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COVID-19 vs. TCM

TCM to the actual rescue: getting the facts right

There is a lot of information out there about COVID-19 as well as a number of news pieces about how Chinese Medicine is being utilized to combat it in China. As I read through the various articles on the topic in the media, I find myself frustrated with the misinformation and false premise of the pieces in regards to how it works. The fact is, it IS working, and the patients who are getting TCM in the hospitals are recovering. I'm writing to explain how, to share steps you can take to keep yourself as healthy as possible and how to take it a step further with acupuncture and customized herbal formulas

Back in February, the Chinese government declared that Traditional Chinese (herbal) Medicine should be used in conjunction with western interventions in the treatment of COVID-19. Through my contacts here and in China, I’ve been getting reports about those efforts and am relieved to report that the patients who are getting incorporated TCM treatments are recovering, even from the most dire circumstances. So, how is it all working?

All the media articles I’ve read on this topic of integrating the two styles of medicine focus on an underlying question of whether herbal medicine can kill the corona virus. The article then continues on with a bunch of anecdotal commentary. The problem lies with that question: The herbal formulas are NOT MEANT to kill any virus. The whole point and process of herbal medicine is to change the environment in the body to make it inhospitable to pathogens and allow the body’s immune system to do it’s job and mount a successful defense (in other cases, allow western medicine to work as well, although there is currently no antiviral medicine). That even the most dire cases were recovering via this approach speaks to how strong our immune systems are and how successful this intervention is. **also to note: I received a report from a county hospital in Henan province who had their staff use TCM herbs and while they treated COVID-19 patients and none of them have yet gotten sick.

We all need to take sensible precautions. We need to wash our hands thoroughly, with soap for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is less effective but good to carry around for when a sink isn’t available. Do not touch your face. This is very hard to do. What I’ve been doing is keeping my phone in my hands while I commute (please don’t read it while walking!) but that could also be a coffee cup or anything else. It helps me remember not to touch. COVID droplets are a bit heavier than flu droplets and we’re more likely to pick them up from surfaces. Masks are only necessary if you are sick or have compromised lungs or other immune compromised conditions. Please don’t hoard them so that those who need them can get them.

What do we do now?

So, what can you do at home and what can we do at AB Acupuncture? Firstly, if you have upper respiratory symptoms, I would ask that you call or email me, but don’t come in until we speak. I can have herbs mailed to you (or messengered within Manhattan) should you need them. Let me stress here that acupuncture and herbal medicine are big immune “boosters” when combined with proper self care (outlined below) is the best defense against getting sick or having the illness become severe.

Things we should all be doing to stay as healthy as possible:

  1. Get regular and consistent sleep (going to bed between 10pm and 11pm)

  2. Eat a nutrient rich balanced diet - be strict about this during this time

  • Severely cut back on sugar (including alcohol)

  • Avoid fried and processed foods

  • Cut back on dairy

  1. Exercise, and if this isn’t possible, make yourself sweat. If you need ideas on how to do so, contact me. Our skin is a major component of our immune system and sweating rids our bodies of a lot of toxins.

  2. If you can (and please check with your doctor on this) take higher than normal doses of Vitamin D. I take 5,000IU (with vitamin K for best absorption) daily in addition to the above and my herbal preventatives. (For high quality supplements, I recommend Designs for Health. You can access my e-store here)

If you want to take herbal preventatives (as I do, from even before we knew of this) Let’s talk so I can tailor one specifically to you – it’s not a one-formula-fits-all kind of medicine. To note: Most everything I use is grown here and lab tested for purity and efficacy.

If you do want to call or email for a customized herbal preventative, please note that I will need the following:

  1. A well-lit photograph of your tongue

  2. Your current or most recent blood pressure reading

  3. Your heart rate.

My colleagues and I all care for ourselves this way and we consistently withstand our patients illnesses as they come in to our offices. I’d like to offer the same care to you.

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