Having reviewed the current research and considered conventional Chinese medical theory, we would like to offer this guidance.
Even before the U.S. healthcare authorities changed their policy, we had encouraged patients to wear a surgical mask when leaving the house. Infections occur in cases when people are exposed to a high concentration of airborne particles or infected respiratory droplets. While surgical masks do not provide robust protection to the healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients, they are thought to serve as a modest barrier against viral transmission in everyday circumstances. A recent study, however, demonstrated little effect in filtering out the virus from a wearer who coughs or sneezes violently.
Put on and take off the mask carefully with clean hands. Face the blue side out and position the metal strip up at the top, bending it to fit over your nose. If storing your mask for reuse, assume the blue side may be contaminated with respiratory droplets and do not use for at least 72 hours.
Lather, Rinse, and Repeat
Wash your hands frequently throughout the day with plenty of soap and water. The WHO has provided this instructional video.
Here in the desert, we prefer to turn the faucet off with our elbows and then use the soap and water already on our hands to continue washing. This helps to ensure that sufficient time is spent washing without wasting water. Frequent hand washing may lead to irritated skin. We use Tangkuei Salve made with organic sesame oil and organic American beeswax infused with premium tangkuei root to nourish and protect the skin.
Traditionally, tea is used as a component of Chinese formulas to treat externally-contracted, acute conditions. For example, in Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San, or Tea-Blended Ligusticum Powder, green tea is included to eliminate pathogens associated with common cold or even influenza where headache is the primary symptom.
Drinking warm or hot beverages puts less strain on the body where the ambient temperature is approximately 98.6 degrees, while boiling foods discourage microbes. Some research has found tea to have inhibitory effects on viruses and bacteria, so a hot cup of tea may be a safer drink than cold or iced offerings. Also, without any added dairy or sugar, tea only contains two calories and is absolutely fat-free and sugar-free.
Most importantly, all tea from the camellia sinensis bush, including green, black, and oolong varieties, are high in potent antioxidants. The best known among these are catechins. Of these, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is considered the most effective for increasing our baseline wellness. To ensure maximum levels of these healthful compounds, avoid the “tea dust” packaged in bags sold in supermarkets. Harvested mechanically, these commercial teas toss all of the better and worst “bits” of the tea plant together, mixing antioxidant-rich buds with nearly inert older leaves and even stems. We recommend Seven Cups, a local Chinese tea house, for hand-picked Chinese teas which deliver the best health benefits, as well as a source of good information on how to properly prepare and drink tea for maximum effect.
Many people are sick with stress and anxiety. This is an especially dangerous situation as increased mental and emotional angst has been clearly shown to compromise immunity and increase susceptibility to disease. Acknowledging the difficult of trying to wish away stress, it is imperative to add mental health exercises into our daily routines.
A Chinese study saw excellent results with a simple exercise designed to promote combined mental and physical relaxation. Choose a place at home where you can lie quietly without being disturbed. Starting at the top of your head physically and mentally release any tension, moving methodically and slowly from head to foot. This exercise takes about 20 minutes and should be repeated daily. Since stress can originate either from a point of physical or mental tension, training your mind and body to relax simultaneously has a deeply beneficial effect. If necessary, incorporate aids like diffused lavender essential oil, now on sale, or play calming music to facilitate deeper relaxation.
In Chinese medicine, we are urged to take steps to make sure the forces that patrol and protect the body—in Western medical terms, immune functions—are healthy and active. In addition to reducing stress, which is vitally important, Chinese medicine boasts special theories and tools traditionally used to reinforce bodily defenses.
Our defensive capacity is directly related to overall wellness and health. The key ingredients of good health, including a nutritious diet, moderate daily exercise, adequate rest and deep relaxation, and mental and emotional balance, are also vitally necessary for optimal immunity. On your table, try and eat even more colorful, antioxidant-rich, fresh produce, cooked but not to the point where nutrients may be lost. In your spare time, maintain, rekindle, or begin a practice of yoga or tai ji, activities that integrate relaxation with working out. And keep in mind that we can only be truly well when we regularly connect with nature. Where ever possible, go for long meditative strolls or, at least, get a daily dose of sun and fresh air outside in the backyard.
Recent studies show that most serious cases of COVID-19 occur to individuals who have preexisting medical conditions. In Chinese medicine, we specialize in analyzing systemic health and crafting treatments with broad holistic benefits. Book an appointment today for a telehealth or office consultation to create a wellness plan.
Around the world, billions of people are hitting pause and stopping those regular routines that give us a sense of satisfaction and self-worth. With bills to pay and goals and deadlines to meet, most of us are eager to get back to our normal lives but consider the fact that you can utilize this opportunity to do things you have always wanted but did not have time to do. Make a list of several activities you have put off doing. Read the great American novel. Tackle that complicated dish that you never had time, or energy, to cook at the end of a long day. Utilize the vast selection of free apps to learn some conversational Spanish, boost your IQ, or trace your family tree back to the immigrant ancestor. Setting short-term goals prevents nervous and anxious thoughts and allows us to become better people. Who knows what you might discover about yourself? This could be the beginning of something great.