This is how I holistically healed myself without any antibiotics, from the virus Shingles.
Of course, I am no medical practitioner and nor am I nutritionist, dietician, herbalist or naturopath. Healing myself holistically from Shingles was something I had to research and of course, I did get some advice from my doctor as well.
Truth be told, the virus was already past 4 days into it’s cycle of the rash being present, so antibiotics would not have done anything anyway. However, if you do catch it early, you can be treated with antibiotics, which mostly just reduces the symptoms, like a slight reduction in the rash, tiredness and muscle soreness. It won’t cure it. You really have to just go through the motions and let it run it’s course.
Do the antibiotics reduce the length in which the virus runs in your symptom? Not really. You can pay for private medication, which is super expensive. These are anti virals, and they usually consist of taking no more than 1 or 2 tablets max in 2 days. Killing off any virus in the body.
A little history here. more than 20 years ago I got my first cold sore, and it was bad. I mean real bad. I had an allergic reaction to cold sore cream, and was not able to treat any of the symptoms of the cold sore – which was just horrible.
Second time around, it was almost as bad, just without the allergic reaction, as I knew to stay away from the creams to treat cold sores. I just had to live through it, and it took 2, maybe even 3 weeks to heal.
By the time the 3rd time came around, I couldn’t afford to go through another few weeks worth of dealing with nasty cold sores on the lips, so the doctor received permission for me to obtain private medication for an anti viral, which was 1 tablet and it instantly killed off the virus. I only had the cold sore for a record breaking 2 days and that was it.
Of course, the virus never really leaves the body, no matter what type of antibiotics you take, but at least it went dormant a lot quicker than normal.
By the time the 4th round of cold sores kicked in, several years after that, when I was dealing with a lot of stress. A new pre-treatment tablet (not an antibiotic) was available, called Famvir was available. These magical tablets are taken the moment you feel the cold sore come on, or makes an appearance at least. It helps the body to fight off the virus and lower the symptoms, allowing for a faster healing time.
And 20 years in, with the amount of information I now know about antibiotics and how they damage your gut health. If I can avoid them, I will.
Why do I mention of all of the above, when I should be talking about Shingles. Well Shingles (aka: chicken pox) are all part of the herpes virus. Meaning, when you have chicken pox as a child, the virus will stay dormant in your system, until one day it decides to break out. Of course, many people go their entire life without it breaking out, which is amazing.
Essentially, the whole treatment process of the Shingles virus is similar to that of a cold sore – sort of.
After years of taking antibiotics most of my life, 2 to 3 years ago, I decided to just stop loading my body with stuff that really isn’t good for me. Well, actually, I probably made that decision around 4 years ago. However, I am prone to bronchitis from time to time. And depending on my life circumstances at the time, either I can heal myself with an inhaler from bronchitis, or if I going through too many life stresses then I would require antibiotics to help the healing process.
This has left me with a lifetime of health issues, especially associated with the gut health, and ones that are taking forever to heal from and get past.
Even more so, the older I get. The reason why I mention all of this, is when I sat down with the doctor more than 5 weeks ago now to chat about my Shingles, what it was, and how to deal with it, and she advised antibiotics would not be recommended. I was actually relieved. And when I explained about my gut issues, she even agreed and advised it would be best to holistically treat my symptoms and let the virus simply run it’s course.
With that came some emotional and spiritual changes as well. As there is a reason my body broke down and presented Shingles. It was literally telling me to stop and rest, take a break and listen. Something I probably wasn’t really doing for most of the year. Crashing and burning really is a sign you need to make some serious life changes.
So, with all of that in mind, and after several hours researching holistic ways to treat Shingles, this is how I dealt with the virus.
This was the most important step of my healing process, both physically and mentally. Of course, you must be mindful of the types of exercise you do when you do have Shingles. Movement is life, and as Shingles attacks the nervous system, walking, minor exercises and stretches is vital to helping the nervous system recover. I found restorative yoga was the best form of exercise to help me recover. So a lot of stretches, relaxing poses on the ground, nothing too vigorous or stressful.
