Aware But Not Anxious About COVID-19

3/23/20

Many of you have expressed gratitude for Oasis Healing Arts staying open and for the information I am sharing. I am very grateful as well. I want to assure you all that as a healthcare facility, Oasis is considered an essential business and approved by the Governor to remain open for business. You may schedule online or call our office at 562-789-1588. I will soon have telemedicine options available for those of you who would like health and wellness consultations through videochat.

I feel a special sense of responsibility as a natural healthcare provider to continue offering a thoroughly safe space for the many of you who depend on our healthcare services, especially during this time when optimal health, stress management, and immune function are so important.

I want to reiterate from my last email/blog that we have strict infection-prevention policies and procedures here, with hospital-grade disinfectant, frequent hand washings, and increased deep cleanings (please refer to my previous blog for details).

As an additional measure of protection, as of 3/18/20 I have now made it mandatory for all our clinicians to wear N95 respirator masks, for everyone’s safety and peace of mind. 

*If you have any signs of illness (body aches, fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc) please cancel your appointment and stay home. 

*If you have been around anyone with the aforementioned signs of illness, please remain home.

*If you live with elderly relatives with pre-existing health conditions, please do not come in for treatments at this time.

My message today is: DO NOT BE AFRAID.

Panic helps no one. It is a time for precaution, swift and wise action, excellent health, immune optimization, and impeccable hygiene. But it is not a time to panic. Comfort and calm yourself and your loved ones. Use your time at home to exercise, cook healthy meals, update your budget, apply for a loan, pray and meditate, buy groceries for your elderly neighbor, call your isolated relative or friend. But don’t sit there in fear and anxiety scrolling through endless CNN news reports and IG posts. Plug in for 30 minutes then be done for the day. Turn this social distancing time into personal wellness time. And a big part of personal wellness is guarding your mind from excess information.

According to the CDC, “For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is low.” In fact, many people who get “infected” are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t show any signs of being sick. That is the very reason why this virus is considered “dangerous” on a public health spectrum, because it spreads easily, even amongst non-symptomatic individuals.

For many others who are infected, symptoms are typically flu-like, but not all the typical symptoms have to be present. Take for example coronavirus-survivor Elizabeth Schneider, 37, who had body aches, a headache, and felt a little tired but had no cough or any other respiratory symptoms. She stayed home, rested, and took some OTC meds. She shares: “I think the big takeaway I want to tell everyone is: Please don’t panic. If you are healthy, if you are younger, if you take good care of yourself when you’re sick, you will recover, I believe. And I’m living proof of that.”

Below I answer the most frequently asked questions from our patients.

IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO GET A TREATMENT AT OASIS?

Yes, for the majority of our healthy patients it is safe and beneficial, as our treatments will:

  1. boost your immune function
  2. decrease pain and inflammation
  3. reduce stress and anxiety

There is never more than 10 people in our clinic at once, and we are typically at a distance from each other, in private treatment rooms.

If you are 60 years of age or older, or if you have pre-existing conditions like chronic respiratory disease (i.e. COPD), heart disease, diabetes, or marked immune weakness, again, please stay home

WHAT DOES “FLATTENING THE CURVE” MEAN?

The whole point of keeping people at home, shutting down non-essential business, and not having large gatherings is to SLOW the spread of the virus, not stop it. By slowing the rate of infection, particularly in the elderly and sick communities, we will slow down or “flatten” the spike of people in need of hospital care. This will buy hospitals time to hopefully increase their ICU beds and restock necessary supplies. In simplest terms, our government and public health officials are trying to slow or “spread out” the rate of infected persons going into the hospitals so that hospitals see patients coming in over a span of several months, rather than being slammed within a few weeks.

Virtually all infectious disease experts state that 50-80% of the American population WILL get infected with the virus – it is to be expected and may in fact be desirable for “herd immunity.” Basically, if enough people get infected, go through it like the flu, build up antibodies, then build natural immunity to the coronavirus, there will be fewer “hosts” available for the virus to infect, and it will begin to dwindle off. 

I HAVE SOME NASAL CONGESTION. HOW DO I KNOW IF IT’S ALLERGIES, THE COMMON COLD, OR ACTUALLY COVID-19?

