How Can TCM Help During this COVID Pandemic?
By: Kerry Hayes November 25, 2020
With the recent surge in COVID cases worldwide, it is clear that this pandemic is not over yet. This means that our stress and frustration with the major changes in daily life are also here to stay for a while longer.
How can Traditional Chinese Medicine help?
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for thousands of years. The primary text dates back to the Qing and Han Dynasties, around 220 BC. Since then, this medicine has seen a lot of different diseases. While it isn’t a predominant form of medicine used today in the United States, it does complement Western medicine very well. TCM modalities can be used very effectively in conjunction with Western biomedical modalities to help support overall health.
TCM is a holistic medicine. This means that it treats the root of the problem, not just the symptoms. Here in the United States, we often only seek medical advice when we are actively experiencing symptoms. It’s not often that we make an appointment with a doctor to discuss how to avoid the symptoms in the first place. Enter: Traditional Chinese Medicine. Because TCM treats the person holistically, one of the fundamental principles is building a strong foundation of health. This essentially means building a strong constitution with a strong immune system so that our bodies are less susceptible to the pathogens we encounter on a daily basis, as well as new pathogens that enter our environment.
The TCM concept of “immune system” is called our “wei qi” or “defense qi”. The wei qi is comprised of our spleen and lung qi. Pathogens often enter our body through our nose and mouth. That means the first organs they reach are often our lungs and stomach. In TCM, our spleen and stomach are often looked at as paired organs. The stomach breaks our food down, and the spleen is in charge of taking the nutrients from the food and transforming them into qi and blood to nourish the body. This makes the lung and spleen key players in fighting off pathogens. We can use acupuncture, herbs, cupping, and food therapy to help strengthen those organs, and prevent those pathogens from invading deeper into the body.
How does that apply to COVID? When is it safe to see a TCM Practitioner?
COVID can be looked at as a set of phases: The prevention phase, the sub-acute (asymptomatic) phase, the acute (symptomatic) phase, and the recovery phase. It is most appropriate to seek treatment from a TCM practitioner during the prevention and recovery phases, or if you have been tested and that test is negative for COVID. Acupuncture, herbal therapy and cupping can help to boost your immune system as well as reduce stress and address many other health issues such as digestive issues, pain, difficulty sleeping, and many others! During the recovery phase (after a negative test result), it is also very important to nourish the body and build that immune system back up. We can again use acupuncture, herbs, and cupping as well as food therapy to help rebuild your constitution and get you feeling better!
If you have been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID, you should quarantine and get tested ASAP. If that test is positive, you should stay home and isolate (seeking medical attention as needed) for two weeks or until you get a negative test result. Based on recommendations from the CDC, if you experience any of the following you should seek immediate medical attention: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and bluish lips or face. If you experience any other symptoms that you are concerned about, you should call your medical provider. Follow these links for additional information regarding COVID-19 from the CDC:
Feel free to give us a call if you are unsure if it is safe to come in for a treatment. 612-965-5227. We are committed to supporting you in your health and wellness by providing safe, quality care. Here at EastWest Acupuncture, we got you!