The Best Proven Ways to Support and Boost Your Immune System Now
FeaturingMignonne Mary, MD
Rebekah Kelley: Welcome to the Humanized podcast, all about personalizing your health. I’m your host, Rebekah Kelley. Today we’ll be discussing The Best Proven Ways to Support and Boost Your Immune System Right Now, with Dr. Mignonne Mary. Before I introduce Dr. Mary, I want to remind everyone to subscribe and get all our variety of casts in audio, video and transcription at HumanizedHealth.com. I’d also like to thank our lead sponsor, Village Green Apothecary, at MyVillageGreen.com.
A little bit about Dr. Mary. She is the founder and medical director of The Remedy Room, which is a continuation of the legacy of her father, Dr. Charles Mary, Jr., a pioneer in the field of IV vitamin therapy. Dr. Mignonne Mary’s passion for the benefits of infusion therapy began with her father and have since developed through years of her own practice and continued education. Today, Dr. Mary’s clinics focus on treating the whole person and not just symptoms, health promotion, and disease prevention. The Mary family’s approach to wellness and recovery has changed thousands of people’s lives and continues to grow each year. Dr. Mary currently practices internal medicine out of The Remedy Room, with an emphasis on nutrition and integrative medicine to use the best that every field of thought has to offer.
Thank you for being with us, Dr. Mary.
Mignonne Mary: Thank you so much for having me.
Rebekah Kelley: So we know our bodies want to heal. We have an immune system that, when supported, shows up for us and really helps us weather things thrown at us. Of course, we know that lifestyle matters, and of course, right now, a lot of us are definitely taking some hits to our immune system with the stress that we’re currently in. So what can we do to create the environment for our immune system to really be able to kick in and do its job for us right now?
Mignonne Mary: I think, first thing we have to do is to remember to breathe, to stop and pause, take those good deep breaths in, even consider “box breath” or some of these other breaths that are regenerative and helping us to calm down the nervous system, like 5-7-8 breathing.
Getting a good night’s sleep. When we start seeing our patients for deeper visits, it’s the first thing we address, because if you’re not sleeping, you’re not recharging. So, we give patients tips on how to focus on the breath going in and out of the nose, as well as the chest rising up and down. And in doing that, focusing on two things at the same time, it cancels out those thoughts that are spinning and spinning.
Eating organic foods. Eating a rainbow of foods, vegetables, and real food. So currently we have a lot of patients we teach about fasting, which is purposeful, but very helpful in boosting stem cell production. And of course, recently, there’s a new study out showing that since everything has happened, people have regressed to eating poor foods and poor food choices, and eating out instead of cooking, and so we’re starting to see the impact on the immune system there. So this is a really big, valuable thing that we can do is go back to cooking at home and really choosing the best foods that have the least toxins.
So, what else? Taking a walk outside, getting reconnected with nature, grounding ourselves. Because with all of the stress that’s going on, we’re getting depleted of our minerals, our charge isn’t correct, there’s certainly other toxins that we’re being bombarded with from outdoors that we all know about and see popping up everywhere. So it’s very important to do sort of these basic things and stopping, taking a breath, taking just even 5 minutes. We promote people to try meditation, whether that’s with an app or with TM, Transcendental Meditation, to center themselves and to have time to reflect, and canceling out the negative thoughts because they’re going to keep coming. And so the sooner we can flick those thoughts… I read a book from 1933 about Emmet Fox, and he talks about flicking [away] those negative thoughts as fast as we can so that they don’t cause damage to your coat or whatever, like a fire burning from an ember. And the longer you let the negative thoughts sit and fester, the harder the damage is to repair. And so I think it’s not a matter of not allowing the thoughts and not allowing those emotions to go through us, but think of them like a wave, they’ll come and they’ll go until we can have the emotion instead of being the emotion.
So those are things to remember in this chaos that is ensuing. The more we can all center ourselves and fill ourselves with love, positivity, we can emulate that, shine out our light and help others by basically being and existing in a positive state.
Rebekah Kelley: I love that. I love that.
Mignonne Mary: It’s a lot, but we’re forgetting. You know, we keep on getting into the weeds and we’re getting stuck with worry and fear. And the most important thing we have to remember is love. And so there’s a lot that’s trying to separate us. There’s a lot of blame. There’s a lot of shame going on. We need to remember that these are just as much toxins. Emotional toxicity is just as harmful to the body as chemical toxins and as physical stressors.
