How Movement May Prevent COVID-19
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus or the SARS-Cov-2) in December 2019, the world has been working together to not only find a cure for this wretched disease, but to also find ways to best combat it or even prevent one from being a recipient of it.
We have been reading through published research papers related to the treatment of COVID-19 using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and have come across some helpful information you can use to try and combat COVID-19 should you catch it.
Physical exercise as therapy to fight against the mental and physical consequences of COVID-19 quarantine:
In the above mentioned paper, the importance of maintaining physical activity (PA) in your daily routine despite being in quarantine throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic is discussed.
A quarantine was obviously the best choice in order to stop the rapid spread of infection and become more prepared for how to handle this unexpected Pandemic, however, finding ways to adapt and overcome the change in routine in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle is still important.
The paper states that “initiating a sudden quarantine state implies a radical change in the lifestyle of the population.” It also states that in order to “...counteract the negative consequences of certain diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, CVD, respiratory diseases, or even simply to guarantee an active aging by reducing the risk of frailty, sarcopenia and dementia, as associated diseases in older people, [physical activity must stay consistent].”
Exercise is important for all, but this paper focuses heavily on those who are at higher risk by being immunocompromised and even of the elderly generation as exercise in older people prevents faulty and positively impacts them.
This paper suggests that for those who are still stuck as home and/or have had to extend their quarantine, to find a well-regimented exercise regime that can help the individual maintain an active lifestyle in order to stay healthy and best combat this virus.
Recommended Movement Guidelines
As stated in the study, the following is recommended if the individual is under quarantine:
Weekly exercise: 200-400 minutes of exercise per week (being spread out over the course of 5-7 days to “compensate for the decrease in normal daily PA levels).”
Of those required days, 2 days of resistance training is combined with 3+ days of aerobic training.
There are many reasons that exercise is recommended when it comes to nurturing a healthy immune system. The most important reason involves your body temperature. As you workout, your body temperature rises during and after exercise which helps to prevent bacteria from growing, thus helping to fight infection. Physical activity also helps flush out bacteria from your lungs and even slows the release of stress hormones.
Acupressure for Better Movement
Chingling, Weiling: Pressing on these points release tension from the legs which makes it easier to stretch them out. To effectively use this acupressure point, slide the middle and index fingers down the back of the other hand (towards your wrist) and move along the spaces to the outside of the middle two fingers. These points help to release tension out of the legs making it easier to stretch the legs out.
Gallbladder 34 (yang ling quan): This point is specifically used to relax the tendons and ligaments within your body. It is located on the outer aspect of the lower leg, in the depression in front of and below the head of the fibula. Gallbladder 34 is the command point of the joints and sinews, which makes it a great choice for relieving pain, especially in the lower extremities. It is also used to address hemiplegia, lateral costal pain, bitter taste in the mouth, vomiting and jaundice. This point relieves hip and ankle pain, thus allowing you to move more freely.
Bladder 57 (cheng shan): This point relaxes and strengthens the lower back, Relaxes the sinews, invigorates blood, clears heat and even removes obstructions from the channel. This point responds well to strong deep pressing movement when applying pressure.
Overall, movement is medicine! It helps keep us healthy and moving throughout our day-to-day life. If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment regarding acupuncture for mobility, reach out!
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.