We are beginning to see a number of patients requesting help with post-covid long haul syndrome. Those symptoms may include fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, headache, and more. Acupuncture is being found to be helpful to these people, as is Chinese herbs and nutritional supplements. We are tracking current research in the field of professional Chinese medicine to learn specific techniques and herb formulas that are especially helpful. Laura is available by telehealth for consultation. Call our office to set up a visit by video chat. We do those visits first thing in the morning on weekdays. 319-341-0031
By now we have all heard about “herd” immunity. They are saying that as many as 60-70% of us will ultimately have this infection before it will slow down. So, you may get sick and it is easy to have a plan to help yourself have a mild case and avoid some of the serious problems that can result.
How can you lessen the severity of an infection? Begin planning and preventing now. That is the most important thing.
There are two categories of support that are important: things to take to support your immune system all the time to prevent infection, and things to take if you get an infection, no matter what virus or bacterium might be involved. Remember, there are still a lot of viruses which are not COVID-19 out there that can give you a “cold”. You should be prepared for those too.
- I’m recommending people take something with EpiCor in it for immune support. There are several supplements out there that contain it. It is also good to have larch arabinogalactan with it for better effect. Together they make the immune system more responsive to all kinds of things.
- I like elderberry extract (sambucol). There are lots of brands out there. It also helps fight viral infections and it is very pleasant to take. 500 mg is recommended. Stop this one if you get diagnosed with COVID.
- Vitamin D-3 of course is essential. 4000 to 5000 IU per day is a good dose for most people.
- Vitamin C is very important, and a liposomal form is best for supporting immune function. A high dose like 1 to 3 grams daily is best. There has been a good deal of research recently showing that high dose Vitamin C is very helpful for our recent situation.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that lowering inflammation is key if you get sick, and glutathione is a nutrient that helps detoxify the body and lessen inflammation. Again, a liposomal form is best. Liposomes are tiny fat globules that carry the nutrient into a cell more effectively. Glutathione also helps thin secretions in the lungs, so in an infection things can flow better.
- A very high quality multivitamin is key, to support all aspects of health.
- Melatonin is known to support sleep, but is also a potent anti-inflammatory so it can help prevent the serious inflammation that can accompany COVID infections. 5 to 20 mg is a good dose at bedtime.
- There are a number of therapeutic mushrooms that are known to be strong immune modulators. I take a supplement that contains 5 different mushrooms to work synergistically. Be sure to get one that is very good quality. There is a company in Canada that is excellent, called Real Mushrooms. That is my brand.
- Antiviral and immune supporting Chinese herbal formulas can be super powerful to be used at the very first sign of a respiratory infection. We have lots of research from China about which formulas have been most successful at different stages of a viral infection. I am stocking several Chinese herb formulas for various manifestations of infections.
- Zinc is critical to support the immune system in viral infections, and I think eating oysters is a great way to get this, as well as other vegetables that contain it. You can also find zinc lozenges. 30-60 mg daily is good.
- Green Tea is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and immune support nutrient. You can drink 4 cups daily. I drink green tea iced tea all day every day at work so it is easy to get this done.
- Quercitin is also a wonderful nutrient that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is anti-viral, and you may know it as a help for allergies. It is the ingredient in rose hips that we see often in Vitamin C. We recommend 1000 mg twice daily.
- Custom Chinese herb formulas can also be made up just for you, in case you get sick. For these, I need to see your tongue and get a clear evaluation, so I am using video consultations to make the assessment of what you need. Call at the first sign of an infection of any kind and I will have herbs for you the same day. I will leave them for you to pick up outside in my mailbox.
I have supplements that meet all of the above criteria here at my clinic. You can also find things like these at local health food stores as well. And at my Fullscript online dispensary you can find my Favorites for Immune Support:
Please do call to schedule a video consultation if you need it. My patient management system can support that. Also let me know if you have more questions about the above suggestions.
Most of these suggestions are sourced from the Institute for Functional Medicine and are based on up to date research.
Please call to make an appointment for a nutritional consultation if you’d like more personalized suggestions.
Telemedicine available now for Chinese herb treatment of infections.
For new and existing patients we are immediately offering telemedicine video conferences for you to discuss your health concerns with Laura Christensen LAc over a secure, HIPPA compliant connection.
Just go to our Patient Tools tab on our website, click “create appointment” and you will either open your patient account or create one. Then scroll to the bottom of the list of services and choose Telemedicine consult 60 min. If you are coming back for a check-in, choose either 30 minute or 15 minute for your time. Then the available appointments will be highlighted in our calendar. You will receive an email reminder about an hour before your video call.
Then be sure your computer is on, you have either headset with mic, or a set of earbuds with mic, and computer camera ready to go. You can test those using the settings function on your computer. Also be sure you have a fast internet connection. If not fast enough, the system will invite you to convert to just an audio session. We would prefer to collect your fee by credit card at the beginning of the session and we have a virtual terminal to enter this charge without swiping your card. Prepare for your meeting also by having a list of what you’d like to address, and a way to take notes during the conversation.