It’s an important piece that we need to keep reminding ourselves of. So what fills your bucket? What fills your heart with love? And then once you can think of that person or that thing, then give that love back to yourself, looking in the mirror and saying I love you, with your name. You’ll get chills. You don’t talk to yourself much, but every time you kiss your children, do the same to yourself. Kiss yourself on the inside because we all need a lot more love right now. And I know for sure in our practice, one of our core values is leading with love. And so we are here to support others, but I just reminded my staff – if we go down, we’re going to be in big trouble and we can’t help anyone. So we have to remember to really take care of ourselves too. It’s everywhere.
Rebekah Kelley: Just when you even said, take a breath in, I did. And immediately I felt so much better. Just immediately.
Mignonne Mary: Yeah. They say the difference between anxiety and an excitement is one breath.
Rebekah Kelley: So what should we stop?
Mignonne Mary: Should we stop? I would say the negative thoughts, the poor eating habits. I’m a big fan of something I learned from Dr. Pompa – it’s don’t eat less, just eat less often. I think a large portion we’re reading clearly, that the comorbidities and the things that keep us sick are things that are being ignored right now. And we really can do a lot about our health and that starts with prevention, but it also starts with leading a healthy lifestyle. So, removing the toxic foods from our cabinets, getting away from the oils that are hydrogenated and not made from the earth, and eating less often so that we don’t call out insulin quite as many times. So we ask our patients to switch all their drinks to water, remove the snacks, maybe go back to like the 1970s and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. And if you’re not hungry, don’t eat. There’s no hard and fast rule that says because it’s 12 o’clock, you must eat. You’re not going to fall apart. All of us have purposely fasted for a surgery or a lab, and we can make it.
Our bodies are meant to go many hours without food. We teach our patients how to not only get into a lower carb lifestyle, but what we call therapeutic carb restriction. By lowering these foods, we can help to lower the inflammation. And any time we can lower insulin, we’re doing an incredible job of lowering inflammation. And then by teaching them how to fast, we’re increasing stem cell production, we’re improving the impact of the immune system and giving them a tool that, the reason I love it is, it’s free. It’s something we’ve done for thousands of years. And it can greatly impact our brain health, our heart health, everything. And so a lot of this dis-ease can be changed by what we eat.
Now that’s not to say that we don’t need to take supplements. Unfortunately, as we all know, we don’t have what we need in the food supply. So where we have success with IV nutrients, which is what we’re using, I think as we’re skipping the GI tract, which is so inflamed and so impactful for the immune system, that we’re almost… if we can kind of shift the focus on what can you do at home, instead of just there’s nothing can be done, and that’s not true. Let’s start to refocus the conversation back to the positive, back to that there’s hope. Go for that walk, take those 10,000 steps. Get a hot bath, put some magnesium in it. Hug your children more, hug your husband and wife more, even though you don’t want to, because you know that “use it or lose it,” but also “fake it till you make it,” like, more love. And when you see someone’s stressed out, pause. And I realize we’re scared to even touch each other at this point, but we need more love right now, not less.
Rebekah Kelley: Let it kick in, right?
Mignonne Mary: Yes! They say it takes 20 seconds for the oxytocin to be released during a hug. So I always tell my kids, be the last to let go.
Rebekah Kelley: I love that. Be the last. That’s really amazing.
So also, what would you say is in the arsenal if someone needs to go and get some additional support? What might be in that arsenal, and what do you use, what’s your go-to if someone comes to you and they need some additional immune support? What do you provide?
Mignonne Mary: Well, first and foremost, from a nutritional standpoint, obviously, good foods, and then from the supplement standpoint, my number one, you know, every doctor’s got a hammer – my hammer is vitamin C. It’s been around for ages. It’s the most studied vitamin. And I mean, maybe I wish we would stop calling it vitamin C so that that path that everybody has, that knowledge, that is not correct. At least I challenge people. How much do you know, that you really know from your own experience, or how much is it that someone told you? And so, my experience is shown to me by my dad, who was a pioneer in using high doses of IV vitamin C. There are limits that you can take orally, but the doses need to be much higher, based on the fire or the inflammation level in the body. So what the recommended daily allowance recommends is much lower than what is necessary to fight certain illnesses and certain chronic diseases. So increasing the dosing, increasing the timing and the frequency is very important. So vitamin C, for sure. If you can’t tolerate it in pill or powder form, then we recommend liposomal form. The liposomal delivery skips the GI tract that could upset someone’s stomach and can get into the lymphatics and into the cells and have a higher intracellular dose. If that doesn’t work, and then if you’re really ill, then intravenous vitamin C. And with that, we can get exponential doses in the blood and in the cells to help with the immune system. It’s an invaluable source of something that’s very inexpensive, non-toxic, a huge antioxidant. So what it does is it donates an electron. It gives the charge and bridges the patient until the patient’s body can heal itself.
