COVID-19 – Prairie Sky weighs in

COVID-19 is spreading the globe and it is time for us at Prairie Sky Integrative Health to weigh in on the conversations, including providing you with some strategies to boost your immunity at this uncertain time, so keep reading!

Please, take a deep breath, keep a level head and review the following information in order to help us reduce the spread of this viral illness and keep our community as strong and healthy as we can!

First of all, we want to let you know what we are doing around the clinic to maintain a healthy environment.  For now, we have chosen to remain open for patient and client care.

With the exception of today, Saturday March 14th, 2020 when we will be CLOSED,
operations will continue at 2146 Robinson Street.

We will be available to see our patients and clients, as long as we ourselves are free of any illness and until otherwise advised by Health Canada or our regulatory body.  We are fully amenable to using telemedicine to serve you, so if you prefer to have your appointment conducted over the phone or via Skype, in order to limit your own personal exposure, please do let us know and we are happy to oblige. 

  • We do encourage you to give us at least 24 hours notice when cancelling your appointment, as our time is valuable and others may be waiting to see us.  However, we do understand that this is not always possible and if you are canceling due to illness, our cancellation fee will be waived at this time, due to the need to reduce community spread of illness.  Please remember should you choose a phone or Skype consultation instead of coming into the office, simply let reception know ahead of your scheduled appointment time.
  • We have always worked hard to maintain a clean office space for our community. We have increased our commitment to cleanliness and are washing down all high-contact surfaces, such as door knobs, water cooler dispensers, taps, toilets, debit/ credit machine, etc. multiple times a day.
  • We ask that you step into the bathroom upon your arrival to and on departure from the clinic and give your hands a good 20 second wash with soap and warm water.  As staff and professionals, we are also committed to regular hand-washing throughout the day and most especially in between clients. A reminder that hand-washing remains the most effective way to reduce the spread of all communicable illnesses including COVID- 19.
  • As professionals we will commit to the use of gloves when doing any physical examinations.
  • We do our very best to run on time and will continue this commitment, thus minimizing your wait time in the common areas.
  • Avoid touching your mucous membranes: eyes, nose or mouth, with unwashed hands.
  • We launder the sheets, pillowcase and towels used for massage/ bodytalk, Bemer, acupuncture and Reiki between each use.  They are never used for multiple patients.
  • Though we are all about the love, we will be respecting your personal space and refraining from hand-shaking and hugging during this time.

Watch for symptoms of the Coronavirus.  Remember that for most of us this illness will present like any respiratory infection.  For those with lowered immunities this may hit harder so it is essential to be wary of this and ensure you limit/ avoid contact with your friends and family that may be elderly or working with a serious illness, when you are ill.

 

The following information is from Maclean’s magazine March 12, 2020.  Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus while the average is 5-6 days after infection (PHAC and WHO).  According to the WHO report on COVID-19 in China, symptoms in confirmed cases included:
  • Fever (88%)
  • Dry cough (68%)
  • Fatigue (38%)
  • Sputum production (33%)
  • Shortness of breath (19%)
  • Muscle or joint pain (15%)
  • Sore throat (14%)
  • Headache (14%)
  • Chills (11%)

World Health Organization report from the end of February on COVID-19 in China found that:

  • 80% of patients experienced mild to moderate effects (fever, cough, maybe pneumonia—but not needing supplemental oxygen)
  • 14% suffered severe symptoms (requiring supplemental oxygen, including via a ventilator)
  • 1% were critical (respiratory failure, septic shock and/or organ dysfunction/failure)

Who is most vulnerable?
As of March 11, the Public Health Agency of Canada assessed the public health risk as LOW for the general population. But there is increased risk of more severe outcomes for those:

  • Aged 65 and over
  • With compromised immune systems
  • With underlying medical conditions or chronic diseases including:
    • diabetes
    • cancer
    • heart, renal or chronic lung disease

If you are in Saskatchewan and are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms:

