Within the Chinese Medicine arena, Beijing Chinese Medicine Hospital Chief, Dr Liu Qing-Quan one of the frontline integrative TCM and Orthodox Medicine doctors in the treatment of SARS back in 2003, has lead a team of experts in developing and drafting a Chinese medicine protocol in combating 2019 Coronavirus.
This was developed on the 21st of January after the team visited Wuhan and observing presenting symptomology and diagnosis of the many patients, some whom were in ICU at the time.
The team concluded that the virus was of a Chinese Medicine “Damp” derivative.
“Dampness” is a concept unique to Chinese Medicine which can present as symptoms of excessive swelling, sweating, gout, increased mucosal secretions, your typical “-itis” presentations could have a root in dampness, such as “Sinusitis”, “Colitis” etc, may have underlying roots in “Damp” as a factor.
This is because there is an “excess”, which is generating increased mucus or phlegm.
Please be wary that this explanation does not encompass the whole spectrum of “Dampness” in Chinese Medicine.
Although it may not mean much to someone who isn’t trained in the Chinese Medicine you may have heard the term from your acupuncturist or herbalist in the past.
Chinese medicine looks at the links between the micro and macro such as the environment we live in (macrocosm) and the link it has to our bodies (microcosms).
Nature is reflected within us. In the sense that you can find many similarities in nature (the Macrocosm) with our bodies (the microcosm). A good example is brain neuronal networks and how these may look like galaxies clusters.
Or lungs to a tree, illustrating more visual examples.
In this instance, the macrocosm would be the environment we live in while we reflect our environment in the microcosm of our bodies.
In Wuhan, the environment is generally damp, cold, cloudy and rainy with very little sunlight. These conditions which can lead to proliferation of “Damp” type illness such as fungi, bacterial overgrowth and certain viruses.
In Chinese Medicine, we also posit that those who are most susceptible to complications of this “Damp”-type 2019 Novel Coronavirus are those with pre-existing “Dampness” within their bodies. The Chinese Medicine diagnosis of “Dampness” can be diagnosed and reduced.
Your Chinese Medicine Practitioner/TCM Herbalist will be checking for a thick, greasy tongue fur which can either be white or yellow and be looking to reduce this. This may be intermingled with “Damp- Heat”, which can also be assessed through diagnostic observation and eliminated.
If we overlay, the concept of “Dampness” with the basic principles of Functional Medicine, then at it’s core it is a microbiome/microbiota disruption (AKA Gut Dysbiosis). It will probably reflect in your digestive system, your weight and your energy levels. However, the solution is not as simple as just taking a probiotic to fix this and we have seen instances where “Dampness” signs in patients have increased with the wrong type of over the counter probiotics.
The body’s immune system is known to have its origin in the gut. When this is compromised by either overrunning bad bacteria or a leaky gut, autoimmune conditions, the body will have a lower immune system and be low on vital nutrients.
What we have seen is that many people who have poor diets, live highly stressed lifestyles, who live in mould ridden houses typically present with “Damp” signs, however this doesn’t mean that non-“Damp” affected patients will not contract the new Coronavirus, it just means that there may be less chance from our perspective and TCM pathophysiological understanding.
For more information on how Traditional Chinese Medicine can help prevent read part 3 below