Coronavirus: Avoid Anxiety, Keep Yourself Healthy, and How Flourish Can Help!
It’s been all over the news. Lots of you have been asking questions. So let’s dive into the coronavirus. In this post, we’ll look at the facts to help you avoid unnecessary fear, we’ll make suggestions for keeping your immune system strong, and we’ll share some ways that we at Flourish are preparing to keep you (and ourselves!) healthy and safe in the coming months.
Don’t Panic! Learn the Facts
Let us start this conversation by acknowledging that COVID-19 is a new virus, so lots of new info is being released literally everyday. Here are some basic pieces of information about the virus:
- The virus is gaining so much attention and concern because it is highly contagious. For those individuals below the age of 60 with a normal immune system, rates of severe illness or death are very low.
- As of March 3, only one Sonoma County resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The only people currently at risk of infection are those who have recently travelled to countries of concern (China, S Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran), or individuals that have had close contact with someone clinically diagnosed with COVID-19.
- The county has declared a “state of emergency”. This does not mean that things are dire! It is simply a status that enables the county to act more quickly in taking certain actions than it might otherwise be able to, and to receive funding from the state or federal governments for efforts related to the virus.
- From early numbers reported on COVID-19, pregnant women don’t seem to be more vulnerable than others. However, public health officials are encouraging pregnant women to practice an abundance of caution, because not enough data has been collected to draw a solid conclusion.
- Children seem to be avoiding severe illness from COVID-19 (also yay!). No deaths have been reported for infected children ages 0-9 years old.
Keeping Yourself and Your Community Safe
In order to keep yourself, your loved ones, and the vulnerable individuals in your community safe, the most important thing is to implement common sense public health practices. Even though the virus is not yet present in our community, we want to get ahead of it with prevention:
- If you think you may be sick with the early symptoms of a respiratory disease, stay home! This includes avoiding coming in to the Flourish clinic when you’re sick. While we sometimes encourage patients to come in for care even when under the weather, this illness presents a different situation. We will waive the late cancellation fee for those patients cancelling due to illness.
- Wash! Your! Hands! Just do it! Many times a day, especially after you’ve been out of the house, or before eating. Soap, warm water, for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol has been proven effective against COVID-19.
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose entirely with a tissue (that immediately goes into the trash can), with your upper arm, or with the crook of your elbow. Wash / sanitize your hands immediately afterwards.
- Avoid unnecessary close contact with any sick individuals.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Use your elbow or shoulder to open doors when possible. If using a shared touch screen or keypad, use the back of the knuckle on one of your fingers rather than your fingertip.
- Please don’t buy disposable face masks – they are becoming a hot commodity, and aren’t a great solution for protecting yourself against this virus. Leave the face masks for the health professionals working with tuberculosis patients and kids with leukemia!!!
Optimizing Your Immune System and Lung Health
- Get your lungs in tip-top shape! This is a respiratory illness… so turn on your air filters, do your breathing exercises, and definitely put down the smokes or vape pen.
- Let go of things! In Chinese medicine, the Lung is associated with material possessions as well as grief. So now is a great time to let go of anything that you’ve been holding on to that is cluttering your physical space, or that is bringing you sadness. Make some space for yourself to breathe, and your lungs will be stronger for it.
- Take your vitamins and herbs! Vitamins D and C, and zinc are important components of a healthy immune system. A few of our favorite general immune boosting herbs include elderberry, astragalus, cordyceps and reishi. Come in to chat with one of our acupuncturists or Dr. Jen, ND, to see if there’s a formula or dosage that would be best for you.
- Eat well! Avoid stressing your body with inflammatory foods like alcohol, white flour, sugar, and dairy, or any food that you might be sensitive to. Our favorite foods to boost your immune system are garlic and mushrooms (shiitake & reishi). Eat a colorful variety of nutrient-rich produce.
- Stay hydrated! Your mucus membranes (nose, eyes, mouth) are your first line of defense, and it’s critical that they have the moisture they need to do their job. You can also consider nasal irrigation.