Of course, I already do a lot of yoga, twice to three times a week. So for me, it was more about changing the way I did yoga. And the meditative part, where I would normally just tune out and relax when I was feeling too stressed to focus my mind and meditate. Well, I had too change my attitude about that also. I used the time to review what I was doing in my daily routine and how I can change it to work for me better and remove some of the unnecessary stress I was dealing with.
I spent at least 2 to 3 hours a day in the sun, sometime more if I could. This doesn’t mean I was sun baking. As I work from home as a freelancer, I moved my office outside, so I could be in the fresh air and sunshine. Whilst also changing my scenery and moving into the shade from time to time as well. This was incredibly good for my nervous system and skin, as vitamin D is essential for both.
Zinc and Magnesium:
Though I do take both of these minerals daily. I increased the dosage (safely) to a higher dose as both of these essential minerals are vital to skin health, bone health and also boost the natural defences of the immune system.
Heal the Mind:
The whole healing process of Shingles, includes a lot of mental awareness and review of things you are currently doing in your life – especially the stressful stuff. I spent the entire 4 weeks of recovering reflecting on the ways I was doing things, both in my personal life and my work life. Because let’s face it, life is always full of stress, but there are ways we can work to minimise the useless stress to allow us to manage the real stress better.
This is where yoga and meditation really comes into play, as it helps you to really reflect on what sorts of stresses in life would result in you getting Shingles. Ultimately, no matter how well I thought I was dealing with everything, clearly deep down inside, I wasn’t. Spending time reviewing my daily routine and how I was managing both personal and work life meant, I could work out what I really didn’t need in life, what I did need. And what things needed to change to help be manage life better.
Vitamin C and Collagen:
Both of these are essential for the immune system, and are also great for organ health and skin health. The combination of using both collagen and vitamin C powders to ingest and externally in my skincare as well, helped the healing process of the rash, reducing the itchy and redness sensation and made it heal a lot faster. Vitamin C is also great for the immune system, so win win.
Lots of Greens:
I lost a lot of my appetite whilst I was unwell, so I made sure to make a collagen and vitamin C infused green veggie and fruit juice every morning. This consisted of a banana, pear, celery, cucumber and spinach. This fabulous green smoothies drink gave me everything I needed to start the day and would lead me straight through to lunch, where I could eat something light, and then I mostly had soups and broths for dinner.
Okay, I say no sugar. What I should be saying is reduced sugar LOL. I reduced the amount of treats I was enjoying, which had sugar in them. Which is something I have wanted to do for a while now anyways. No time like the present. Sugar is bad for your immune system, bad for your skin and bad for your organs. To help the healing process and recover faster from Shingles, or any virus for that matter, you should stay away from sugar as much as possible – so I did.
If you can, take a break from your routine and go for a drive somewhere (even locally), find a park, take a walk in the sunshine (if it’s sunny), and try to do this at least once a week. You don’t need to go away for a whole day, even for a few hours, taking a break from your routine, to visit a place worthy of exploring to get some fresh air and take a walk, grab a coffee and just get away from all the stress.
Last year, I was taking a road trip every Friday and some Sunday’s as well. However, as the year progressed towards Christmas and then lead into the new year, as the calendar filled with events and other commitments, those road trips were becoming less and less. Funny how getting Shingles reminded me of how important those road trips were.
So, I kicked those back off again, making trips at least two days a week, with most places being not too far away from home, so I can still manage work as well. Of course this is doable as I am freelance, so it’s easy to take Friday’s off and dedicate them to road trips. If you do have family and work full time, it doesn’t mean you can’t take those trips though. That’s what the weekend is for.
These getaways are important for anyone, whether you have Shingles or not, as they allow you respite from your every day routine, giving you a chance to remember why you work and why you have a family to begin with – so enjoy it.