My day job is now in Palliative Care. I support the clinical teams who have borne an outsized burden in the pandemic. When I took this role, many people asked me what palliative care is. Others already thought they had it understood- it was support of the dying. There's a lot more to the profession, … Continue reading Palliative Care and Hospice Medicine are Complementary but Distinct
Four common herbs in the formula As vaccine distribution continues to be a mess, and as new variants of the coronavirus continue to circulate, it looks like some time before life returns to any semblance of normal. Given my auto-immune issues and asthma, my acupuncturist prescribed me an herbal formula called Jade Windscreen, which is … Continue reading Immunity Hack: Deconstructing Jade Windscreen
The prevalence of anxiety in the US population was high (around 20%) before COVID. It has spiraled since then (current estimates are around 35%), with no signs of abating anytime soon. And if all that weren't enough, as I write this, Minneapolis is literally on fire (part of a broader national emergency needing urgent attention … Continue reading Anxiety and Insomnia While the World Burns
Joy. What a strange, borderline inappropriate topic to wax philosophical about during a pandemic. But the world still spins on its axis. Literally. And that axial tilt brings in the changing on the seasons without regard to public health, economic collapse, or personal suffering. In Chinese medicine, there are 5 seasons corresponding to 5 elements … Continue reading Summer is Meant to be the Season of Joy. Can it Still Be?
Close up with adhesive ear seeds on the spleen and shen men points As Chinese medicine practices become more mainstream, both Good Morning America and the New York Times have highlighted growing interest in using a treatment known as ear seeds for health. I remember when a friend showed up to a hangout with what … Continue reading De-Stress with Ear Seeds
You may have heard about how hospital are experimenting with putting critically ill COVID-19 patients on their stomach, in some cases even while intubated. This is quite a novel idea for most medical practitioners in the West. As a rule, patients are generally on their backs (supine) or side (lateral). But our physicians have been … Continue reading Prone Breathing: It’s not just for COVID!
Sleep and mental health are closely related. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) which categorizes mental disorders contains countless references to sleep as a symptom. Various mental disorders can involve both insomnia and hypersomnia (a tendency to sleep too much). There are also references to nightmares and disturbed dreams. On the other side, long-term sleep … Continue reading Sleep and Mental Health
I was brought up in a loving household, and there was always room to express affection and give a hug. But we rarely spoke verbally about how we felt during conflict. We are famous for writing letters in times of familial tension because no one in seemed capable of speaking plainly. I suppose writing one's … Continue reading The Cost of Not Speaking Up: A Meditation on the Throat Chakra
In the US, a poll just came out showing nearly half of Americans are already reporting mental health impacts from Coronavirus, with around 20% reporting severe impacts. I was lucky (?) enough to have already had a year or so under my belt of living with anxiety, so I went into these COVID times pretty … Continue reading Front Row Seat to a Panic Attack
Here's a vocabulary word for the day: proprioception, which is a fancy way of describing the body's awareness of its own movements and position in space. What a random thing to talk about during a pandemic. Or not. This is a term used mostly by physical therapists. When people have a deficit in this proposed … Continue reading Bodies in Space: Normally and During a Pandemic
I put together a genre-defying "End Times" playlist on my Apple account. It's all over the place. Uptempo ballads, hip hop, metal, and touchy-feely semi-spiritual slow jams. It is heavily concentrated in the 90's (oldest kind of millennial here). Some songs are great for driving into the hospital each day and preparing to help in … Continue reading Music Therapy: An Annotated Playlist for our Times
We all know to wash our hands and maintain social distancing. These go without saying now. But how else can we bolster our immune system? How can we maintain our health whether we are healthcare workers rushing into the front lines of battle, or those stuck at home and suffering from isolation and likely facing … Continue reading Maintaining Your Immune System
This blog is written for healthcare workers specifically, though we are all likely to lose loved ones in the days ahead. Charcoal Drawing- Jess Schmidt I "graduated" from regular visits with my psychologist a few months ago, but decided I should check in this week, because I knew the days and weeks ahead may be … Continue reading Preparing to Grieve
Caution: This posting is meant to share interesting science coming out related to COVID-19. It is not meant to suggest that you look to herbs or any other form of alternative medicine in lieu of recommended guidelines. Stay home and wash your hands! I mean, really. How can you write about anything else this week? … Continue reading Integrative Medicine and Coronavirus