Los Angeles County has declared a state of emergency to receive emergency funding quickly now that a patient has been confirmed with COVID19 through the West LA Kaiser facility (patient is being quarantined at home) and two more in Orange County.
I have continued to stay abreast of the disease and spread, and listening to the Japanese government-sanctioned news station, NHK, I learned two factors important in the spread of COVID19 thus far.
- The virus, SARS-CoV-19, is much more easily spread in indoor areas and especially indoor areas with poor air circulation.
- The young can be silent spreaders of the disease.
The young are having almost no fatality (thankfully), and if they get it, their symptoms are mild.
What this means though, is that if they contract the novel coronavirus, because their symptoms are mild, they are not being tested and thus going undetected in Japan. This then means that they are unwittingly spreading the disease to people. The concern is the spread to those with comorbid conditions or the elderly or immunocompromised. This demographic are the ones experiencing the severe symptoms.
So if your child is sick, keep them home, regardless of coronavirus or not. And of course, if you are sick, stay home. It’s all around good practice to stay home when sick to prevent burdening the community with the sick virus circulating in public. You recover faster, too, if you stay home at the first sign of being sick. No coworker wants a sick coworker working next to them. And no teacher nor student would like to be next to a sick child. So talk to your employer about more flexible rules around staying home when sick in this current climate.
We are now having confirmed cases of COVID19 around the country of those who travelled abroad to Milan (Italy), China, and other countries that are now travel restricted or banned. What this means to us in Southern California is this: if you or someone in very close contact to you has travelled in the last 3 weeks to China, Japan, South Korea, Italy or Iran, and are having upper respiratory symptoms or diarrhea, I would immediately contact your western medicine primary health care provider and let them know of your condition, and self quarantine until indicated otherwise by your healthcare provider. If your spouse or children are exhibiting symptoms as well, I would quarantine them at home until further directive from your primary.
In the meantime, what can you do to protect yourself, be ready, and stay sane?
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, there are things you can do:
1) If you have been getting custom formulas from me, please know I have been adding antiviral/bacterial herbs in your formulas during cold/flu season to address the cold and flu regardless of whether you have any upper respiratory issues. This is a practice I have been doing for years to protect you guys.
2) If you have not been getting custom formulas, I have prescriptions specifically to boost immunity and also to address upper respiratory infections. You might be familiar with them as I am dispensing them all of the time in my office to children: Children’s Clear and Release, Windbreaker, Lung Qi Jr, Allerease Jr, Children’s Clear Lung, and Gan Mao Ling for adults. If you would like to purchase these as preventive measures and to treat early symptoms of viral infections in your house, please contact me and I will prescribe them to you. It is always good to have these at home for protective and early-stage active infection measures.
3) If you are having upper respiratory symptoms, book a virtual office visit for an herbal consult with me so that we can nip this in the bud and get you healthier faster.
4) Continue to get acupuncture and other wellness affirming treatments (reiki, chiropractic, massage) to keep your mind and body strong (but do stay home if you are feeling sick!)
5) One of the dominating factors about COVID19 from a Chinese Medicine perspective is that this disease presents with many Damp symptoms that become toxic and create shortness of breath, wheezing, edema, diarrhea, sepsis (when the symptoms are more severe), among other symptoms.
6) In order to counter the Damp energy of this toxic virus (to those who are in the demographic for more severe symptoms and manifestations) is to start eating more healthy and living a lifestyle that limits damp energy from manifesting in your body so that you don’t create a damp environment in your body that can easily host this more severe effects of the virus. This means:
- Avoid animal dairy products, reduce intake of wheat and gluten, carbs, alcohol, sweets.
- Sleep early and rise early.
- Keep the air in your workplace and at home clean by opening the windows often or using air purifiers. I sell HEPA-grade air purifiers that’s a powerhorse and is guaranteed for 5 years without filter changes. I use this both in my office and at home. Inquire within if interested.
- Do mindfulness practices like yoga, taichi, meditation to keep your anxiety down. With stress, we have a cascade of immune responses that benefits infections from taking hold. We don’t want that. A calmer mind and body are much more immune to infections. I like to use meditate and do mindfulness practices using the Plum Village It’s free. (There’s others out there that are free as well.) And here is a taichi form that children and adults alike can practice that strengthens your respiratory system.
