HOW TO STAY HEALTHY
In The Coronavirus Era – The TCM Version
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up our way of life and forced us to take stock of how we care for ourselves and our communities. By this point we all know that social distancing and proper hand washing are must dos, but there are other ways to prevent infection and strengthen immunity. Here are a few natural ideas to help you stay healthy in this Coronavirus era.
Herbal Immune Support
Studies have shown that TCM herbal remedies can directly inhibit pathogens and strengthen immunity. Current TCM treatments for coronavirus have shown to be effective at reducing symptoms and facilitating healing for patients. Herbs known to support the immune system in Chinese medicine include:
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Reishi Mushrooms
- Shiitake Mushrooms
Increasing your use of these herbs in your daily living can help provide your immune system with the support it needs to fight off the coronavirus and keep you healthy. With more time eating at home due to social distancing, use it as an opportunity to expand your cooking skills and play with creative ways to add these herbs to your favorite meals. Many herbs can also be easily snuck into coffees, smoothies, milkshakes, juices and other tasty beverages which is a great solution for some of the more pungent herbs. If you don’t have the raw or prepared herbs on hand, see if you can find teas with these ingredients included.
Sleep for Healing and Strength
While getting enough sleep might sound like one of those obvious health tips, we often don’t take it seriously. A 2014 study showed that over one-third of American adults aren’t getting enough sleep every night. It also revealed that up to 60% of participants had lower levels of healthy sleep when they were unable to work or unemployed. In the days of national emergency when many places of work are closed down indefinitely, it’s not a stretch to say that you might be one of those people struggling to get decent shut-eye.
When your immune system is on red-alert fighting off pathogens and germs all day, however, sleep is crucial to your ability to stay healthy. Sleep is the primary time for our bodies to fight viruses, heal, and regenerate. During a time of social distancing and quarantine, a good night’s rest can also help you stay clear-headed, focused, and calm. This can be especially helpful if you live with your roommate, partner, or kids and want to avoid corona-arguments from all that time being cooped up inside.
So don’t let your Netflix binge session lead you to lose out on precious sleep. Even though elements of your normal schedule might have flown out the window, try to stick to consistent times to go to sleep and wake up in the morning to keep your body on a routine. If anxiety is getting in the way, consider harnessing the power of essential oils, meditation, acupuncture, or acupressure to help.
TCM Balance “Tune Ups”
In TCM, it’s believed that healthcare should be designed to continually work to maintain health rather than only look for care when you become sick. With this in mind, a digital visit with a TCM practitioner can assess your current condition and health history to develop a plan of daily practices unique to you to help you maintain top-notch health and wellness.
They can also provide you with specific treatments to help support your immunity, create balance, and fortify your weaknesses against viral threats. While normally a tune up with your TCM practitioner might involve acupuncture, moxibustion, in this coronavirus era it’ll probably be limited to herbal prescriptions or suggestions for your diet and habits.
Food For Thought
The way illness is explained in TCM is a bit different than how Western medical doctors describe it. While in the West, we focus primarily on external pathogens (essentially germs), TCM also considers environmental or emotional states, lifestyle and diet choices. Just think – if you were say, getting over a broken heart, do you think you’re more likely to be eating broccoli or cookie dough? And as you eat that cookie dough, are you inclined to get up off your couch and do that at-home workout? Probably not. And as you lay on that same couch sleepless at 3 am, how healthy do you think you are? Do you think you’re more or less likely to catch a virus? While Eastern medicine may use terminology that’s new to you, the concepts likely make sense when you think about them. So, take care of your whole self as each piece is important.