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Board Member Blog Spotlight – Brenda Smith

The following blog post was written by The Foundation for Living Beauty Board Member, Brenda Smith. Brenda B. Smith is an L.Ac. Licensed Acupuncturist, applied Clinical Nutritionist specializing in Women’s Health and Stress Management and has been in private practice for 19 years in Pasadena.  She wrote this blog for her audience, but the information was so great, that we asked her if we can share it with our audience as well! Read below for Brenda’s post.

So much has happened since I last reached out to you

I have been busy doing several things.

First, I have been on calls and webinars with my colleagues as we try to make sense of all the information that is coming out. I can honestly tell you that I am still not 100% sure of what to think about it all but I can also say with confidence that this is not the time to be consumed by fear. 

I understand that containment is important however, the fact remains that the recovery rate from contracting the virus is still 95-97% and the at-risk population is still older and compromised.

We also know that it is highly contagious and that is what we are trying to control. But understand that this is less about keeping people from catching it. Easily 50% of us will at some point. It’s more about not overwhelming our hospitals because we are unprepared, as a nation, to handle the volume. 

That said, the same rules apply – wash your hands and keep a distance. 

What we are learning in the acupuncture and herbal community is that the virus starts as an irritant in the throat and lungs then continues to move down into the bowels. (Some of the tests being developed are checking for the virus in the stool. These would be home test kits.) The stop in the stomach and digestion creates the fluid that moves up into the lungs. That fluid is what causes the shortness of breath. From our perspective, acupuncture treatment focuses on the lungs and the large intestine, strengthening the immune system, and making sure the stomach and digestive process is moving smoothly. 

The idea that drinking water and flushing it down into your stomach for stomach acid to kill it is not consistent with the bowel issues. Nor is there any evidence that stomach acid can kill a virus. I’m sure many for you have had the “Stomach Flu”. Sounds great but makes no sense. 

That said, we do know that it is vulnerable to heat so drinking warm or hot fluids is preferred to cold ones. It may or may not kill it but it may weaken it. 

I recommend ginger tea. Ginger is hot and spicy and is beneficial for lung health. Too much may upset your stomach, so don’t overdo it. 

From the viral perspective it turns out that the virus itself is not the issue. It produces proteins that are foreign to our bodies and our immune system overreacts causing severe inflammation. Since it enters through the lungs, that’s where the fluid builds up. 

From a nutritional perspective the question has been asked why children don’t seem to be affected. I found the answer to be very interesting. Children naturally have higher levels of melatonin. For years, studies have shown that melatonin reduces lung injury and inflammation. The older we get, the less melatonin we naturally produce. This is another reason why getting rest and proper sleep is so important to overall health. 

Yes, melatonin supplementation is helpful. 3mg or less is fine. 

I hope that you are keeping up with your vitamin D. Notice how the recommendation is that we get outside and get some sunlight. They are emphasizing the importance of vitamin D without actually saying it. Getting outside for 20 minutes is the best but additional vitamin D can’t hurt.  Also, Vitamin C to tolerance. The hospitals in New York are using IV Vit. C and patients are recovering faster. 

My friend and colleague Dr. Dennis Buckley has IV Therapy available in his office, which is near Lake and Washington. It is an IV drip Meyers Cocktail with glutathione. It’s a wonderful treatment to boost the immune system especially for those with chronic health issues. Give him a call, if you are interested and let him know I referred you. The number is (626) 798-7805 

I closed last week because I needed time to sort things out and get a better understanding of how to respond to all this. Some of my colleagues are open and seeing patients, others are not. The good news is that we are considered essential as healthcare providers so it is up to us to make the decision. I will be available to those who feel the need for treatment as long as you have been self-quarantined and feel well. I will open the calendar slowly as things unfold since everything is subject to change at any moment.

In the meantime, be strong and don’t panic. You have heard me say time and time again that stress lowers the immune system. 

Know that I am thinking of you all and praying for your safety. 

Brenda

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