Boosting your immunity, for the love of your community!

Posted on Mar 12, 2020 in Uncategorized

Happy Spring! It sure is wonderful to see the hope in the blossoms blooming here in the Northern Hemisphere! 

Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19):

We have our first case of confirmed COVID19 in Multnomah County on Tuesday, March 10th. My general policy is to not worry or panic, but to be prepared, and I am writing to share my thoughts with you. 

From what I have read, social distancing is the best protocol to contain the spread of the virus… well, you know, and washing your hands, not coughing into other’s mouths, and not being coughed into either- I am sure you have received those memos.

What I am recommending to you, my community, is to proceed with caution, awareness, but most of all thoughtfulness. When social distancing is recommended, what does that do to our community sense? We are afraid of others, afraid to touch or be touched, leery of humans coughing while in the grocery store or the bus. This is a VERY COMMON experience and I am writing to ask you to remember that most of us are having this common experience, so can we come together around this? Can we unite in our fear? Can we be thoughtful in how we share information? Can we consider each other? Consider our neighbors? Friends? Colleagues?

My next door neighbor is the Emergency Manager of Multnomah County, and I learn endless amounts from her work. We talk about disaster preparedness a lot, and the bottom line is always resources…. but not stock piling water or toilet paper- resource as in OUR COMMUNITY. She hosts potlucks where, as a neighborhood, we talk about pooling our resources in the event of an earthquake. For example, a couple BBQs would be brought into the middle of the street and we would cook together, and we would eat all of the freezer food first. We will make sure to check on G & P down the street, as they are our elderly neighbors and J, as she is elderly and only sometimes is her daughter living with her, etc. M just had surgery, so does she have enough help with food, bathing, etc. Our community is our biggest resource, even if we have to elbow bump instead of hug or handshake upon greeting each other. I ask you to do the same in your own close knit communities. Maybe you don’t have a truly wonderful neighborhood like me, but can you reach out to your friends? Family? This can be the time where social media thrives, right? I know there are algorithms and a lot of panic and also panic shaming right now, so I ask you what needs you have and what needs can you meet for your community regarding this worldwide health scare. How can you first- take care of yourself and your wellness and second- consider your community, because we are stronger together. 

Let me tell you what I am doing to keep you safe in my office:

I am Washing. My. Hands. A lot! For 20-30 seconds…. or sometimes more depending on what song I am singing to keep me occupied. I have hand sanitizer in the car, as well as lotion. I AM touching my face right now, kidding. I am using disinfecting wipes on all the commonly touched surfaces in my office three times a shift, and colleagues are doing it on days I am not here. I am also educating myself while deep breathing and keeping the panic at bay. Again, I think education and communication are good community action. If you are an active patient of mine, I ask that you wash your hands when arriving at the office, this ensures that we are starting fresh with clean hands for the most beneficial connection. 

If you are sick before your appointment, please contact me via email or text so we can talk about your symptoms and I can assess if it’s best for you to come in, or if you should stay home, and I will help you find the appropriate places to get care. 

Another tip for building immunity that you may not have heard about yet is stimulating our skin to bulk up the effectiveness our our protecting layer of energy called the wei qi. 

In East Asian medicine there is the concept of “wei qi” which is our protective layer of qi. We are stoking that when we are washing our hands multiple times a day, but we can bolster it even more in the shower!

Exfoliating our skin is beneficial not only for skin health, but to strengthen our wei qi (protective energy, read: immunity) as well. By stimulating your skin, you are bulking up the wei qi layer and asking it to become more energetic and effective. When we call more energy out to the surface, especially in more dormant seasons, it stimulates vitality and immunity. Also by exfoliating, and stimulating our skin, we are encourage skin cell renewal, getting our energy flowing and helping to decrease stagnation. The more energetic flow we have, the more of an efficient system we are running. A lot of thinking and worrying can lead to stagnation, meaning a collection of energy in only one part of our body- the head. By exfoliating our whole body, we are encouraging our energy to move and circulate through our whole system. Wei qi is governed by the lungs, as is the largest organ we have, our skin. So the better we take care or our lungs and skin, the better our overall immunity is.

I have found the most effective way to exfoliate and in turn bolster your wei qi is by scrubbing your skin in the shower. There are a wide variety of gloves and mitts available for purchase at grocery stores and drug stores and online. Scrub vigorously without soap, and you will see dead skin cells collecting and you can rinse it off. Avoid scrubbing sensitive areas, and areas where skin is thinner, like the face and the gentials. You will also receive the added benefit of less ingrown hairs 😉 

For extra extra credit, you can scrub your back on either side of your spine- if you can reach or have someone help you. This helps to clear Aggressive Energy (AE). AE is a block that we acquire in the wei qi layer that spreads aggressively through our system. If you have had treatment with me, you have had AE cleared. It is the treatment with the needles along the spine. The name of it indicates how it spreads, not how you present to the world. It spreads aggressively! We can get AE in a multitude of ways. It can be an external pathogen, like a disease, or it can be from an emotion, or you can get AE from an emotion or energy from someone else. Having AE cleared feels like having peace restored throughout your system. By scrubbing the back we can release or partially release AE as well. I have never accomplished this by myself, but have asked my partner to scrub my back on either side of my spine. Redness results and then I am releasing any extra aggressive energy. You do not have to scrub too hard to produce redness, it does not have to hurt. Only scrub as hard as feels good, like scratching an itch. 

My friend made up a song to scrub her wei qi. Here are the words:

I am building, strengthening my wei qi,

I’ve got a protective field of light around me!

I can be present, kind, full of empathy,

But I don’t have to let anybody’s negative energy into me.

I am building, strengthening my wei qi,

I’ve got a beautiful layer of love around me!

When I’m feeling happy, strong, full of energy,

I can be still, keep more for me!

Author: Dr. Rebecca Principe

Breathe this fresh spring air in deeply, and above all, be well!–


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