Fall 2022 Newsletter – Long Covid (part 1)

As most of you know, Traditional Chineese Medicine (TCM) medicine is based on Patterns Diagnosis and I must admit that I’ve diagnosed and observed quite a rainbow. We’re now in the season of Summer, Element of Fire with the Circuit of Heart.

In TCM no element ever exists (or suffers) on its own. Fire element needs Water element (Circuit of Kidney) to ground and support the constant energy demand. Earth Element provides Gu Qi (Goo Chi) or “grain”, as it is called in the classics. Gu Qi enters the Spleen/Stomach and is transmitted to the Lungs (Metal Element) to produce the defense or “guard Qi” or Wei Qi which is essential for maintaining one’s immunity.

In simple terms, when a body is weakened by overworking and improper diet it affects the digestive, respiratory and immune systems, making a person susceptible to a wide range of illnesses, including Covid. Below I will share some practical insights for a new condition what has just been coined by the CDC.

Lately, I’ve had an influx of patients with a diagnosed syndrome: Long Covid. Having very limited exposure to the illness, for obvious reasons, this was an interesting challenge.

From the article in science direct: the Long COVID symptom terrain is complex and extensive. Multiple surveys report as many as 200 symptoms across 10 organ systems: systemic presentations such as fatigue and malaise; neuropsychiatric including anxiety and depression; the musculoskeletal system with soreness, aching and joint pain. Symptoms can also be divided into 2 main categories: respiratory (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, and chest tightness) and neuropsychiatric (e.g., fatigue, brain fog, sleep disruption, depression, and anxiety).

After some research and cross-diagnostics, a common denominator became apparent: Kidney, Spleen and Lung Qi Deficiency. Most of you have heard me say this a lot: “your Kidneys, Spleen or Lung Circuits are weak”. Now, let me put a disclaimer: Kidney Deficiency has NOTHING to do with renal failure, neither does Lung deficiency with COPD or Spleen Deficiency with hyposplenism. We’re talking about weakened ENERGY of a specific Circuit (or a channel), not an organ.

In this newsletter, let me address the Kidney Circuit first, as it is the grounding force and has a higher cause for majority of the symptoms pertaining to Long Covid. In the next broadcast I’ll go over the Spleen and then Lungs respectively.

Why should this matter to you? 

Kidney is the source of life, or original Qi (energy). It is often called the “Root of Life” as it stores and controls the jing, the essence of our physical body.

The spirit of the Water Element is called Zhi . It is also known as one’s will, ambition, purpose, and destiny. Zhi is housed in the kidneys. Therefore, a person with strong Kidney strength has strong zhi, i.e. a drive to be alive. A person with less Kidney strength may have a lack of drive, low back and knee pain with weak ‘grounding’ abilities.

Other symptoms of Kidney deficiency may include: 
  • Fatigue and exhaustion or anxiety and panic attacks (when Fire Element is affected)
  • Body aches (especially of back and knees)
  • Insomnia (being able to fall asleep but waking up shortly after)
  • Lack of drive and/or lethargy
If you are experiencing and having trouble shaking any of these symptoms feel free to email or book an appointment using the button below.

Lifestyle Shift:
Take a break from the stimulation of media—newspapers, radio, tv, and movies by 8pm—to help you unplug, go deeper inside to restore. In his book, Healing with Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford says, “perhaps the most important factors for increasing vitality in old age are those practices which deepen spiritual awareness, along with an attitude that applies them consistently in daily life”. We will touch on spiritual aspect at the very end. No matter your age, if you experience some Kidney Deficiency signs, schedule a day for contemplation and renewal.

At least once a day include one of the following activities:

  • Upon arising: A glass of warm water
  • Restorative Activities: walking, tai qi, relaxed creative projects
  • More Restful Activities: Crafts, poetry, journal writing
  • Exercise: Gentle walk or a swim
  • Afternoon meditation and journal writing
  • Lying down and reading, or listening to a guided imagery tape for 15-20 min a day
Tips for Cooking and Eating—starting these habits this summer will support your energy and immune system year round: 
  • Cooking foods longer at lower temps, like stews and bone broths, are beneficial
  • Avoid ice drinks or ice water year-round
  • Avoid Raw and cold foods, like salads, during months with “R” in it. This may sound strange to say especially during summer – but your body will thank you.