I’m hoping you are doing well and taking care during this difficult time. I just wanted to update you on a few items:
I’m still sheltering in place and not treating patients. I’m itching to get back to my practice and provide care for all of you, but until we learn more about the virus, the bigger picture is that staying home is helping to control its spread, which is estimated to start peaking at the end of April in California.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
As I described in my last email, Chinese herbal medicine has played an important supportive role in the treatment of COVID-19 in China. Traditional practitioners in China have been forthcoming with the differential diagnoses and corresponding herbal formulas that they have used successfully, and companies here in the states are making these formulas available. If you know of anyone that would like to use Chinese herbs along with their Western medical treatment, I’d be happy to talk with them.
With regards to the herbal formulas I carry in my 961 Dewing Ave office, I’m there on Mondays and Fridays from 1:30-3:30 if you need refills or herbs for other non-COVID issues, including illness prevention. (If you or someone you know needs herbs for a COVID-19, those would be drop shipped from a separate herbal dispensary).
If you’d like to schedule a free consultation please call or text. At this point I’m using it as a way to keep in touch with my patients and not charging. The video helps especially with looking at tongues, along with good old fashioned virtual face to face conversation.
You may have experienced some difficulty obtaining nutritional supplements that benefit the immune system, due to the influx of stress-based buying lately. To help with this, I’ve signed up with Fullscript, a company that drop ships orders directly to patients.
Not only does Fullscript carry a large number of product lines, their website is very easy to use as you can apply filters to, for example, look at all of the Vitamin D3 products that are available and in stock. Shipping is free for orders over $50, and there is a 15% discount off of the list price. This site also has a lot of excellent health information, and if you have any questions please let me know.
A Novel Therapy?
One of my favorite venues for keeping up with the latest COVID-19 news is a Youtube show called MedCram led by Dr. Seheult, a clear and concise speaking pulmonologist. On his March 30/31 shows, he discussed medical research that suggests that heat exposure (saunas, baths) followed by cold (pools, showers) can activate our innate immune system to help identify and attack SARS types of viruses.
Demographic data on COVID-19 comparing Finland to other Baltic countries supports this idea, as well as Japan where hot cold saunas or bathing is popular. And it turns out that this type of hydrothermal therapy was used extensively for the treatment of the Spanish Flu in 1918, with positive outcomes.
This idea aligns with the traditional Chinese medical perspective of the disease, which sees an internal damp heat toxin that builds up in our lungs and has no place to go because the exterior (governed by the defensive qi or immune system) isn’t functioning properly. In Chinese herbal medicine we ‘resolve the exterior’ with herbal formulas and acupuncture, and it looks like hot and cold exposure helps with this as well.
Based on the research thus far (there is always more that needs to be done), the suggested protocol (for those of us without hot tubs, saunas and ice cold swimming pools) is a shower with 3 cycles of 3 minutes of hot water followed by 30-60 seconds of cold water, followed by drying thoroughly and then wrapping up in towels and sweats. Please don’t do this if you have high blood pressure of kidney disease! And then there are the additional side effects of feeling more relaxed and at peace…
Physical Distancing with Social Engagement
As one of the strong factors for a long and satisfying life, the more that we do to enhance social engagement, the better off we’ll be. To this end, I hope that you are using this time to enjoy the time with those whom you are sheltering in place and reaching out to others through the wonders of technology.
Though present circumstances may be stressful and perhaps disorienting at times, the more we can do to appreciate and support each other, the better off we’ll be. It’s all about creating value through community, unity, and immunity!