GREAT FALLS — In China, officials continue to report a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases. Since the outbreak in Wuhan, U.S. health leaders are learning more about how residents recovered from the virus.
Acupuncturist and herbalist Jennifer Holloman with Aspen Acupuncture & Integrative Health in Great Falls says she’s read that a combination of Eastern and Western medicine may have helped to stop symptoms from progressing in some patients.
In many cases, she says a combination of up to a dozen herbs and minerals were prescribed along with traditional medicine. Holloman said these formulas help internal functions in the body; she shared some advice for residents looking to stay healthy through the pandemic.
"You can find stuff like elderberry and astragalus and immune supporting herbs to build immunity,” she said. “So that way if you do come in contact with somebody your body can kind of fight that off and it doesn't cling on and you get sick from it.”
She says if you are sick, it’s best to contact a herbalist so they can prescribe a more specific formula. "I can look at their tongue on the (computer) screen and ask them lots of questions and talk to them and so herbal patients are totally different than those coming in and getting acupuncture.”
Holloman also says her fellow colleagues in hot spots like Bozeman, New York, and California have shut down their practices, but she's still open for current clients, saying she’s seen more cases of general anxiety over the pandemic than coronavirus symptoms. “There's just all these things right now that people are experiencing that acupuncture can be really helpful with," she said.
Although she’s only seeing patients in good health, Holloman says the practice has been proven to help with the physical recovery after the body is hit with a virus. "For those people who are already sick, it helps relieve the symptoms that they're having quicker,” she said. “So the symptoms are not as intense as they would be.”
She says she wears a mask and is spacing clients out through the day, cleaning all surfaces after each appointment. Holloman says she’s comfortable going to work for now with no new cases in the county. "If someone was positive for (covid-19) it, I wouldn't want them to come in,” she said. “That's the person I would want to talk to online and I would just prescribe them an herbal formula.”
Holloman can drop her prescriptions off or have the herbal company ship to clients. She does ask that people call ahead of time to schedule an appointment.
As for those feeling anxious she shared several at-home acupuncture practices that can relieve stress. She says a common spot is the area between the thumb and index finger.
- Another area is to rub the area in the middle of chest (sternum area) to calm the mind and open the chest. This allows you to take bigger breaths.
- A pressure point between the big toe and second toe- space in between the bone.
- A pressure point on the side of your knee.
- Top of shoulders, press down and turn head each way, stretching both sides of the neck.
She is currently not accepting new patients, but is open for appointments for herbal medicine. She can be reached by calling Aspen Acupuncture and Integrative Health at 406-761-3808. Click here to visit the website.