- Get lots of sleep! Sleep helps stave off inflammation and keeps your white blood cells ready to fight any pathogens.
- Manage your stress! Stress shunts resources away from your immune system. Do yoga, come in for acupuncture, get a coloring book – whatever works for you.
- Spend time outside! Outside time is great for vitamin D production as well as managing stress.
- Get exercise! Moderate exercise can boost immune function. But don’t overdo it – excessive exercise may actually temporarily suppress your immune function.
- Connect with your loved ones! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by news stories and threats of pandemic, remember to keep yourself feeling grounded by reaching out to your friends and family.
How Flourish Can Help
Here at Flourish, we have come up with a few ways to support the community in preventing the spread of COVID-19:
- Increasing health and safety precautions: We are always committed to maintaining a clean and safe space at the Flourish clinic. In an effort to keep any potential contagions at bay, we will be implementing increased safety measures in the way we maintain our space and work with patients. In addition, we are asking any patients potentially exposed to COVID-19 or showing signs of respiratory illness to stay home – and we will be waiving the late cancellation fees (of course!).
- Offering reduced rate Immune Boost appointments: For the month of March, we will be offering 45-minute, $75 acupuncture appointments for acupuncture and herbs / supplements that focus solely on optimizing your immune system and lung health. The Immune Boost appointment will only be offered to patients that have previously received acupuncture at Flourish and, unfortunately, can not be offset by insurance. To book an Immune Boost appointment, use our online booking system, or email us. **Please note, these appointments are intended to work on optimizing immunity, but are not intended to treat you if you are already feeling sick. Given the threat of COVID-19, please stay home if you feel like you’re getting sick or if you have been exposed to the virus! Thank you!
- Providing massage for immune support: Our wonderful masseuse, Rose DeNicola, will be offering immune support with aroma-acupressure and manual lymphatic drainage. Click here to book with Rose.
- Upcoming Presentation on the Novel Coronavirus: Flourish’s Dr. Jen Riegle, ND, would like to invite you to join the Wild Oak Medicine team for an update on the novel coronavirus and how you can protect yourself and your family naturally. Drs Jen Riegle, Chris Holder, and Thea Rabb, as well as Nutrition Consultant Mia Martinek will be providing information about avoidance, prevention, and emerging possible treatments. They look forward to seeing you to offer information and empower you with ways you can actively care for your family during this time.
Location: Airport Health Club, Santa Rosa, CA
Please call 707-528-2582 to RSVP
We at Flourish wish you all health and happiness in the coming months – whatever those months may bring. We are always stronger in unity, so remember to support and love yourself and those around you in what may be trying times.
Introducing Zhouie Lee, our new Acupuncturist
“It is with great pleasure that I introduce our new acupuncturist, Zhouie Lee. I am so honored that she has said yes to joining the Flourish team! Like myself, Zhouie comes from a lineage of women healers and has been in the healing field since she was a kid at her mom’s side, assisting births. Please take a moment to read her story below. We are so happy that you are on board, Zhouie, and can’t wait to introduce you to the Flourish community.” –Vladi
Schedule: Zhouie will be there to support you on Mondays and when Vladi is out of town.
In Zhouie’s own words:
My name is Zhouie, and I’m so excited to be joining the team at Flourish Integrative Health as a licensed acupuncturist. My journey to becoming an acupuncturist began while growing up in Bali, Indonesia and assisting my mom, a midwife at home births. While midwifery was not my calling, my love for working with pregnant and birthing women has continued to grow. My goal as a healthcare provider is to empower my patients into building positive and sustainable changes in their own lives. I look forward to meeting each of you soon!”
