December 14, 2020

I started paying close attention to news about the virus coming out of China in December 2019. I started paying closer attention when the first case of Covid hit Europe.  I’ll admit a strong sense of foreboding overcame me. If you were abreast of any current science, health and planetary systems you will know there has long been discussions that pandemics would start happening more frequently. The reasons are numerous – we can move more freely, there are more of us, the rise in zoonotic disease and the loss of bio diversity are some of the major causes. As a holistic healthcare practitioner, my belief is that we are not separate of our planet or one another. The very health of our planet is our health and we reflect back onto our planet.

By early February I had a folder on the phone with bookmarks to Health services and resources like Worldometer.  I created this page back in April for links for sites and articles that I have found to be beneficial in understanding the coronavirus and its impact on all aspects of our lives. These are reputable stats and graphs and scholarly studies.  This page will be regularly updated as I see information or have scenarios that pop up and I feel may be pertinent.

My intent here isn’t to create fear or overwhelm. Indeed it is the opposite. I have always viewed education of self and clients as a primary part and moral obligation of my role as practitioner.  In the face of the unknown, I am going to stay on the side of caution, especially as a large part of my practice involves touching people and a large number of my clients are older and immune-compromised.  I am interested in keeping people informed and helping keep people from getting sick.

Be safe, take care and reach out if you need me,

April

November 5th, 2020 –

Recently I had an alumni ask how I had decided to continue to distance and not treat in person. The short answer was “Is the spread of the virus under control? Is it still taking lives at a dangerous rate and overwhelming our healthcare systems?  Is it a risk to my family and my clients? If the answers are ‘yes’ then I don’t feel it is safe and I feel my role as practitioner is best suited to help from a distance, offering online and not touching.” 

That’s the short answer. In reality, the answer is much more nuanced and based on personal and ethical choices. But I did approach it the way I do any “crisis” situation. First – are you safe? If you need to run from the monster, f’ing run, assess later. Second – Create stability in the home.  In this case, I made sure we were safe, had supplies, my parents were stocked up and not going out and we went about deciding if it was best to bring Clara home or not. Then you reassess on how to move forward, what non-essentials need cut…all that. 

Back in March, I set about making plans and strategies to help me decide the best path for me and my practice.  I set up a time for daily research for both western and eastern understanding of the virus, its spread and its current effects on the body and community. I created a folder on phone called “Covid” with links to all the sites I frequent. I laid out a detailed check list for what reopening my hands-on portion of my work would look like. I also set up a regular schedule to reevaluate – let’s be flexible. Things may change soon.

What has gone into my current decision?  First and foremost is safety for family, friends and clients, especially those who are at greatest risk.  I have very vulnerable family and clients alike. We are learning but still don’t know everything about this disease from its acute phase to the numerous post acute phase syndromes that are unfolding – blood clots, cardiovascular issues, nerves.  The reality is we are still in the infancy of understanding a highly communicable disease. And then there is legal responsibility. Yeah, I don’t know of a single insurance company that covers Covid for bodywork practitioners – and some of them are being dodgy in giving clear answers in working with ‘significant hazard and risk of communicable disease’ situations. 

That twists my stomach. I know a number of practitioners who are asking clients to sign waivers. However, there is great debate on several of the FB pages for bodyworkers and Covid as to whether these hold any water.  Frankly, I don’t even want to work from that type of mentality. So, I looked deeply at this issue and gave myself a challenge – could I write a phone script or email phone script to tell my clients, friends or family that we were exposed and need to quarantine? That someone has become ill or may have died due to that exposure or my negligence? Or that of a client’s?  This may not be true in all lines of work, but I take my role as a healthcare educator and provider very seriously –

“First do no harm.”  Unfortunately, I have heard a number of scenarios where even the most cautious practitioner was put at risk due to their client’s negligence. In one instance, the client had tested positive and just chose not to share that bit of information with the bodywork until after the whole family had been seen. Fortunately, that practitioner is fine, but she had some choice words for that client, and had to quarantine. 

I found I couldn’t write the script with out being repulsed. 

If it happens and I need to I will, but I’ll be damned if I will jeopardize others due to my negligence. Especially if something as simple as wearing a mask, social distancing and not touching can mitigate spread, protect our health and save lives. I’ll keep my hands to myself for now, and help as I can from a distance. 

Hang on, I’ll be back to hands-on when it’s safe. 

April

Current Guidelines and Recommendations

Current Stats & Charts

Western Medical Findings

There has been a fair amount of obstruction and masking of just pure peer reviewed studies and politics has weighed heavily on the information that has been shared. So – what do you do? You look for and find the doctors and scientists are working from a space of wanting true knowledge and to help the public without the influence of politics and big pharma. Fortunately there is a group of doctors and scientists who started up their own google doc to share articles, studies and information. It’s a treasure trove. Again, these can overwhelm. You may not be needing to know as many details. As I work in healthcare – I feel it is my responsibility to know both the east and west of this. As we are seeing more and more people recovering and surviving Covid 19, we are now seeing what kind of lasting effects the disease may have caused.

What Other Countries Are Doing

I am looking for ‘right actions’ – how is the country or government protecting their citizen’s and society?

I regularly peek over at Ireland’s HSE – Clara’s there,  and they  have Taoiseach (Prime minster) that’s a doctor worth noting how different their behavior has been. Be sure you select the English version, I got on the Irish one accidentally, and yeah, my Gaelic sucks.

I also watch South Korea and Europe and countries that have a better control on the spread and treatment of Covid. The big factor is that most have universal healthcare and their care of the populous and communicable diseases heavily tied into big pharma profits. They have public service announcements! We have suffered heavily with disinformation and misinformation. Most have excellent websites and apps with clear communication and access.

Chinese Medicine Studies & Reports

Heiner Fruehauf is one of the leading Chinese Medicine practitioners in the US. His information coming out about Covid-19 is excellent. He has numerous scholarly reports and studies available on his website including findings on its affect on children through the lens of Chinese medicine. Fortunately for me, he also has classes for Chinese medicine practitioners in working with Covid. Check out his site.