30 minutes 3-4 times per week.
Feeling really ambitious? Add on a session of Colon Hydrotherapy and High-dose IV Vitamin C during your session!
Check out Dr. Anastasia Jones review on how to do an awesome cleanse here!
- Discover Your Vitamin Genetics
If you haven’t done this yet, it is a fantastic way to get a window into your vitamin needs, and your risks. For instance, we can see if you have a more significant methylation defect – which means your needs go way up for specific B-vitamins that help everything from making brain neurotransmitters to energy molecules. Or that you have difficulty with making glutathione, a super antioxidant needed for brain and cellular repair. Or that you hold onto too much iron, and that you really should be donating blood every 6 months to lower your inflammation levels and long-term CV and memory loss risk.
On a personal note, I discovered that I have a double copy (homozygous) MTHFR mutation – which puts me at a greater need for methylfolate, methylB12, choline, inositol and methionine. Treating this actually will lower the risk that also is associated with this, which is clotting and cardiovascular disease. I notice that when I am consistent with my vitamin support (through oral vitamins and our Super B-shots), that my energy is generally fantastic on a daily basis, and I know that I am lowering my long-term risk.
Testing I prefer: Stratagene from Seeking Health – Dr. Ben Lynch. Or Ancestry.com or 23andme.com – and convert results at mthfrsupport.com. Patients can order these themselves and then send the results to us for review!
- Bump Up Your Joy
These have been a hard couple of years for many people. I think now more than ever it makes since to have an active pursuit of joy in your life. This could be a wonderful subject to have as a meditation and visualization. What brings me joy? How can I bring others joy? How can I spread joy in my community?
Actively schedule in time for joy – what does it look like? Coffee on the beach? Running with your dog? Working in the garden? Connecting with a close friend? Taking a staycation? Accomplishing a fun project? I personally love all of those things. This year my goal is to plan something very joy-filled at least each month that’s a little bigger (eg, spending time with a friend I haven’t seen in ages over wine and yummy things; or staying over a long weekend in a getaway cabin). On a daily basis I try to at least give thanks and gratitude for several people, spaces, and situations in my life – acknowledge the goodness and appreciation I have and send good energy to these people, and gratitude to the Universe for being surrounded by such goodness.
If there is a lot of sadness, ideally work with someone to start releasing this and finding the cause. Counseling is a wonderful way to release areas of blockage that might be blocking your joy, along with meditation, visualization. Medical hypnotherapy can also be a great way to work on unblocking.
Joy also comes from loving yourself. I love Mel Robbin’s tips on this – she encourages people to say ‘I love you’ in the mirror until you really feel it. How often do we tell ourselves we love ourselves? She also encourages honoring and giving kudos to yourself – literally giving yourself a high-five in the mirror. I love this! It feels completely dorky, but in some ways that’s the beauty of it. How often do we do this for others, and never really for ourselves?
Goal: Every day acknowledge 5 small (or big!) things that give you goy and give gratitude for these! Plan at least one fun-filled thing per month that you can look forward to!
If you would like guidance in any of these areas, we would love to see you! We love creating personalized health plans for patients, and would love to do so for you! Please reach out if you have questions!
In love, health and light,
Dr. Angila Jaeggli, ND
Phone: (425) 835-0359
Sage Integrative Medicine Clinic, PLLC
110 James Street, Suite 103
Edmonds, WA 98020
Youtube: Sage Health TV