Why shaking hands is out at the Olympics?
“Olympians are told to fist-bump, not shake hands, to prevent the spread of norovirus.”
Let’s begin this post by excluding the obvious…when skiers are wearing mittens, how does “fist bumping” offer greater protection from bacterial or viral infections than shaking hands? Clearly it doesn’t, but consumers would likely follow these instructions without even considering whether the advice even made any sense!
Now, let’s take it one step further…are we to believe that bacteria and viruses only migrate to the palm surface and finger tips of the hand and exclude the backside of the hand used for “fist bumping”? Are we to believe that bacteria and viruses floating in the air magically exclude themselves from landing on some surfaces of the body exposed to them? When athletes sweat, does one believe “germs” remain on each athlete’s respective body if “fist bumping” is used in place of hand shaking?
We naively continue to accept the fallacy that germ exposure makes us sick!!
A day does not pass in which EVERY person in this world is exposed to bacteria and viruses. Why then, are we not chronically sick from these invasive organisms? The answer is our immune systems respond appropriately in containing these harmful pathogens. It doesn’t require cognitive thinking to combat these “germs”; it requires a STRONG self regulating immune system functioning properly. We pass more “germs” to each other standing in close proximity and simply breathing than we do shaking hands, yet we don’t wear surgical masks to avoid becoming sick on a daily basis.
“FIST BUMPING” is NOT the SOLUTION for avoiding compromised health. Supporting our individual immune systems to maximize their defensive response to harmful “germs” is the best approach to achieving healthy outcomes (for the average person).
Prior to the invention of “fist bumping”, when was the last outbreak of disease you remember caused by hand shaking? We are a germophobic society indoctrinated into believing that “germs” must be KILLED in order to survive and remain healthy.
Although there are rare circumstances where “germs” can be dangerous and even lethal, the average person in the U.S. would experience fewer episodes of illnesses if they were willing to take greater personal responsibility toward living a BALANCED healthy lifestyle. This lifestyle would be designed to strengthen function and performance while defending against foreign invaders (“GERMS”).
This is the basis for achieving and maintaining quality health. “Fist bumping” is not a requirement under these guidelines.
Some will argue the “fist bump” is quick and doesn’t expose people to excessive time in contact. Giving a person a “high five” is just as quick. As a matter of fact, we are taught today to sneeze and cough on the BACKSIDE of our hand, or forearm. After we wash our hands we are taught to use the backside of our hands to shut off the water. Are we not exposing the backside of our hands to germs under these circumstances? Are we then not exposing each other to these germs as we “fist bump” as an alternative to shaking hands?
Fist bumping, flu vaccines, and not going outside with wet hair are NOT solutions to supporting immune health. Living a lifestyle that “FEEDS” immune NEEDS optimizes one’s immune system and effectiveness at combating disease. There is NO SUBSTITUTE offered by ANY health professional (medical, chiropractic, osteopathic, naturopathic, etc…) capable of replacing nutritional needs, physical needs, hydration needs, sleep and recovery needs and stress reducing needs necessary for strengthening and supporting optimal immune function.
Prior to the invention of Purell and Lysol, people who chose to FEED their immune needs by following these essential lifestyle patterns of behavior predominantly lived healthy lives. Equally important is recognizing these essential lifestyle patterns have supported and improved our QUALITY OF LIFE.
Every athlete knows to “return to the basic skills” when positive performance results are no longer being achieved. This restores a foundation upon which further improvement becomes possible again. Every consumer should also understand the importance in “returning to FOLLOWING the basic needs” of the body and mind. This too, provides a foundation upon which the immune system can build and strengthen.