Our bodies have this most amazing ability to heal. We are the ones that get in the way, whether that’s with our thoughts, with our toxins, with our inability to take in the nutrients, our inability to absorb the nutrients. Either something’s blocking us or we don’t have enough. And so whether vitamin C is so powerful just because it has this plethora, what we call pleiotropic effect – so that means it covers so many things. It’s an anti-inflammatory, it’s a huge anti-viral, has been used since the times of polio to help correct those things. It’s an antitoxin, snake bites, rattlesnakes, all kinds of spider bites. It’s an anti-histamine. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of people get off of histamine medicines, like Claritin and Allegra and that, with high enough doses of vitamin C. It’s a pain reliever, it’s imperative for collagen production. So, pre- and post-op surgeries. These people who want to lay down nice collagen. It’s really just a crucial lifesaving thing that helps us with our stress hormones. So where we started the conversation, we need it for our adrenals. And the first place that it gets taken from is the adrenal glands. And so we are unable to make our own vitamin C and I think that the amounts that we tell patients, we tell them to take much higher because of the results, in our experience that we’ve seen, have been phenomenal.
So next, the only other things… I like three, so C, absolutely. Vitamin D, or the prohormone D – let’s call it what it is, it’s a hormone. We know the impact of having levels over 50 to 80 on your blood work, and even 80 to 100 if you have a chronic disease. And we have all seen the studies that show that those people fare better, and that if it… Unfortunately, it’s not on the standardized test. It would be a really wonderful day, and I’ll just keep envisioning what I want to happen, that vitamin C treatment, as soon as you arrive at the hospital, becomes standard of care. That your levels of C, of D, are drawn on admission. You know, these are easy things that we should be focused on because without these foundational building blocks, the immune system cannot do what it needs to do. And so we’re bridging and supporting in a natural way, in a non-toxic way, so that again, the body can do exactly what it knows how to do.
Rebekah Kelley: Awesome. And the third thing?
Mignonne Mary: The third is magnesium and trace minerals. So a lot of us are focused on zinc, which is in the trace minerals. And so back to the food being deficient, I do think it’s important for us to supplement. There’s all kinds of new products out there. There’s liquid minerals, there’s oral minerals. Sometimes I’m having patients who tell me that they’re getting nauseated from taking them, but with food, I would recommend, and being careful not to overdose. Some of these things, we have to be cautious, especially the vitamin D. We have a lot of people going really hog-wild with that. And it is important to pair it with vitamin K. So this is something that you’re going to want to talk to a doctor who understands nutrition, and/or a nutritionist, who understands vitamins. But it’s pretty powerful if we can do these things to support the patient.
And this is not just for what’s going on now. This is for forever. Anything that comes your way. But it’s in combination with the lifestyle changes. So just like everything else in life, there’s never one thing that makes anything wrong or right, or better or worse. It’s a compilation. Think of it like an orchestra. These would be your main players, and then you have the background. The problem that I see is that we try to pin down nature with just one ingredient and it doesn’t work like that. We need all these things in concert to work at our optimal levels.
Rebekah Kelley: We’re all unique, which is what really this Humanized Health podcast is about, right? It’s about personalizing your health and what experiences we have. Everyone’s going to have a different symphony, it’s going to sound different and be a little bit different, but those are all the players that we actually need to create it for you.
So thank you so much, Dr. Mary. Those are really valuable insights. Dr. Mary can be found at wwwTheRemedyRoom.com. I’m going to spell it. T-H-E-R-E-M-E-D-Y-R-O-O-M. Let me remind you to subscribe and get access to all Humanized videos, podcasts and transcriptions from all of our thought leaders on personalized health at HumanizedHealth.com.