Coronavirus and TCM and Staying Healthy at Home
Navigating stay at home orders, working from home, schooling from home and the myriad other new things that are now a daily part of life is stressful. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with each new development and all the unknowns that surround our lives because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Traditional Chinese medicine offers something old and grounding to turn back to during this time.
The idea that supporting mental health is a significant factor in supporting physical health is a central tenet of traditional Chinese medicine. Beyond acupuncture and herbal remedies, TCM takes a holistic approach to health that includes simple things you can do each day to foster physical health through supporting that mind body connection. Here are six things you can incorporate into your daily routine to mitigate stress and stay healthy right now.
Sleep. Get enough sleep! Your body does a significant amount of healing each night while you’re asleep. Don’t lose track of any helpful routines you have to help yourself get restful sleep each night. If you don’t have any, consider incorporating a dedicated routine of winding down each evening to get your body ready for sleep. Putting away your phone, drinking a cup of herbal tea, reading a novel or some poetry, or doing some simple yoga stretches are all ways to signal to your body that it’s time to start winding down for the day. Try to go to sleep at the same time each evening too. While so many things are up in the air, your sleep schedule shouldn’t be one of them, and your body will thank you for that.
Hydrate. Drinking enough water is another one of the simplest ways to stay healthy in your body and mind. If this is a hard one for you, adding some lemon or cucumber to your water can make it more enjoyable. Make it a goal to drink about a cup of water each hour throughout the day. It’s amazing how big of a difference this can make.
Move. Move your body! Even five minutes each day will make a difference. Incorporate movement into your day in whatever way is most palatable for you. That might be going on a walk, having a dance party with your kids, or moving through some yoga poses. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, there are more free online yoga resources than ever if having some guidance will help you to incorporate movement into your day.
Eat well. Don’t let go of healthy eating habits right now. When we’re stressed, it’s really easy to want comfort in any form, including comfort food. Which is totally okay and understandable! But make sure you’re eating vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and protein as well. Again, with everyone stuck at home, free online recipes for your quarantine abound. Making sure your body is well-nourished is one of the best things you can do for long-term physical and mental health.
Acupressure. There are many acupuncture points you can use at home through acupressure, which is simply pressing on certain points on your body with your fingers instead of with acupuncture needles. Applying pressure to these points activates Qi circulation in much the same way acupuncture needles do. To relieve stress, here are two common points that are easy to access yourself:
For each point, you can apply pressure for between one and three minutes on each hand or foot. Many acupuncture points can help with different kinds of stress relief, and your acupuncturist is a great tool for learning about more points and acupressure techniques.
Go easy on yourself. Be really gentle with yourself. It’s okay to not do all these things all the time. Do what you can for yourself and those around you. Something is better than nothing.
As the effects of the coronavirus outbreak continue to seep into everyday life, it can be hard to stay present rather than focusing on the myriad of concerns and questions everyone has. Unfortunately, this can be true for kids too.
Younger kids can perceive their caretakers’ stress and older kids are better aware of what’s going on for their families and in the world around them. As we navigate our own stress each day, it can be hard to know how to protect children from theirs. Traditional Chinese Medicine can support you in doing so, maybe lightening your personal load in the process.
It’s important to remember that children and young adults often react differently to stress and fear than adults. Some kids react right away and are able to be very verbal about their feelings, while others may have a delayed reaction or more difficulty verbalizing their feelings in general. For some children, their fear may even express itself as a physical response; kids may experience physical pain or discomfort as an expression of their stress. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioners are trained to look at each patient from a holistic, well-rounded perspective, meaning they already consider the mental and physical aspects of health. While they are not therapists, your acupuncturist may be a great resource for guiding kids through talking about how their bodies are feeling, maybe offering insight on the mental factors that may contribute to those physical responses.
For kids at many stages of development, they may react to stress by reverting back to a younger age or previous stage. This could be reverting to sucking on their thumb for younger kids or seeking extra attention and care from their caregivers for kids that are a little older.
Whether through acupuncture, dietary supplements like Chinese herbs, or other modalities such as acupressure, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) helps people of any age release stress and anxiety and reinvigorates energy flow within the body that can get stuck by prolonged feelings of fear. Children are especially vulnerable to extended periods of stress, because their immune systems are still developing. TCM is especially well-suited to build up and support adults’ and children’s immune systems, which can become worn down by too much stress. In a time when everyone is afraid of getting sick, no matter their age, a strong immune system is our best defense against illness and stress alike.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioners use the word Wei Qi, which is a concept comparable to the immune system in Western medicine. Wei Qi is our first line of defense against external pathogens. Certain acupuncture points support balancing our Wei Qi as well as the energy flow to and from our lungs, which in TCM, are the first barrier to outside pathogens. The lungs disperse Qi to the body’s surface to protect it.
For kids, it’s common to be scared of needles. In that case, acupressure is a great alternative. Practitioners can activate specific points to support the immune system without using any needles. They can also activate points to relax the nervous system and regulate the digestive and hormonal systems. Cultivating and maintaining balance in all of these systems allows the body to heal and stay strong in stressful situations.
No matter how your kids are experiencing stress, the most important thing is to make sure they feel loved and cared for. There are plenty of things you can do yourself, at home, to support your kids through this stressful time.
It’s important as a caretaker to be a good listener. Caretakers, whether they are parents, teachers or friends, can help their kids to express their emotions through creative activities like drawing, playing or singing.
Let kids know it’s okay to feel sad and scared, and to express those emotions. Crying can be a helpful release of those emotions, and creative activities can be a helpful way for kids to access and express what they are feeling.
It’s also important to allow kids to ask questions. Asking your kids questions is also a good way to learn how much they know about what is going on and what support they might need to understand the changes happening in their lives.
Kids, just like adults, benefit from engaging in positive actions to help people affected by the virus or to do their part in preventing its spread. Talk to your kids about good hand washing techniques. They can also write letters or draw pictures to send to families who have been affected or organize a drive in your neighborhood to gather medical supplies to send to particularly affected communities. Be sure to implement social distancing when organizing events in your community and follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC.
Through all this, make sure you’re encouraging activities that have nothing to do with the coronavirus outbreak. Turn off the news, spend time with them playing games, maintain a regular routine and talk about other things. These distractions may even be a good excuse for you to shut off your worries for at least part of the day.
For you and your kids, it’s very important to maintain healthy self-care habits. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches a holistic view of self-care, which includes a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough exercise and getting enough sleep. The better you take care of yourself during this time, the better you’ll be able to care for those around you.
Acupuncture can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety for adults too, and it can be a very safe option. If you and your family are healthy, a visit to your acupuncturist can be safe. Acupuncture needles are single-use and completely sterile, and practitioners can take other steps to make sure you are comfortable with your visit.
In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, doctors of TCM in China have developed specific herbal formulas to address specific symptoms and pathologies brought on by the coronavirus. If you or someone you know is affected by the coronavirus, you can contact us for information on these specific formulas. These formulas, as well as other well-known herbal formulas directed at supporting Wei Qi can fortify the lungs and increase the production of helpful T-cells and white blood cells to help the body fight off viruses.
Remember, kids respond to fear and stress in a variety of ways, so it’s important to be present, to listen and be loving toward any kids in your life during this outbreak. As communities rally to support each other in big ways and small, consider offering a little extra support to let any adolescents in your life know they are cared for.
May your family stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.
Dear patients and our community,
As you already know, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is very real and it is everyone’s responsibility to help keep our community safe from the rapid spread of Coronavirus. To help slow the spread of this virus, it is now more important than ever to take an abundance of caution to help protect you, your family, our community and our healthcare system.
Because there are many unknowns about Coronavirus and things can change rapidly, we believe using common sense is the best measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you are feeling ill, or experiencing any of the following symptoms, please stay home and limit your exposure to other people in your community. By taking action, you will significantly delay the spread of COVID-19:
Prevention is the best medicine. Here are some additional resources for our patients and community during this critical time.
What You Can Do To Take Care Of Yourself
The most important things you can do to support your immune system are really basic:
What You Can Do To Help Boost Your Immune System
To the Point: Immunity System Support PDF
As part of our ongoing support to you and our community, we’ve included a FREE PDF download to help give you the tools to strengthen your immune system at home. Click here to download this FREE PDF resource.