  • Do not come in to see your Naturopathic Doctor!  We are not equipped to test for COVID-19.  We can advise you over the phone if we deem it necessary for you to seek medical care/ testing, however we request you limit your contact with others and ensure that you follow Sask Health’s recommendations for disease management.  The following is from Sask Health  www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus
    • Call HealthLine 811 (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257) for direction and to be connected to public health.  They can let you know how best to proceed.
    • All travellers should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) for 14 days after returning to Canada and avoid places where you cannot easily separate yourself from others if you become ill. If you have even mild symptoms, stay home and call HealthLine 811 for advice.
    • If you have travelled to a country with a Level 3 travel advisory, limit your contact with others for a total of 14 days starting the day you began your journey to Canada. This means self-isolate and stay at home. Contact HealthLine 811 within 24 hours of arriving in Canada for direction.
    • If it becomes harder to breathe, you can’t drink anything or feel much worse than when you got tested, seek immediate medical care at an urgent-care clinic or emergency department. If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately.

Here are some of the strategies we recommend for keeping your immune system strong and to enhance your ability to ward off viruses:

  • Do your best not to live in fear or anxiety of the situation.  Yes, it is a serious matter that requires our attention.  However, it is important to note that when we get trapped in a fear response our immune systems shut down in favour of survival mechanisms, which actually further heighten our anxiety!  Be wise and discerning about your lifestyle practices and choices, and trust you are doing what you can to keep yourself and your family safe.
  • Fresh air is vital to healthy immunity so now that spring is upon us, make a point of getting outside, daily.  Even as little as 10 to 15 minutes three times through the day will benefit you.
  • Rest!  Get plenty of sleep and rest.  Take some time off, perhaps use this time for a personal at-home retreat where you just enjoy some time spent away from work, extra-curricular activities and the hustle and bustle of life.  Walks in nature, healthy dinners together with your family, board games, curling up with a good book and limiting your social contact are all enriching ways to protect yourself from community transmission.
  • Activate your vitamin D through time spent in the sunshine and also supplement with this immune boosting nutrient.  2000-3000 IU per day is an ideal amount for this time of the year.
  • Increase your consumption of anti-oxidant and nutrient-dense infection fighting foods like: organic blueberries, raspberries, spinach, sprouts, garlic, onions, ginger, parsley, cilantro, spirulina, celery juice, bone broth and fermented foods and beverages.
  • Drink lots of water. Drinking good quality water and herbal teas, staying hydrated, is one of the best things you can do to flush out toxins from your body and help support the immune system.
  • Keep your immune system strong by reducing your sugar intake and eating a balanced diet.  Avoid eating processed sugars. Sugar weakens the immune system and makes it less able to deal with viruses and bacteria.  Be sure to read food labels carefully and to limit the amount of sugar you eat.
  • Keep your mucous membranes healthy by taking a probiotic and Vitamin A and D containing cod liver oil.
  • Suck on zinc lozenges to kill viruses on contact in your mouth.
  • Apply coconut oil in your nasal passages.  You could even add a drop of oregano oil to this “balm.”
  • Diffuse immune boosting and anti-viral essential oils like thyme, lemon balm, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint in your rooms.
  • Gargle with sea salt, tea tree oil mouthwash, or even the original Listerine.
  • Take elderberry syrup, gummies or capsules and/ or echinacea in order to boost immunity, as well as increasing vitamin C intake.
  • Gets lots of greens into your system: Greens First is a big hit and even tastes great.
  • Some of our favorite immune-supportive nutrients and combinations include: Defense Plus, St. Francis Deep Immune, Licorice root, Echinacea Premium, Propolis and Oil of Oregano.

Here is a great recipe for Elderberry popsicles that you can serve up to your kiddos in confidence in their beneficial effect on fighting viruses:

 

And a few additional lifestyle practices that we encourage to help strengthen your immunity and ward off illness:

We are a wealth of info, so please, reach out with any support you may require for your health at this time or any other!  Call us at (306) 757-HEAL [4325] and we will gladly book you in.

From all of us at Prairie Sky Integrative Health, we appreciate your patronage, the trust you have in us and the dedication you have to yourselves!  Thanks for helping to make us your #1 choice for Naturopathic Medicine in Regina!

Yours in health,

Naturopathic Doctors: Allison Ziegler, Cristina Harabor, Julie Zepp Rutledge, Marika Geis and Michelle Sthamann;
Bodytalk Practitioner David Fernandez
and our instrumental front staff: Char, Alora, Cassidy, Isabelle, Katie and Rhonda 
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