Monday Motivation: Acupuncture for COVID-19: Loss of Smell and Taste
Dr. Scott Greenapple
The primary long haul or lingering effects from COVID 19 are loss of sense of smell and taste.
From the research, approximately 85% of COVID -19 patients will experience some subjective disturbance in their sense of smell. The median return of smell is about eight days. It is estimated that 25% of patients lose their sense of smell up to 60 days, and 15% experience loss of smell more than 60 days.
An interesting retro study showed that patients who maintained their sense of smell and taste had more severe symptoms of the disease and were more likely to go to the hospital and even be put on ventilators. The ones who lost their sense of smell and taste had milder cases.
A recent controlled clinical trial published in the well-known Journal of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery found that Acupuncture was effective for restoring olfaction in patients with Dysomia and Dysgeusia due to viral COVID-19. Notably, patients that recovered with the use of Acupuncture were non-responders to conventional pharmacological therapy.
The patients were treated over ten weeks with approximately three treatments a week. There was significant improvement vs. the control group.
The science is still not entirely exact as to what is causing the loss of smell. There is concern that the virus may be affecting the olfactory nerve, the first and oldest of the cranial nerves that come off the brain. This is why the formulaic approach, like adding scalp and auricular (ear) acupuncture, may also be beneficial. These are good ways to address areas of the brain with Acupuncture.
Acupuncture has been proven effective in preventing damage to cells and glands in the head and neck. This may affect the loss of sense of smell and taste. Still, studies also show this to be an effective way to treat damaged areas in the head and neck due to radiation treatment from cancer.
Chinese herbs and Acupuncture have also shown to have positive effects in treating pneumonia pulmonary inflammation.
As there are primary colors (red, blue, yellow), there are also primary senses of smell. Flower (rose), Fruity (lemon), Aromatic (lavender), and Resinous (eucalyptus) can use as a self-type of rehab. Use essential oils, inhale deeply for about 15-20 seconds.
Studies are using Vitamin A and Zinc for the relief of loss of sense of smell and taste.
Adding Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and mindfulness meditation can have wonderful effects on overall wellness and immune system support and enhancement. Remember, the best form of health care is self-care. So, do what we know is so crucial for your overall immune system? Get plenty of rest, drink water, take your vitamins (C, D, zinc, glutathione, A, at least), exercise, and follow what the science tells us.
Please, wear a mask, social distance, and get the vaccine if you are able.
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