News about the new deadly coronavirus – recently named COVID-19 – has been everywhere for weeks.
For good reason: there’s no vaccine for it and it’s now spread far beyond the initial outbreak zone in central China. In the United States, we’ve been able to watch the crisis unfold from a safe distance, but our Centers for Disease Control now says it’s just a matter of when, not if, the mysterious virus will arrive in this country.
We don’t know how serious an outbreak might get. The government is on top of the developments, but in the meantime we want YOU to be as prepared as possible.
COVID-19 has been attacking the most vulnerable; older people with underlying health problems. That’s a different paradigm than, for example, the worldwide flu epidemic of 1918 that killed untold numbers of healthy – often young – people because the particular strain of virus caused hyper immune responses in its victims.
Maintaining a strong immune system, one that can respond to attacks, is crucial. Traditional Chinese Medicine has a lot to offer in that respect, as well as potentially in case of infection.
I have started giving patients a simple 3-herb formula named Yu Ping Feng San, which contains a famous Qi booster called Huang Qi. It’s better known to some as Astragalus. Since there’s no way to know when COVID-19 will arrive in significant numbers, it’s a good idea to start taking this formula now.
If the worse happens, at least 2 formulas – Chuan Xin Lian and Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan – can be very effective at treating flu, especially cases involving respiratory infections with various degrees of fever, breathing difficulties, heavy yellow/green mucus, sore joints and muscles and low energy.
Other proactive steps you can take is to eat nutritious food with a lot of vegetables and minimal sugars. In other words, a healthy diet. Citrus fruits are great immune boosters and, personally, I regularly supplement with Vitamin C powder (1000 mg/day).
Exercise and stress management are also crucial to immune system maintenance. Those who meditate will find it easier to control their stress, which diverts critical body resources from our essential functions, but if you don’t, at least minimize your stress by giving yourself a pat on the back every once in awhile and knowing you can’t control everything all the time.
All public health voices seem to be in agreement about the importance of careful personal hygiene. Keep your hands clean, especially after touching surfaces you have no control over, such as door knobs and restaurant tables! You can buy portable hand sanitizers for this, but make sure the alcohol levels – probably isopropyl or ethyl – are at least 60%. I will be making homemade hand sanitizers with a high disinfectant level to carry around with me and offer to clients.
Managing a fool-proof public response is nearly impossible. Just this week, reports came through that health officials taxed with watching over quarantined Americans at two military bases were poorly trained, traveled loosely off-base and didn’t have proper protective clothing. There’s a long way to go and that isn’t the most encouraging start. With confirmed cases rising, including one recently in Sarasota, federal, state and local governments do appear to be ramping up their efforts.
The key is to be prepared!
Josh Zimmer is a Nationally Certified, State Licensed Acupuncture Physician. He graduated from the East West College of Natural Medicine in Sarasota, FL in 2008. Josh is the acupuncturist at Four Pillars, providing natural healing for pain relief and digestive issues. He also treats symptoms of cancer, stroke and neuropathy. Four Pillars is located at 8209 Natures Way, Suite 221, Lakewood Ranch. For more information, call 941-373-3955, email Info@FourPillasFlorida.com or visit FourPillarsFlorida.com