- If you are overweight, consider taking actions now to start losing weight by exercising and eating cleaner, as excess weight is considered excess damp in the body.
- Go outdoors and enjoy nature. (Remember the findings in Japan of the virus spreading more in indoor/poor air circulated areas, which means outdoors less disease transmission?) Exercise your lungs to keep them strong by taking deep inhales in nature. Mother Earth is a powerful healer.
- Keep your mucous membranes moist. Dry, cracked membranes become a host for pathogens to enter, so protect your sinuses. Do daily nasal rinses and salt-water gargles (throat is directly connected to the sinuses). I like to use Xlear for my sinuses. If you are having dry sinuses, put some Vaseline or some thick emollient in the entryways of your nostrils to keep them more moist.
- Because this is a Damp pathogen, it’s important to elevate your body temperature by staying warm. Cold body, cold hands, cold feet all indicate cold in your body. Wear extra layers of clothes or turn up the heater one or 2 degrees higher. Take warm baths frequently. Exercise to elevate your body temperature and also to sweat out the toxins.
- Moxa acupuncture point Stomach 36 at home daily. Here is the video to show you how to use it at home. It is very easy to do at home. The point Stomach 36 is known as Three-Leg-Mile in Chinese, and it is given this name because according to the Chinese, if you stimulate this point every day with moxa, anyone can walk for 3 miles (implying miles and miles and miles) without any difficulty, which means you have robust health. There are many elderly Asian people who practice this and are known to have strong health well into their senior years. If you would like to do this at home, inquire within so I can provide you with the moxa to do so.
- Use your shower as an immunity booster. While under hot running water, vigorously rub your eye orbit/sinuses, cheeks, neck, upper chest, and shoulder. The heat along with the vigorous stimulation of the skin and muscles, will activate improved blood circulation. With increased blood circulation, you’re bringing pathogen fighting immune cells to the mucous membranes and openings into the head (nose, eyes, mouth, ears), which in Chinese Medicine we say is an entry way for pathogens. Keep them pathogen fighting buster circulating in the top of the head to ward of any virus or bacteria!
- Evil Bone Water to the rescue! Especially after this kind of shower regimen, but any time during the day, rub Evil Bone Water all along the cheeks, behind the ears, your neck, your shoulders, your chest and along the eye orbit to bring the deeply aromatic herbs to help you breathe deeper and activate your lungs. The herbs in Evil Bone Water are highly antipathogenic as well, so not only does it lift your spirits but it will help to fight any virus/bacteria lurking around you. I like to take this on the plane and spritz all around my head to prevent any transmission of diseases. I know many of you can attest to how powerful Evil Bone Water is after I’ve used it with you when you’ve come in with early symptoms of a URI or post URI symptoms. If you’d like a bottle of Evil Bone Water, inquire within.
Incorporating these practices should keep you and your family healthy and strong. Many of these are what I am doing at home, in addition to of course washing my hands frequently and not touching my face. Pick and choose what works with you and stick with it. Consistency is key here for long term benefits.
If you do find that a family member in your household – or yourself – is confirmed with COVID19, follow these helpful home care practices to protect yourself and others and inform me so that I can stay on top of my patients’ statuses.
School closure/working from home
And because quarantining and school closures are a real possibility in the near future, start talking to your employer into the possibility of working from home and having plans to accommodate children at home. This is happening in Japan (all schools nationwide closed for at least 2 weeks) and parents are scrambling to find childcare or having to miss work.
If you are in good health, remember, the chances of you catching the virus and having severe symptoms are low. And your children will also only exhibit mild symptoms from what we are seeing worldwide, so just take precautionary measures at home, school, and in the public. And that is why it’s so important to keep yourself, your partner or your sick child home if any of you are sick so that we are not spreading anything – cold, flu, coronavirus! The less viruses out there in public helps those who have to work and be out there healthier.
Be well everyone. We will get through this!
Disclaimer: The information here and on the Iyashi Wellness website in general is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with qualified health care professionals. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.