If you are sick, Laura will need a good image of your tongue in order to prescribe the proper chinese herb formula. She is up to date in studying these formulas and her pharmacy is prepared to prescribe specialized ones based on the recent experiences of the Chinese doctors in China.
Laura will either guide you to where to purchase the appropriate herb formula, or will compound it in her pharmacy and you can pick it up at the office. Long distance patients cannot be well served with this system, as the formula could change every day or so and immediately modifying the prescription could be necessary.
We can also recommend nutritional supplements that will support your immune system or help you recover from the acute stage of a viral infection. We can also support those suffering from allergies at this time of year in the US.
Watch this space for changes in our telemedicine news.
Call 319-341-0031. We look very much forward to serving you.
Acupuncture for Stress to be your best self. Everyone is feeling very stressed right now. And we know from research that stress suppresses the immune system. So it is more important than ever that we practice all the stress management techniques that we have. Acupuncture is one of those.
Consider scheduling an acupuncture treatment to help your nervous system settle, enhance the function of your Qi in being able to defend you from infection and keep your Qi strong to get through this challenging time. If you’ve had acupuncture before, you know very well how rested and refreshed you can feel after a treatment and for days after.
Chinese herbs can also be very helpful in strengthening our Qi, balancing whatever might be out of balance, and optimizing our health. In professional Chinese medicine we can treat the “constitutional disharmony” that underlies all your health issues. That can very much help keep you healthy in the face of current situations.
At our office we are keeping our waiting room free of patients, repeatedly sanitizing all surfaces during the course of the day, asking patients to wash hands as they enter the clinic and as they enter their homes. We are sanitizing every surface such as credit card machine and all door handles, as we always do. We want you to feel safe in attending your appointment.
If you are an older person or in poor health, we are recommending that you stay home and do not come to the clinic.
At your appointment we can make recommendations about how to support your immune system with nutrition and supplements and other lifestyle supports.
Science tells us that this virus will be with us for quite a long time and that we must all make changes for the long haul. We are doing our best to support you during this time.
Chinese herbs are an effective treatment for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. Laura has been keeping careful watch on the posts coming out from the Chinese doctors in China who have successfully treated severe cases of the novel coronavirus. There are simple herb formulas that can be used to deal with the infection when it sets in. Laura is prepared to consult with infected patients by facetime, google hangouts, and other platforms. Then, personal formulas will be created for each patient.
One of the important aspects of this illness as it has been observed in China, is that it does not follow the common pattern that Chinese doctors expect with viral infections. In fact, some of the off-the-shelf Chinese herbal antivirals might even make things worse. So seek personalized evaluation and treatment by a qualified Chinese herbalist rather than trying to self treat.
The most important diagnostic feature of these cases is the tongue. Tongue diagnosis is critical to good Chinese herbal prescribing. That is why the computer images will be so helpful in designing the most effective formulas.
We are prepared to treat. Give us a call to set up a consultation. 319-341-0031
Yes, flu season is here. You may not want to have a flu shot but there ARE things you can do at the first sign of getting sick. We have a whole protocol to help you manage symptoms, get better faster, and strengthen your immune system to prevent getting sick. Chinese herbs can be personalized for your exact condition. Supplements can assist with your immune system. Professional Chinese herbalist Laura Christensen is trained to help you!
Call for an appointment today and Laura can make a personalized plan for you. 319-341-0031
Herbs for cough and sore throat
It’s that time of year again. Everyone has a cold. It starts with a stiff neck and scratchy throat, then fatigue and chills and stiff body. Next step is getting a low grade fever alternating with feeling chilly and the sore throat gets worse. Next the nose begins running, the sore throat gets worse, it is painful to swallow. And then the nasal mucus gets thick, you are coughing up thick mucus and the cough gets spastic. You are hot and cold, your cough wakes you up at night, you still have a bit of a sore throat, and you feel very tired. Finally, your cough gets better, your nose gets less runny, you begin to get your energy back, and you feel some better. As each day goes by, your symptoms recede and finally, 2 weeks later, you are almost back to normal.
This is the usual progress of an uncomplicated ‘cold’. If things go sideways, you could end up with a severe bronchitis where you might need antibiotics, or even pneumonia, where the infection has settled into your lungs. What began with a little virus has turned into a bacterial infection that really requires antibiotics and some major over the counter medicine to control cough, help liquify phlegm, and dry out nasal secretions.
We’ve all been through it and this fall it is happening again. Once the kids are back in school the crud seems to make the rounds.
How can you reduce the severity of symptoms and get better faster?
Your acupuncturist has a wide variety of traditional herbal formulas to address each stage of this disease process, helping to support your immune system, reduce your sore throat, suppress that hacking cough, cut down on runny nose, and address the fever and chills that plague you.
Call at the very first sign of a cold and you can get the help you need.
Call to make an appointment or to order herbs for your cough and sore throat!
319-341-0031 Acupuncture of Iowa