©Sebastian Näslund
november 2006

The Nazi approach to health
– a complete guide for the competing freediver in the worlchampionships in Egypt.

How to get ill
- Disease in the form of bacteria/germs attaches and enters through one of your mucus (mouth, eyes, nose, sinuses, throat, stomach, lungs). A healthy strong body can usually fight off these kind of attacks from alien bacteria/germ cultures.
- But if you misbehave and thus lower your immune system you are open to an attack.

Every trainingsession (muscular or cardiovascular and even more so hypoxic training) will leave a window of opportunity for disease to enter your body. You immune system is weak for a couple of hours after training.
If you, onto a lowered immune system add other disadvantaging situations such as freezing or going around with a lack of vitamins and minerals – then you are asking for it.

They are coming to get you
Germs like moving around and multiply, and they are very good at it. A sneeze in one part of the room can carry germs to you sitting 10 meters away (a cough reaches slightly less distance). Germs also move around on items. Hands are the ultimate germspreading vehicle. From your hands germs can soon reach one of your mucus; you touching your own face for instance. Hand to mouth is an effective way of catching diarrhea, and even common cold and infections.
Germs also uses objects to travel around in their search to parasite on your body. Money passes hundred of hands and is some of the dirtiest things you can find around. Things like: doorknobs, handles, steering wheels, pencils, bottles, even keys are strategic objects for germs. Everywhere where hands go.

The German 2nd WW army is among connoisseurs regarded as having produced one of the cleanest smart looking uniforms of the history of warfare. Traits well worth copying when it comes to you personal hygiene.
Beware however to let any extreme outlook on conformism and cleanliness spread into your ideology.

Bags and shoes that stand on the dirty ground are playgrounds for vermin and thelike. Putting a bag that has been on the ground at a bus stop, in for instance, your own bed where you later will have your face can move germs from the street right into your body. Yes we are talking about things as dog poo and dead copses of insects and vermin’s and the like. Things invisible to your eyes.

Mixing any of these items (mentioned above) with food or eating utensils might spread germs to you mucus. You touching a bag that has been standing on a street and then using the same hands to eat a sandwich- or - a whole day with not washing your hands (handling money going to the loo e t c) and then eating crisps - is like a death wish.

Or hanging around children is very unwise – they are many germs favourite stake-out.

An exact guide to malady
The silliest thing you can do is to train hard for many weeks (harder than usual) - then travel in a stressful way to another country (will they let me take my monofin on the plane, will they lose any of my luggage) - then eat exotic food your stomach is not used to, and socialize with hundreds of people from all over the world (bringing new germs with them that your immune system is not used to) and then get totally stressed over this fact – and the fact that all the others look so fit and that you probably have trained too little (which makes you train even harder the last days even though its too late) – this my friends, is a set up for catching a disease – and it is called a world championship in freediving.
Now you know why Michael Jackson sleeps in a oxygen chamber and walks a round with a face mask.

And by the way, since all air you breath in an airplane is recycled you might want to fly with a rather new airplane that has HEPA filters for the air, otherwise you might end up breathing your seat neighbours germs.

If you by any lock reach your hotel in good health once be duly warned that the aircondition might contain organisms related to pneumonia, or mold.

The special branches of the German second world war army was widely known for their dedication, effectiveness and passion bordering to fanatism. Traits that can be useful in other situations in life – such as in staying healthy.

Point of no return
Once you are ill – it takes some dedication to get well again and unfortunately some time. It is much easier – and a smarter approach – to put your dedication into staying healthy. There are so many things you can do, that if you do not do them – you are actually choosing your own illness. Unhealth is just not something that “happens” to poor little you. You choose it!

Get ill
Now mind you - You need a little germs in your life. The constant attacks on your immune system keeps it in training and adds to it ability to take on greater challenges (like a visit to Egypt). You are actually slightly stronger after a cold or an infection.

One alternative could actually be to seek out illness about a month before an important competition. To do this you have to lower your guard and let them in.

Disease due to malnutrition
Germs alone are not enough to get ill. They have to find you when you are off your guard – slightly weak. Nearly all maladies are the effect of lack of correct diet. You yourself lowering your guard (or abundance of unhealthy food, will do the same thing).
Without getting the minerals and vitamins you need your immune system reduces its protective aspect. When immune system goes down and your guard is down and you are an easy prey to the germs.

Three effective ways to invite illness
1) Over training (which can slowly over time produce a lot of weakness).
2) Negative mental stress producing anxiety and bodily stress. In short: trying to do: too much in too short time and often with a feeling disappointment over the result.
3) Drinking too little water.

Water not only cleans your body, but also keeps your mucus moist. And germs does not attach easily to moist mucus. The nosecleansing (neti) by pouring water from one nostril to the other through the sinuses, one might think is done to remove dust and the like – but one of the major benefits is keeping the mucus in the sinuses moisturized. And it is through the nose we filter the air – the air that can contain germs.

Once germs have penetrated your immune system it takes 1-3 days for symptoms to appear. During the day before the outbreak of symptoms you might feel a strange vitality (high energy levels in your body) after that you crash. It is during this day that you are the most contagious for your fellow human beings. It is really advisable to be polite and stay away from other humans during the first period of your sickness (when the germs have the upper hand). Once you feel recovery has started you are usually less contagious for others. Why not do like the Japanese – wear a face mask.

How to get better
We are talking about things as: common cold, sneezing, cough or in other cases fever or a diarrhoea or muscle ache. Once you catch one of these your body is working uphill and the only one true remedy is spelled:

- Rest (more sleep than usual)
- Time
- Water (and nutritious food).

The battle within

During illness - your body is putting all its energies towards removing the germs. This is a cumbersome process and the temperature can rise in your body. Fever is in this perspective a good sign. A sign of your body at work. Diverting energy can in a situation like this just prolong the fight. Breath hold training is stupid and even eating too much can divert energy away from the healing process, since burning food takes a lot of energy. If eating; stay away from things that are hard to digest, like meat and fatty foods.
Just being social or taking in too many impressions can take a lot of energy. The best thing you could do while recovering is being in a silent dark room. If you have the ability: do some meditation and slow breathing exercises.

What is happening during this period is that white blood cells is floating through your blood system tracking down the alien intruders and capturing them and disintegrating them. War! Think positive – visualize this! But be sure to be on the winning side.

This is what you should visualize - the light green are the heroes.

Health check
Your pulse and your temperature is sure way of knowing your health status. Know your normal levels and if in doubt after a hard day (dive) check your resting pulse and your body temperature (changes in blood pressure can also be a telltale). Good advice is not to do any maximum dives until you are stabilized at usual levels. This also includes static breath holding. Don’t think you can get away with just a few breath holds.

Direct actions to get better
Stomach: eat antiseptic pills like “Antinal”, take rehydratation supplements. Drink “Marmari” tea. At some later stage a sip of the local yoghurt can be good. Guava leave tea is a good reputation for stomach disorder.
If fever: eat fever reducing pills.
If in the throat: cold honey is antiseptic, local throatpills with traces of antibiotics are “Bradural” or “Orofar”, which is stronger.

And of course: drink water, sleep/rest and eat vitamins, especially the antioxidants (A-C-E).

Other questions or more severe illness – ask a doctor.

Pre-emptive strikes – the “Bush doctrine”.
Get them before they get you – good old nazistyle approach.

- Wash your hands many times every day. Do it now. Do it before and after you handle money or when you are about to eat.
- Steal as many “wet tissues” as you can on the flight. These you can use to clean of suspicious looking cutlery.
- Before eating any of the local dishes, have a couple of decilitres of yoghurt from a pack. (that you open yourself).
- If you do not trust the cleanliness of the restaurant – go for the well cooked/fried food.
- Avoid ice cream.
- Do not use air condition – the air is too dry and your body does not like temperature changes.
- Buy the medicines mentioned above and eat them at first sign of malady.
- Try to avoid stronger medicines like antibiotics They kill everything.
- Do not underestimate the negative sides of stress.
- Stay away from children and animals.
- Do not socialize with others – they might be ill. Stay away from local transport – take your own taxi. Start this 10 days in advance before travelling to the competition.
- Wear a face mask at all times.
- Sleep in an oxygen chamber.
- Do never underestimate the negative sides of stress.

If you follow all these ideas for health mentioned above you will be categorized as a fanatic control freak and you will be so stressed out that this alone will probably make you ill.

The Nazis did not believe in the mixing of cultures. They believed this could contaminate their own perfect view of the world. They spent a lot of effort trying to beat these lesser cultures, even denying their right to live.

When it comes to germs/ bacteria - this could be a useful approach to copy.

The referrals to Nazism is called satire and is not meant to upset anyone. Referral to war is also a philosophical reminder of how creatures on this earth is in constant battle with each other over territory and resources (creatures including: vermins, germs, animals and the splendid species of humans). The human lust for battle is so great that our civilized species even has invented a non lethal way of still getting the needed release of excitement and biological urge for battle – they call it sports.

May the best team win (wither it is made up of humans or germs).