By Guest Writer: Emily Hoda, LAc.
Over the years, I’ve worked in many places such as hospitals and in HIV clinics, helping people of all kinds with lowered immune function. During this COVID-19 crisis, the fear levels are high and people are turning to many sources for their information. I’ve been treating patients throughout this outbreak since Acupuncture is considered an essential health care service. Since the beginning of “safer at home” implementation, I have so many emotions about coming into contact with people regularly and even touching when there is still so much unknown about how the virus spreads. I wanted to put together a list of things that I have in place to help combat the stress, anxiety, fear and to make sure my immune system is getting all the support it needs. I hope this helps people as they make the transition from the “safer at home” to a safer new reality.
B R E A T H W O R K
The practice can be done seated or standing with the feet together. Hands are by the sides or on the knees.
1. Deep breathing - 1 minute
Inhale and exhale deeply and rapidly through the nose into the lungs and belly.
2. Square Breath - 3 - 5 minutes
10-20 seconds each, 40-60 seconds per 1 breath.
Inhale / Hold the breath in / Exhale / Hold the breath out
3. Hold the breath out - 1 - 3 minutes
S A L T W A T E R
Gargle with warm salt-water morning and night and anytime you return from being out.
Every morning, dissolve 1 – 2 teaspoons of salt in 8 oz. of lukewarm water. After a few seconds of gargling, spit the water out. Repeat this process three times.
At night soak your feet in warm water with sea-salt several times a week. This will open the meridians that run throughout the body and draw out poisons, you can add lavender and eucalyptus essential oils.
E S S E N T I A L O I L S
Essential oils help clean the air and can be applied topically as herbal medicine. Here are a few recommendations and brands you can work within the house to take extra precautions when you need to travel. Currently, I am working with Thieves Oil, Lavender, and Eucalyptus.
Thieves Oil / Warrior Oil (Arbonne)
Traditionally, the original Thieves oil formula consists of these five essential oils: Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary. I prefer to add 50% lavender oil to this blend.
Applications - apply a few drops to the following regions before leaving the house.
1. Nape of the neck - DU 16
2. Bottom of your face mask or under the chin.
3. Bottom of feet - Kidney 1 point
4. In the home via a diffuser
H O T W A T E R
6 cups per day
2 am / 2 mid-day / 2 early evening
- Detoxes body
- Keeps mouth and throat hydrated
- Hot water helps regulate
H E A L I N G FO O D S & S P I C E S
Chai Tea with Star Anise
● 1 gallon of water in a 3-gallon pot.
● 1 teaspoon of crushed whole cloves
● 1 teaspoon of whole black pepper
● 3 teaspoons of crushed whole cardamom pods (or 2 tsp of cardamom seeds)
● 3 long sticks of cinnamon, or 6 short sticks
● 1-3 inches fresh ginger root, sliced (add a bit more ginger if you have the flu)
● 7 whole pieces of Star Anise (do not use the Japanese variety).
Once the water is boiling, add the crushed cloves. A few minutes later, add the rest of the ingredients and keep the water at a low boil for approximately 30-45 minutes.
The tea can be refrigerated for up to four days and reheated to drink as needed.
Bring 16 oz water to a boil and add 1 Tbs cloves and turn off the heat. Let steep overnight. In the morning before eating breakfast swish clove tea around your mouth for 15 seconds and gargle before swallowing. Repeat before going to bed. This mixture makes enough for 2 days.
When the body is warm, it is harder to be infected with a virus. In general, it is recommended, for virus prevention, to eat less sweet, sour, and salty foods. It is also a good idea to stay away from cold regions.
Ginger Eating warming foods, such as ginger can help to give the body added warmth and heat. If a person has a fever, they can take ginger in a broth or soup to help increase the body temperature and purify any toxins out through sweat. It helps to cover up with a heavy blanket to increase body temperature.
Here is a list of other foods that will increase the immune function and help with digestion which is the root of digestion. They can be eaten raw if the stomach can tolerate it or added into or cooked with food.
V I T A M I N S
Our front line is our immune system. In addition to taking a regular multivitamin, here are a few vitamins that will help support a healthy immune system. If you are already taking them, I’ve included alternative foods and activities that can increase them naturally in your diet and lifestyle.
Vitamin C - 1000 Mg - Dark Leafy Greens, Peppers, Broccoli
Vitamin D - 5000 IU - Sun exposure 1 - 2 x / day
S L E E P
We all know sleep is important, but lately, people have not been sleeping well, waking up and not falling asleep, unable to fall asleep. Sleep is imperative to restore the immune system function. In Chinese Medicine, the protective function or “wei qi” retreats from the exterior and goes interior. Most people are sleeping in and going to bed late, while this might be fun on a weekend it can upset normal rhythms. Additionally, many people are having more vivid or scary dreams. Sometimes eating before bed can also create insomnia. I advise my patients when possible to work out in the morning and stop eating around 6 pm. This can help restore natural rhythms and help sleep.
Marc has 36 years in financial services and 6 years in teaching.
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