What can we do for the Covid-19 pandemic?
We have lived in Quarantine for almost 2 months now. Everyone has experienced the worry and fear of catching Coronavirus. Some of us have one through battling with this disease or lost a loved one, family member or friend. Some people lost their life during tis pandemic. It is a dark time in history.
During this time, most of us are reflecting on our health and lives. We have realized that keeping a strong immune system is crucial to prevent the contraction of Coronavirus. Having a good lifestyle and consuming balanced nutrients is basic to building a healthy and balanced immune system to avoid the essential diseases.
When the time is close to the end of the Covid-19 Quarantine, many of us are thinking about returning to work. Since there is no vaccine currently available to protect us, and no medicine to effectively treat Covid-19*, we must do whatever we can to make us healthier and stronger.
(*) Remdesivir is only to be used to treat severe cases.
As a Chinese medicine practitioner with 35 years of practice experience, I would like to share some personal experiences and knowledge on how to prepare ourselves to return to work, what we can do to prevent contracting Covid-19, and what we should do if we show symptoms. I will also explain how we use TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) to deal with certain psychological disorders including anxiety and depression. This is a serious issue during the Covid-19 pandemic.
How do we prepare ourselves to return to work?
I recommend that everyone be tested for Covid-19 if possible. If your test is positive or you are experiencing symptoms, please stay home until you are negative and symptom-free. Follow the CDC health guideline for preventing Covid-19. Wear a mask or face covering in public areas. Keep a social distance of 6 feet when there is more than one person in the space. Washing your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitizer. Keep your clothes that you wear for work in a well-ventilated area after finishing work.
What else we can do to prevent Covid-19 infection?
Since corona virus affects bronchus and lungs, it is more important than ever to keep your lungs healthy and strong. This is especially true for those who had been affected by Covid-19 disease.
In TCM, we know that the lungs are the most fragile organ in our body. TCM includes nasal passages, sinus, throat and lungs in the respiratory system. There are few ways to make this system healthy and function better.
- Clean the nasal passages every day with warm water.
- Gargle with salt water and drink hot water to clean the throat .
- Practice deep breathing and yoga and do moderate cardio exercise to strengthen the lung’s function. Make sure you can take fresh air when you do exercise.
- Consume certain foods to benefit the lungs. This includes white wood ear. It is a tree fungus that should be cooked in a soup. Consume raw honey, almonds, Lotus root, Lotus seeds, Napa cabbage, turnips (white radish), carrots, and pears (especially Asian pear).
- Do not consume sugar. Consuming fruit and honey is ok.
- Take specific herbs to nourish and strengthen the lungs. This includes Loquat paste, Lily bulbs, Luo Han guo (monk fruit) and botanical name, Grosvener Siraitia. For the dosage and how to use, please consult with your local TCM practitioner.
- If you have symptoms like sore throat, sinus pain, sneezing, mild or moderate coughing, with or without fever, please consult with your TCM provider immediately to get some herbal treatment. And in the meantime, try to get the Covid-19 testing as soon as possible.
- If you test positive for Covid-19, please self isolate at home for 14 days. You can visit www.herbcareus.com to get free herb treatment. There are some TCM doctors to help you. I would like to mention that this website only accepts mild or moderate Covid-19 patients. If your symptoms worsen and include a high fever, severe cough and difficulty breathing, please call 911 and go to the hospital.
During this Covid-19 pandemic period , the key to prevention and healing is obtaining a balanced and strong immune system.
In TCM field, Chinese Herbs, acupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion play a very important role in balancing yin/yang, Qi/ blood, meridians and organs. Therefore, our defense and self-healing system will work its best to protect us. There are many herbal remedies that can be used for boosting immunity. Personally, I like to use Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan. Yu Ping Feng Wan, or Fu Zheng Kang Ai Wan.
I would like to suggest doing acupuncture and cupping therapy once a week. In my 35 years practice, I observed cupping therapy with acupuncture and herbal treatment showing an incredible healing power in treating many illnesses. This includes treating lung disease, persistent cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
For some patients that have recovered from Covid-19 pneumonia, they may have pulmonary fibrosis as pneumonia’s sequel. We have some herbal remedies that may help soften and melt the lung fibrosis.
Obtaining good quality sleep is another important way to keep the immune system functioning well. Acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, yoga and proper aerobic exercise can help tremendously to ease stress and insomnia.
Making the GI tract work normally is more urgent than ever during Covid-19. Because we need to absorb nutrients from the GI tract to keep the immune system working.
In term of TCM theory, our defense system comes from spleen yang and kidney yang. Those yang Qi will require the food nutrients to generate and develop. If one’s diet hurts the GI tract, by the time it affects the yang Qi growth, then the immune system will get weaker and weaker. Once the virus invades the body, the immune system cannot fight well and one can face very severe consequences.
Foods that can strengthen the spleen Qi:
- Sweet potatoes
- Chinese yam
- Euryale seeds
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Chinese red dates
Food that can enhance and support kidney Qi:
* I encourage to consider these foods in your diet to make your constitution and immune system strong and healthy.
- Striped bass
- Sesame seeds
- Chinese yam
- Chinese chives
- Taro root
Basic steps to keep a healthy GI tract:
- Eat your meals on time. Do not miss a meal.
- Eat balanced nutrients: carbs, vegetables and protein.
- Eat or drink warm food. Do not consume ice cold food or liquids. This is a very important point to keep he stomach and intestines absorbing nutrients well.
- No sugar. Raw honey and fruits are ok.
Finally, I will mention that acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years to help people who suffer from anxiety and depression. They are very effective and safe. The treatment is pain-free and natural. Please add Chinese medicine and acupuncture as your choice of treatment protocols for mental disorders caused by Covid-19.
I Hope everyone will continue to be healthy and safe after going back to work! Take care of yourself and others!
Dr. Feng Liang
At 5/12/2020 in New York