Doctor Irene Prantalos shares how we can strengthen our immunity in the eye of the coronavirus

There is really no need to panic. 

Although the coronavirus is a new virus hitting our streets, it certainly isn’t the only one that affects the respiratory system. 

Coronavirus panic has reached state of mania with fear inciting unnecessary behaviour, leading to limited resources on our supermarket shelves. Viruses have been around since the beginning of time and the best way to stop yourself from being affected is keeping yourself healthy. In the unlikely event you do contract it, you are more likely to beat it and resolve the symptoms of the coronavirus in a short period of time.

Why is the coronavirus affecting the elderly?

The coronavirus appears to be impacting the elderly more, letting us know who are the more vulnerable members of our community. The reason being that as we age, we are more susceptible to becoming ill and this is due to many factors. These include previous or current illness(es) affecting our wellbeing, poor nutritional intake, lack of mobility or exercise, lack of fresh air, poor sleeping habits and the list goes on. The important factor in all of the stories that we have heard where the coronavirus has taken a life, is the lack of facts. You have no idea what state of health that person was in at their time of death.

How can we keep ourselves healthy?

Eat nutrient-rich food – Eating foods rich in nutrients that will allow essential nutrients to enter your body and improve immune health is paramount. These foods include a nice variety of local, seasonal fruits and vegetables, a mixture of nuts, grains and legumes and the avoidance of greasy, fatty foods, high sugar foods and takeaways. 

Sleep – Going to bed early and getting enough hours of sleep will keep your immune system in great shape.

Relax – Manage stress and take time out for yourself to keep your immunity boosted.

Drink water – Ensure that you keep yourself well hydrated, which will help keep your immune system strong.

Wash your hands especially when visiting public spots – The obvious and one of the most important steps is washing your hands after being out in public, with special focus on using public rest-rooms, public transport, play centres and where there is a high concentration of people. This is important at all times and shouldn’t be a focus now just due to the coronavirus. 

How acupuncture can help you stay healthy in this pandemic:

  • Defensive Qi: this is the ‘qi’ that circulates on the exterior of our body. It will protect us from invading pathogens/viruses. When we are susceptible to frequent colds/the flu/viruses, our defensive qi is low and we need to strengthen it. Acupuncture has ‘defensive qi’ specific points that can improve a person’s resilience to pathogens circulating in our atmosphere.
  • Immunity: our blood carries immune specific cells that are signalled when a foreign object enters our body. Acupuncture works to improve the body’s natural process of manufacturing blood (from the food we eat and water we drink) to ensure our immune system is ready at all times.
  • Lung Qi: when the respiratory system is invaded and the lines of defence are challenged, our lung qi is fighting to restore optimal health. This process causes our lung qi to move erratically, causing coughing to present. Acupuncture can encourage the lung qi to disperse and descend the qi which resolves the cough. This process is of course coupled with other methods we use to supplement and support the body to completely resolve the issue.

Before you go and get acupuncture, here are some important points to note:

  • Needles are made from surgical stainless steel in a lab to ensure sterility and high quality
  • Acu-points chosen for this type of treatment are located on the lower legs and hands.
  • Needles are retained for 20-25 minutes as this is the required time it takes to move qi throughout the entire body.
  • Needles are discarded in a sharp’s container after single use. Run like the wind if anyone pulls needles out of a jar, as they are packed in sealed plastic packaging to ensure the sterility from the lab is delivered to our clinic.

Health is not instant. We live in a time of instant gratification with technology delivering everything we need instantly to our phones and other devices. Health doesn’t work this way and we need to understand that our body will be healthiest with continued long-term love and support, so that every aspect of our health (mind and body) is nurtured and healthy.
Remember that there are many viruses out there. Don’t forget that there are numerous viruses people get, most often from working/studying at schools, the workplace or travelling. Many in which don’t have a famous name like the coronavirus does but can lead to the same symptoms, or worse.