Bonus 1: Brush Bathing
In Chinese medicine, infirmities that invade from outside the body are said to come in as a result of our bodies being in a vulnerable state. “Wei qi” is the name given to the energy that floats just over the skin and serves as your outermost defensive shield.
When we strengthen our immunity, we are strengthening it from within and without. Brush bathing is one way of consistently bringing strength to your exogenous immunity.
Anyone who has been to a Korean or Japanese bath house may have experienced brush bathing. It normally starts with a basic rinse of the whole body with water, followed by using a rough brush on all of the exposed surfaces of the skin until the skin turns red.
This is not a soft loofah I’m talking about; rather, a rough brush that’s a bit uncomfortable at first, perhaps the rough coarseness like the bristles of a foot brush.
After the brush bathing is finished and the body is red, is it again rinsed off, followed by a customary shower or bath.
The belief behind brush bathing is that bringing fresh blood evenly up to the surface of the skin strengthens and spreads the wei qi in such a way that it aids in protecting you from viruses and infections.
And while I know of no studies that have been done on it, there’s an abundance of anecdotal evidence from hundreds of generations of grandparents, and I recommend you include it as part of your normal bathing ritual.
Like most of traditional medicine, the worst thing that can happen is nothing!
Bonus 2 Yu Ping Fang San:
A formula traditionally used for bolstering our wei qi translates as “Jade Windscreen,” the image being that the herbs therein help establish a strong barrier against potentially damaging influences that come in from outside the body.
Yu Ping Feng San is one of the most effective and popular herbal remedies in the traditional Chinese apothecary, designed to keep you well in times like these. If you’d like to know more, reach out to me and I’ll see about getting some to you.
Bonus 3 Qi gong:
Practice qi gong movements that strengthen your respiratory system and boost immunity: Qi Gong (pronounced “chee gung”) is the term for practices that combine movement and breath to improve health and wellbeing.
If you’ve ever lived near a large population of Chinese people, you may have seen them in the park in the early morning doing these kinds of movement practices.
Many forms of qi gong are based on Chinese medicine principles and can be used on their own or in addition to acupuncture and herbal treatments.
Here are two short videos of simple qi gong exercises you can do at home to strengthen your lungs and support your immune system.
These videos are available for free on YouTube:
But Wait, One More Bonus For Your Mental Health!
If you are under strict lockdown, going out for walks or bike rides is prohibited – you can only leave the home to buy food or medicine, and can’t even walk the dog for that long. What can keep you well is creating healthful habits and tying them to the clock.
There’s a lot of traditional Chinese medical literature that speaks to the benefits of keeping a consistent schedule, and modern research on “Blue Zones,” the places in the world where people live the longest and healthiest lives, also bears this out.
Although you can get up whenever you want, go to bed whenever, eat and exercise if and when you like, imposing something of a schedule is very beneficial.
Get up at the same time every day and make sure your first activities—before social media or the news—have to do with taking care of yourself.
Meditation, journaling, exercise, a good breakfast. Then you can dig into the randomness of the day, having first taken care of your basic health needs.
Don’t watch too much news, just enough to know what’s going on; don’t check how far down your savings have gone.
And make sure to get to bed around the same time every night regardless. You can do it.
Your top priority as a human being is to keep yourself healthy and well so that you can best be of service to others.
This coronavirus crisis is unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes, and our physiology and mental health have no precedent for it.
Whether or not you fall into the highest risk categories for getting Covid-19, one of the best ways you can be helpful is to be responsible; to keep yourself and those around you healthy and safe.
To that end, it is my hope that you will take some of the advice in this blog series and put it to good use.
Also remember that I am happy to help in your journey to keep you and those closest to you out of harm’s way—just pick up the phone or shoot me a text or email.
To book a slot for an online consultation click below.
Adapted a from group file compiled by Jason Luban. Thank you!