Zhouie Lee, Licensed Acupuncturist, DACM
Zhouie is a California Licensed Acupuncturist and holds a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. As a 10 year old, Zhouie began accompanying her mother, a midwife, to home births, and continued to work with her mom as she built Bumi Sehat Foundation in Bali, Indonesia. While Zhouie never developed a calling for midwifery, her many hours sitting with laboring women cultivated a love for the strength of women and the desire to be a part of women’s health care. Over the years, Zhouie continued to work with her mom as she built Bumi Sehat Foundation in Bali, and found herself spending more and more time at Bumi Sehat’s community-style acupuncture clinic.
Thomas Edison once said: “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” While Traditional Chinese Medicine existed long before Edison spoke these words, acupuncture often heals by focusing on rebalancing the body and resolving the root of the issue, rather than treating the superficial symptoms. Zhouie believes that true healing comes from a whole-
body approach that often includes lifestyle modifications and dietary changes, as well as acupuncture and herbal medicine; and a partnership between provider and patient to work together in building positive and sustainable changes in their lives.
As a health care provider, Zhouie is committed to empowering her patients through knowledge about their bodies, and a belief that women’s health should reach far beyond just reproductive and physical health. Zhouie is especially passionate about treating women during pregnancy. Acupuncture is so effective in helping to alleviate morning sickness, physical discomfort, the emotional upheavals that pregnancy hormones and the pressures of carrying new life can bring, and help new moms to rebuild energy and strength after childbirth. Zhouie has also had the privilege of studying closely with Dr. Johnson Chiu, who specializes in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and pain.
When not treating patients, you will usually find Zhouie reading in the garden, practicing yoga,
or cooking for her family.
Open House Celebration! Thursday, October 20th: 5:00pm to 7:00pm
We are delighted to celebrate our new office space with an open house celebration!
~ Meet the new members of our holistic team: Vladi Starkov, Jen Riegle and Rose Deni specializing in women’s health.
~ Taste local wines poured by the winemaker of Gregory James Wines. Enjoy small, seasonally inspired bites.
~ Win great prizes of services and items donated by our wonderful community in an interactive raffle (proceeds will be donated to The Living Room). Prizes include 1-hour luxurious Massages, Acupuncture Treatments, Chiropractic, and wine!
~ Learn more about the current and future offerings at Flourish Integrative Health. We hope that you can join us in blessing our beautiful new space!
RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday Tips: Bone Broth! One of the most mineral-rich foods out there!
Recently, I have been telling all of my patients about bone broth. This golden delicious liquid is chock-full of minerals and has helped several patients heal digestion, support immune system, heal and prevent injury, and recover from illness. I personally prefer Beef Marrow Bone Broth because it feels very nourishing to my body. However, if there are other conditions that are needing more tendon/ ligament support such as tendonitis, joint issues, knee pain, I will sometimes recommend Chicken feet/ necks. Check out all of the minerals that are contained in this delicious liquid. To your health, Vladi
Beef Bone Broth
Several large beef marrow bones, with or without meat attached
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and fill with water. Let cook on a low setting for 12-36 hours.
Strain with a colander or sieve, lined with cheesecloth – for a clearer broth.
Enjoy warm or let cool to use in other meals. Keeps in the fridge for several days or freeze indefinitely. I take the fat out once it is solid.
- Soup – Just add vegetables, or meat to broth and heat until warm. Season after cooking with salt and pepper and your favorite spices.
- Cooking Liquid – Use broth in place of water to cook vegetables and meat in a frying pan or pot. Bring broth to a boil, add meat and vegetables, reduce heat and simmer until cooked.
- Gravy – Use to make gravy for vegetables and meat. Add organic butter (2 Tbs.) in a skillet. Whisk in broth and cook. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Tea – Drink broth like a tea. This is great in the winter or when sick. Fill a thermos and sip throughout the day. The most traditional use for seasoned broth is as a first course, to enhance the digestion of any meal to come.
- Cleanse – Forget about juice, use broth as a liquid cleanse! Mix it up with chicken, beef or pork bone broth, add spice to taste. Yum!
Bone Broth contains lots of nutrients from the cartilage and bone. These include:
- hyaluronic acid
Recipe adapted from Berkeley Nutrition by Stephanie Gruber, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition