To our Spring Center Patients
It is now clear that the end of this pandemic is not right around the corner. Some scientists suggest it will be 18 months or up to 2 years before “life gets back to normal”, if ever. I’m sure this idea brings forth so many fears, anxieties and concerns for people. There is so much uncertainty. People worry about their health, their financial security, their loved ones, and the future. We watch the news looking for the good, or we avoid the news, hoping it will clear up while we are not watching. I think there is an alternative option. We can learn how to navigate in this new world and learn how to better cope with the uncertainty.
Think about a time when you were in a situation of uncertainty, perhaps, waiting for a biopsy result or the results of a scan. How did you cope? Were you successful being in the moment? And for those you haven’t been in that situation, what about waiting for something more benign, like a delayed flight. Did you find yourself stressed out, going round and round in your head. “Will I make my connection or not? Oftentimes, the “not knowing” is far more stressful than once you hear definitely. Even if the outcome is a negative (missed flight, cancer recurrence) once we know, we can start to plan and prepare for what is to come.
Now we are in a situation in this world, where we have the opportunity to increase our ability to deal with uncertainty even when concrete answers are not available. This is a skill that can be practiced and developed through a variety of practices.
1. Focus on your locus of control
What are the things that you have control over? Hopefully, your daily routine, your self-care, your diet and exercise. We spoke previously about using the gift of this time as an opportunity for healing. Hopefully, you have worked to implement positive changes. What else can you do? What is the next layer in self care that you can engage in?
For me, I’ve been ramping up my steps and gardening more which are 2 things I’ve wanted to do for some time. Next it is time to add more sauna and pull-ups, push-ups and abdominal exercises to my steps and yoga. Perhaps the next layer is to explore cooking. My husband will be excited if I start cooking more!
I know many of you have fabulous routines and are committed to your health. And yet, we all have areas that could benefit from some attention. Addressing these areas and strengthening your self-care routine will hopefully help provide a greater sense of self control. Be sure to balance your physical health and activities that support your emotional health such as connecting with loved ones, and minimizing technology and mindless screen time.
2. Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and in the moment with the attitude of openness, curiosity and non-judgement. It is not a Spiritual practice, although it could be looked on as one ONLY if that resonates with you. You can practice Mindfulness at any time of day, while doing any activity. You can practice it specifically in a meditation or sitting in prayer, and you can simply become more aware of your thoughts while doing your daily activities. An author Rachael Kable on Medium.com gives an example.
While drinking your morning coffee, you can scroll through your social media or watch the news and get more and more upset and overwhelmed about the state of the world and spiral into worry. The caffeine kicks in and now you are having tachycardia, chest tightness and maybe even some shortness of breath. And then you start fearing that maybe you are sick too, you spiral. You chug down your drink, not tasting a drop and now have to go start your day, teach your children, do your job, etc. You are more stressed out, worried and feeling sick. This is an example of NOT Practicing Mindfulness.
The next time you make your morning coffee and you sit with yourself, try to savor the smell, the taste. Bring your awareness to your breath, your senses, your surroundings . When you find your mind wandering, gently refocus on the present moment, tuning into your senses, your surroundings. You will find your heart rate is lower, your breathing is deeper and your mind less chaotic. The goal is not to squash the mind of its thoughts, but rather to let the thoughts pass by you, like clouds in the sky. Mindfulness takes practice, commitment and intention. But you will find that as you bring your awareness to the present moment, the fears, the upset and the anxiety over uncertainty will fade.
3. undefinedSelf- compassion
These are uniquely challenging times. Our world in upside down and right side out. So many things that we took for granted have changed. Not only are we seeing tremendous pain and suffering, but we are also witnessing the beauty of human compassion and kindness for others. It is in these challenging times, we need to also focus on self-love, self-compassion and self-forgiveness. We are all doing the best that we can in the circumstances we find ourselves. Which means, if we feel as if we are “falling short”, of “not doing enough”, of “not being a good enough mom, dad, son, daughter, partner”….(fill in the blank)…then we can recognize that we have an opportunity for being more compassionate with ourselves. If you can offer yourself kindness and support, hopefully you will feel less distressed and this will build your ability to tolerate uncertainty in the future. Whenever, you feel yourself moving into negativity, remind yourself that you are truly doing the best that you can. If you knew how to do better, you would.
4.undefined Practice kindness
When we are fearful and anxious it is very easy to lash out and to focus on the negative. However, we feel better and others around us feel better when we are kind, thoughtful and compassionate. Practicing kindness requires us to take a deep breath, to consider other people and their well-being, before we speak or act. Especially now that we are hidden behind masks, there is even greater need for being kind. Let’s bring even more awareness to our surroundings. We may think that we are in a challenging place, but we actually have no idea about the circumstances of those we are coming into contact with. Let’s be kind to each other.
There is a very helpful blog written by Erin Bromage who is a professor of Immunology at University Massachusetts Dartmouth. about risks of contracting the corona virus that I found extremely valuable for making choices to protect yourself. Please see the link below for the full article.
For starters, in order to get infected we must be exposed to a certain amount of the virus in a period of time. Based on the literature, it appears we need around 1000 infectious viral particles to become sickened by COVID19 . We can inhale all 1000 in 1 breath, or 100 viral particles in 10 breaths or 10 viral particles in 100 breaths, it is the total 1000 viral particles that is important.
Most people will become sick after being exposed to someone who brings the virus into the house. But as we are going out and about, where are we likely to get exposed and how?
A cough releases 3000 droplets, though they are traveling 50 mph, most are heavy and drop to the ground quickly.
A sneeze releases 30,000 droplets which can travel 200 miles per hour and are smaller, thus going further distances.
A breath can release anywhere from 50- 5000 droplets, most of which fall quickly to the ground. There are even fewer particles released through nose-breathing
If a person is infected, the droplets in a single cough or sneeze may contain as many as 200,000,000 (two hundred million) virus particles which can all be dispersed into the environment around them.
Although we don’t have studies yet, Dr Bromage suggests there are about 20 viral particles released per minute while breathing . (Based on studies of influenza virus)
Remember the formula: Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time
Speaking increase the release of viral particles 10 fold or about 200 viral particles per minute. Assuming face to face conversation, it would take 5 minutes of speaking to inhale an adequate dose of viral particles to become sickened.
The concern is that if an infected person sneezes or coughs, spreading 200,000,000 viral particles and you are speaking with them, it is highly likely that you will become sick. But even if that cough or sneeze is not directed at you, the small infected droplets (filled with viral particles) hang in the air for a few minute, filling every corner of the room. If you enter the room within a few minutes of the cough/sneeze and take a few breaths, that is more than adequate to become infected.
Clearly this is why it is critical that symptomatic people stay home. And this is also why everyone should wear masks because if you are ASYMPTOMATIC but INFECTED, and you sneeze (from allergies) you will also release 200,000,000 viral particles into the surrounding air and infect anyone in the vicinity as we just discussed. Asymptomatic carriers can be of any age. And even people who eventually become symptomatic, they are releasing the MOST viral particles immediately prior to the development of symptoms.
He continues to discuss different scenarios of likely infection which I encourage you to read. The bottom line is when you assessing the risk of infection via respiratory spread, you must consider the volume of air space (in a building/office/restaurant) the air flow, the number of people, how long the people are in the space. If you are sitting in a well-ventilated space, with few people, the risk is low.
If you are outside walking past someone, you would need to be in their airspace for 5+ minutes for a chance of infection.
Fortunately, recent research has suggested that the likelihood of obtaining infections from touching surfaces is less than previously thought. However, we still need to wash hands often and stop touching our faces!
A few helpful products
I recently shared at our Return To Wellness Q&A about a product called Briotech which is Hypochlorous acid. This substance is something that WBC make in order to kill viruses and bacteria. It can be used in lieu of hand sanitizer, but more importantly it is safe to spray on the face so that if there are any viral particles in the eyes, nose or mouth, it can kill them. Additionally, it comes in a dilute form as a mouthwash and can be nebulized to help with respiratory issues. At this time, it is available online and not at the office. We will let you know if this changes in the future. Briotechusa Topical Skin Spray
Introducing Spring Center Supplement kits:
We are so please to announce that we are now bundling our supplements in easy to remember and order kits. Check out some of our offerings below!
The Spring Center Wellness Kit - This kit contains the six most essential products for optimal health and wellness including
The Spring Center Immune Boost Kit – This kit contains our Go-To recommendations for solid immune support in these uncertain times.
The Spring Center Super Immune kit –
The Spring Center Inflammation Quell Kit – Contains our most potent options for reducing inflammation.
We are taking orders for pick up or shipping via phone. We will call you once your order is ready to pick up.
We now live in a world where the pace has slowed and demand is still the same. While we are a small practice, we aim to provide compassionate, comprehensive care to all of our patients. However, this care takes time and we ask you now, more than ever, to practice patience, kindness and respect to our hardworking staff.
Kindness to ALL goes a long way towards healing .
A few items to note when you have an appointment:
As always, you, our patients, are in our thoughts and well-wishes from me and all the staff. We work hard every day to care for you and provide the utmost attention and consideration. Telemedicine appointments are available. Please call the office to schedule. Deanne, our PA-C is available for Friday appointments. We look forward to seeing you all soon.
Dr Kelly and the Spring Center Staff
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