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Folk medicine: How Belarusians treat illnesses in alternative ways

A sound mind in a sound body. In the wintertime, it is very important to stay healthy. What to do in order to not get sick? Different people choose to stay healthy by different means, using both traditional and alternative medicine. Ilona Volynets has more.

It is -3°С, but Vladimir is swimming as if it were not an ice-hole, but a warm sea. He has been practicing it every day for over 15 years.

Vladimir Shulgan, Belarusian Federation of Health Training and Sports Winter Swimming, chairman:
One can get used to cold and make themselves healthier by all means possible: air, sun, usual water and, of course, the word.

However, he is only wearing speedos while swimming, as it is very important to stay warm. And it is way better to dress at home than outside, he says.

Vladimir Shulgan:
We are outside right now. How many pairs of socks do you have? One? You need at least two pairs a day. Change them during the day.

Winter swimming for thrill-seekers, outside gymnastics for those cold-natured.

Vladimir Shulgan:
We only have two-four sunny days. We should spend them outside and be active.

Yekaterina Alfer:
I get chills when I see a winter swimmer. It is cold to look at. I would never do that.

She prefers having a few sock layers, a warmer, and a warm plaid. A hot-water bottle is even better.

Some warmers can even be heated in microwaves.

Yekaterina Alfer:
A warmer can be heated in just two minutes.

It seems children know how to stay healthy better than children.

Kids:
Why are we eating garlic today? To stay healthy. This is from flu!

They do not know much about illnesses, but they play “Pharmacy” and show each other their magic garlic-smelling beads.

Svetlana Kulizhenko, Minsk State Educational Institution Nursery No548, deputy head:
Having garlic seems like no big deal, but our kids get sick less.

In general, Belarusians know what to do in winter. Office workers drink coffee less and ginger tea more. Manager Anna is giving everyone vitamins.

The company rewards their employee for non-smoking with a bag of fruits. The company even made the workday shorter!

Pavel Myakinnik, a CEO:
We found out that having a six-hour work day is more effective. It is a popular thing in Sweden. It benefits both employees and the company. People work more effectively these six hours.

However, even doctors cannot avoid some viruses.

Viktor Sokolovsky, paramedic:
Virus is comfortable in warm, moist, and musty conditions. I would not recommend making your body like that.

Viktor Sokolvskiy starts his day with snow shoveling. It is also an exercise.

Viktor Sokolovsky, paramedic:
I have very few medical drugs in my first aid kit: some painkillers, antipyretics, and a tape.

Sometimes medical drug prices make us feel sick. Often Belarusian medicine is cheaper but just as effective.

Viktor Sokolovsky, paramedic:
Placebo syndrome. It works all over the world. We prefer French and German drugs, the French use English medicine. Why pay more?

Viktor reminds us: always stay hydrated. Drink water, even more, when you got sick.

Viktor Sokolovsky, paramedic:
We can get rid of bad things in our bodies with water only. It is recommended to drink two liters a day; the Japanese make it three. They live longer, maybe they are right.

Two liters of water a day, morning exercises keep doctors away. Olga is 60, however, she does not think of herself as a retired person. She is her own dietarian and fitness trainer. Her husband also leads an active life.

There is no cold panacea in the world yet. One can go winter swimming, drink hot tea, wear garlic beads or air the rooms. However, there is one very popular traditional health sandwich: a slice of bread, pork fat, onion and some greenery.

Folk medicine: How Belarusians treat illnesses in alternative ways