With the rise of concern over coronavirus COVID-19, we feel the need to provide you with our prevention measures and some insight on how to protect yourself during this time.
We currently ask that any patient that has been traveling outside of the US into level 3 countries take the precautionary measures as advised by the CDC to stay home for 14 days after arriving back from your travels.
We also advise that any patients who are showing the following symptoms of: cough, fever, and shortness of breath and also any early signs of illness to stay home. We often have a liberal policy in treating our patients who are unwell, but during this time, it is imperative to protect not only our health care providers and employees as well as our patients. If you are sick, we are happy to set up a telemedicine call for you to access our providers so that they may be able to offer some safe and effective herbal and supplemental remedies to fight it off. Please feel free to call our front office to schedule a consultation time.
We are taking extra measures at Elevate in order to mitigate the potential spread of pathogens. All providers have been asked to avoid contact with patients if they are currently experiencing any type of illness like symptoms. We’ve also upgraded our cleaning and disinfectant measures. Finally, for those of you who do come in with your children; we have removed toys from the rooms. Please bring your own toys to entertain your child during your appointment.
We hope that our patients/clients will continue to use Elevate to help to support their immune systems and continue their proactive treatment plans in order to stay healthy.
Please follow these behavioral guidelines that have been provided by the CDC to protect your potential for exposure. Ultimately, these guidelines should be practiced regardless since the flu and seasonal colds are still rampant during this time of year.
Stress reduction: Chronic stress can negatively alter immune system responses, making you more likely to get sick. Identify your personal stress reduction strategies and practice them regularly. This is why it’s so important to keep your appointments if you are well, so that we can help to mitigate the side effects of stress. Keep in mind that stressing about not getting sick, can in turn, make you sick!
Sleep: Sleep has a big influence on immune function, so it is essential to get plenty of sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and maintain consistent sleep hours—turn off screens, ensure the room is cool, quiet, and dark, and set a reminder to help yourself go to bed on time.
Exercise: Moderate, regular physical activity helps to boost immune system function by raising levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies, increasing circulation, and decreasing stress hormones. Establish and follow an exercise program to not only help prevent respiratory infections but also to improve cognitive and physical resilience.
Nutritious foods/diet: Research indicates that brightly colored vegetables and fruits boost immunity better than most supplements. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables—aim for 10 servings per day. Include fermented vegetables or other probiotic-containing foods.
SUPPLEMENTS, NUTRIENTS, AND FOODS TO SUPPORT IMMUNE FUNCTION
There are several nutrients, plant-based botanicals, and supplements that can boost immune function and provide symptom relief during illness and may help to shorten the duration of illness. For preventing and treating viral upper respiratory infections, consider some of the following:
Vitamin C: Vitamin C may help to prevent infections, including those caused by bacteria and viruses. Regularly administered vitamin C has been shown to shorten the duration of colds, and higher doses of vitamin C during an illness can also act as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is one of the most important and powerful nutrients for supporting the immune system. Numerous studies have shown that it helps reduce the risk of colds and flu. Unfortunately, a high percentage of the population is deficient, so daily supplementation (ideally in the form of vitamin D3) offers the best protection.
Vitamin A: For short-term use and particularly for those with moderate vitamin A deficiency, supplementation can be extremely helpful in supporting the body’s ability to fight infections, particularly with regard to respiratory infections.
Zinc: Zinc plays a significant role in boosting immunity. Often available as lozenges, zinc can help to reduce the frequency of infections as well as the duration and severity of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of onset.
Selenium: Selenium, a key nutrient for immune function, is also an antioxidant that helps boost the body’s defenses against bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. It may particularly help to protect against certain strains of flu virus. Selenium is easily obtained from foods, with the richest source being Brazil nuts.
Honey: Honey, preferably raw, is a good demulcent (it relieves minor pain and inflammation of mucous membranes), has antioxidant properties, and has some antimicrobial effects. It is helpful for coughs and sore throats and can be added to hot tea.
Elderberry extract/syrup: Elderberry can be helpful in reducing cold duration and severity. With regard to flu, it has been shown to help prevent infection with influenza viruses as well as demonstrating potent antiviral properties that can aid in reducing flu duration and symptoms. Caution in using elderberry may be needed in some people with autoimmune diseases, however, due to the way it stimulates the immune system.
Garlic: Garlic contains a variety of compounds that can influence immunity. Some studies have shown that both fresh garlic as well as aged garlic extract and some other garlic supplements may reduce viral upper respiratory infection severity as well as function in the prevention of infection with viruses that can cause colds.
Probiotics: Probiotics contain “good bacteria” that not only support the health of the gut but also influence immune system functioning and regulation. Studies have shown that probiotic use can decrease the number of respiratory infections, particularly in children.
Jade Windscreen + ASR: Jade Windscreen is a traditional Chinese formulation that has been used through the centuries and is said to tonify the wei qi (our bodies defense system) and protect against external pathogens. It’s a combination of several herbs including astragalus that has been used for centuries to strengthen the body’s defenses. It’s especially useful for people who chronically get ill (repetitive colds) and also suffer from allergies. The People’s Herb formulation also includes astragalus, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These adaptogenic medicinal mushrooms add an extra boost to nourish the system and to create an extra layer of protection from our hectic lives.
this being for generally healthy people and that it's best to seek advise from a licensed health professional if it is safe for you to add in these supplements.
In good health,
Melinda Choy, LAc, oversees Acupuncture Services with Barton Health and is CEO of Elevate Wellness Center.
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