Discerning symptoms caused by the coronavirus is confounded by the fact that it is currently allergy season and flu season. And again, one could be infected with the virus but have no symptoms. Nonetheless, here’s some broad generalizations to make sense of your symptoms and to reduce your stress and anxiety. (Please note if you have ANY symptoms of illness unrelated to your usual spring allergies, stay home and be socially distant until you fully recover).

Seasonal allergies: itchy eyes, itchy nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip. NO fever, NO fatigue, NO body aches, NO nausea.

Flu: fever, chills, sweats, body aches, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, generalized weakness.

Possibly coronavirus: lack of sense of smell (anosmia), lack of sense of taste (dysgeusia), flu-like symptoms characterized by sore throat, cough, fever, chills, and body aches; symptoms progressively worsen after 7 days; fever spikes at night; a cough that worsens past 7 days even if the fever subsides.

WHAT SUPPLEMENTS ARE YOU TAKING, DR. JAMIE?

I am taking many of the supplements I suggested in my last blog. I won’t repeat them all here, but I’ll give you my personal top 3:

1. Vitamin D3

I am religious about this for myself and my family, because it is such a fundamental regulator of immune function AND because during the winter we’re indoors more and not getting much needed vitamin D exposure from the sun (even in SoCal we’re seeing a lot of cloudy, rainy days lately). Vitamin D3 is also critical if you have depression or low mood.

2. NAC

N-acetyl-cysteine has been a personal favorite of mine for years, and especially so as we face the coronavirus (which primarily attacks the lung tissue). Why NAC? Because NAC has a unique affinity for lung tissue, and has been used for decades to treat respiratory disorders like COPD and asthma. It’s also used to treat drug and toxic overdose, as it is a powerful detoxifier and a precursor to glutathione, our body’s master detoxifying molecule. Living in LA, we are exposed to so much pollution, even while just driving on the freeway. So I take NAC regularly, and in higher doses now (900mg), to protect my lungs.

3. Daily Immune

This is a very comprehensive immune-boosting formulation with tons of vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, bioflavonoids, astragalus, and other well-researched immune supportive herbs and nutrients

IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD AVOID?

Alcohol – suppresses immune function, inflames, & builds up toxins, but you already knew this

Smoke – now is not the time to breathe in marijuana smoke, campfire smoke, or fireplace smoke. Keep your lungs as clear and as strong as possible

Refined carbs and sugar – both of these weaken your immune system

WHAT HOME REMEDIES CAN HELP MY IMMUNE FUNCTION STAY STRONG?

Cook with generous amounts of garlic, ginger, and onions for their antiviral properties

Up your natural food sources of vitamin C (broccoli, berries, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, etc) and zinc (shellfish, organic grass-fed meats, organic pastured chicken, nuts, legumes).

Saline cleanse your nasal passages regularly. As I mentioned in my last blog, I use Xlear daily for myself and my family because it’s ultra convenient and effective.

Exercise, exercise, exercise. Youtube it! For yoga I follow Ali Kamenova. For kids there’s a super fun yoga channel called Cosmic Kids Yoga (I recently did “Going on a Bear Hunt” with my 8-year old son and I got more into it than he did!). For HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) I do Fitness Blender and Heather Robertson.

Go for a hike in the mountains for greenspace and fresh air (You are legally NOT on lockdown in your homes!). Hikers typically give each other lots of personal space, so there’s no concern of crowds. My family and I frequently do the Claremont Hills Wilderness trail (4.7 miles, 846 ft elevation gain).

Sleep soundly. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to wear blue-light blocking amber glasses in the evening, especially if you have trouble sleeping. I am religious about it, and I sleep beautifully every night. I’ve also curated supplements that are effective for sleep right here. If you have high cortisol in the evening (you feel wired but tired, often wake up around 3am and struggle to go back to sleep, &/or have blood sugar imbalance), then get Cortisol Calm, as it lowers cortisol levels so you can sleep better. CBD, Magnesium Glycinate, and Pure Tranquility also help with sleep as these all calm the brain and nervous system and inhibit excitatory brain activity.

Guard your mind just as much as you guard your health. Be aware but not afraid. And remember to drop off some food or supplies to your elderly relative or neighbor. 

Peace & Wellness,

Dr. Jamie, Ph.D.

3/23/20