Up-to-date COVID-19 Data from the World Health Organization
For the current number of cases worldwide, the World Health Organization maintains a COVID-19 Situation Report worldwide. Click here.
As acupuncturists and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are committed to the health and safety of our community. With your help and support, we can all take part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
While these times may feel unusually challenging, please know we will continue to monitor the current situation and evaluate additional measures to help support our patients, employees and community.
Provided by: AcuPerfect Websites
As we are all aware, we have a few new Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in Rhode Island. Our biggest concern is, has been and always will be the health, healing and well being of our cherished patients and families. We want to reiterate what we have all heard, there is no need to panic, but we do want to acknowledge that there is some fear , and to let you know what we are doing to reduce transmission of this and other diseases. We are committed to your healing and the office will remain open for the time being and we hope to continue to remain open.
First and foremost, we ask that you stay home if you're sick (sore throat, coughing, stomach stuff, sniffles, fever, whatever). We will not be charging a cancellation fee even for same day cancellations. But we do ask that you give us as much notice as you can. If you're caring for or living with someone who is sick, we recommend rescheduling your appointments until everyone is recovered.
We know everyone is so tired of hearing this but wash your hands. A lot. Don’t touch your face (SO hard, but try not to!), don’t touch your eyes.
Make good decisions about your health and the health of others around you. It’s incredible to think about how connected we are, and how our actions affect others. Stay home if you're sick, cough/sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Be aware. If you're not feeling well, or if you've been around someone who isn’t feeling well, consider avoiding places where you might be in contact with vulnerable populations (elders, immune-compromised folks), like nursing homes, and hospitals. Our actions affect all of us.
We always have, and always will, wash our hands and arms thoroughly before and after each patient, and will be ramping it up a bit with hand-sanitizer etc. We change the sheets and face cradle covers between patients. We're doing extra sanitizing and cleaning. And although human touch and contact is a huge part of the healing work we do, we will keep contact limited to our acupuncture, cupping, etc. So for now, no hand shaking, no hugging, etc.
And because you are our number one priority, we will stay home if we're sick. We’re NO good to you if we are sick. Please be prepared for, and understanding of the fact we may need to cancel our appointments and reschedule for a later time. And we're keeping an eye on the RI Dept of Health for updates and recommendations.
Final thoughts: Check on loved ones, neighbors etc who may need assistance. Stay informed with reliable resources and stay calm. We are not in crisis, we are taking important, inconvenient measures to prevent a crisis.
In closing, there's currently no reason to panic. If you're feeling fine but need a little tune up, we hope to see you at the office. In fact, we depend on it and look forward to it! So let's help each other through this.
In health, happiness and healing,
Dr Fischer , Dr Martinez, Heather, and Bridget
Here are some extra heath tips from Dr. Fischer:
Monolaurin 1gr. x2 / day is an effective maintenance treatment to protect
form viruses, *specifically* lipid-enveloped viruses (such as COVID-19).
If there are symptoms increase the dose to 1gr. x 3-4 /day
Other great daily supplements include: Elderberry, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin
D, and Immunoplex from Standard Process.
ABOUT KEYSTONE FAMILY ACUPUNCTURE, INC.
Stephanie Fischer, DA, Lic.Ac, M.Ac, founded Keystone Family Acupuncture, Inc. in 2015 in Providence, Rhode Island where she has been practicing acupuncture since 2010. Her goal was to create a family practice where the needs of the whole family could be addressed with complementary medicine.
The word “Keystone” was chosen to represent bringing both the Eastern and Western sides of medicine together to complete the healing journey. Often complementary medicine is the missing link in a patients’ journey to wellness and healing and that once implemented into a care plan can produce profound and lasting results. In our logo design we also have the family placed in the Keystone symbolizing strength, endurance, and unity. Our porcupine mascot is based on the Swiss folklore of being friendly, nurturing, intuitive and family orientated creatures often portrayed in fun imagery and collectibles for all ages.
At Keystone Family Acupuncture, our goal is to make our patients feel comfortable with acupuncture and enjoy the experience. We strive to enhance the treatments by always connecting with our patients through listening, providing hope and healing, and helping bridge an ancient medicine into the modern-day acupuncture clinic through our individualized care, expertise, and professionalism.