Most schools decided to cancel school last Thursday. There was a pretty unanimous decision for local yeshivas, as well as public schools to close in anticipation of the expected snow accumulation. Joy could be heard and felt all around. My patients who work in education were thrilled. My patients who have young children were thrilled. Obviously the kids were ecstatic. Previously, everyone was nervous leading up to the ‘blizzard’ that Zoom would continue. We really were all convinced it would be the end of the snow day as we knew it. I suppose the education board realized everyone needed a break! Ironically when I was growing up, this would have been considered a dusting. I remember the most amazing four foot blizzards during which we had endless hours of fun. We had amazing snow ball flights. We played outside all day making snow angels. My husband grew up in Monsey where they piled up the snow and went sledding. He prides himself on experiencing true blizzards and the amazing times he had as a child.
So much has changed this year. Our day to day may not resemble what it used to. Many individuals are working from home offices rather than commuting. Many people who were used to traveling weekly, have since realized that the extraneous travel was unnecessary. They are accomplishing a lot from their phone and computer within their own homes. Teachers have faced challenges of flipping back and forth between teaching in the classroom, on zoom, or in a hybrid situation. They have really been pushed into a setup they never could have imagined. It has been challenging for them to try to keep the connections with their students with the constant frustrating changes.
In medicine we have all faced extreme challenges previously unprecedented in our lifetime. The front-line medical providers are the true heroes of 2020. They are the ones who should be pictured on the cover of Time magazine. What we have all seen and endured for the best interest of our patients has been overwhelming to say the least.
While there have been many moments of despair in the fight against Covid-19, there have also been many moments of joy. It is the joy of helping a patient recover physically and emotionally that keeps me feeling grateful for what I do for a living. Being privy to help patients recover from Covid-19 when they were at deaths door, is a true privilege and something I don’t take for granted. Additionally, helping people grieving from losing a loved one is essential.
We have learned a lot from the initial outbreak. We have learned a lot of what not to do. Unfortunately, the virus keeps changing. It seems to be mutating as soon as we get a handle on it. We must all stay strong. We can help each other get through these challenging times. It will eventually pass. Everyone’s experience this year from house to house has been completely different. Some people kept their jobs, were not sick, and aside from minor inconveniences, they have not had many changes. This may be completely different than their next door neighbor. They may have lost their jobs, had the challenges of having young children home on Zoom, or had a tragic loss of a loved one that they cannot get past. It is difficult to understand one’s level of grief and guilt they may be living with. This is especially the case if they were not permitted to visit the person when they were dying.
I treat all of the above in my clinic daily. There are many people trying to cope with grief. Acupuncture is amazing at helping them heal with the mind-body connection. It is beneficial to try and keep them off of medications that may help them feel numb to the pain of the initial loss. However, if they have not done the work to heal and get past the self-imposed guilt of not being able to be there, then the long term can cause addiction to those very medications. It is my fervent hope to help them heal naturally so they can avoid that pitfall.
I don’t claim to be able to help every person who comes through my door, as that would make me infallible and that is unrealistic. I would be skeptical of any doctor who says they have 100% success rate. Of course, I always give it my all regardless of what I am treating. A person may be suffering from back pain, depression, migraine headaches, neuropathy, vertigo, gastrointestinal issues or infertility, etc. These are examples of health issues I treat successfully on a daily basis that are very responsive to Acupuncture.
With that said, I have treated many patients recovering physically from Covid-19. Most people who come in for treatment are those that were sick at the beginning. I have seen the gamut of unusual signs and symptoms from the onset. I had patients reporting the unusual symptoms prior to any word of it in the news, medical reports, or journals. As the myriad of symptoms grew daily, I experienced it all first hand as it was unfolding.
Some of my patients were on vents. Their families did not expect them to survive. Some of my patients were barely sick. There was such an odd varying degree of symptoms from patient to patient. Over time it failed to surprise me. I became accustomed to expect the unexpected. What could possibly happen next? With new symptoms lurking at every corner, patients had a hard time healing.
Some of the initial health concerns included overwhelming fatigue, respiratory issues, persistent gastro- intestinal issues, neurological delays and deficits including aphasia, or difficulty with speech and communication. Later we would learn of other issues including extreme hair loss, fertility concerns and more.
If you read my articles or my social media posts, you have heard me frequently say that Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine treat the whole person, as opposed to merely the illness. This is what has allowed me to have tremendous success in helping individuals recovering from Covid.
I am NOT treating respiratory distress.
I am NOT treating fatigue.
I am NOT treating gastro-intestinal issues.
I am treating a person. I am seeing someone as an individual. I am connecting the dots to understand the underlying root of their illness. While the symptoms may sometimes appear similar from one patient to another, the root cause of their inability to heal and get past it on their own may be completely different. It varies from one patient to another. The Acupuncture points I select are customized to that particular individual. It is customized to that individual at that particular moment in time. This allows me to help their body heal without medications that may cause secondary side effects. It is TRUE HEALING from the inside out. Retraining one’s body and ‘Wei Qi’ or immune system is vital for optimal long term recovery.
This year has brought so many challenges to each and every one of us in so many different ways. One thing remains true for myself now more than ever: My love for helping people heal. I was never as valuable and as needed as I have been over this past hellish year. I may be exhausted by the end of the day, but it is truly a wonderful exhaustion. I know I have given my best. I know I have helped people during the most challenging of times. It is rewarding beyond what mere words can depict.
As for the snow day, we need it! We all need a day to chill. We need to remember it is ok to find joy in making snow angels. Throw a snow ball at your friend and neighbor. Laugh. Have fun. We will get past this and find joy in the mundane again. Until then, Acupuncture will get you through it. Embrace Holistic Healing to guide you on your wellness journey.