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Smoke in Your Air?

This season living in California we have been inundated with fires and smoke in the air. How is your air quality? I feel bad for those living in Beijing whose air quality is even worse every day. On my iPhone there’s a Weather App that reports the air quality of the day. But I heard from patients that there’s a better app that’s neighborhood specific called purpleair.com. The best way to deal with bad air is to get away from it. With Covid restrictions it’s difficult to get out of town so making the spaces where you live and work healthier is sometimes the best you can do. I don’t think anybody disagrees that smoke is bad for you. California Governor Newsom says the air quality is as bad as smoking 400 cigarettes a day. Wow! Here are some recommendations that I follow and share with patients to protect our lungs and our health. Maybe one or more of these suggestions will benefit you and your loved ones. Feel free to share this news with others. HEPA filters are recommended by the scientific and medical community to clear smoke from the air. Honeywell is a HEPA filter brand I’ve used in the past. For some reason the distributors wouldn’t ship it to my area. So, for the upstairs in my home I got an Alen brand room-size air filter. It’s not too heavy so I can carry it downstairs. But I found that two of my Himalayan salt crystal lamps clean the air there if I leave the curtains and doors closed. HEPA filters cost $250-600. If you can’t afford that, investing in medium size Himalayan salt crystal lamps may work for you instead. My chiropractor has used a top of the line Austin air filter in her office for 20 years just changing the filters as recommended. She swears by it. In my office we put a filter in the HVAC unit that removes particles as small as viruses for Covid safety and it clears the air from smoke too. When outside in smoke our fire department recommends N95 masks. Apparently though they’re good for only one or two days before their ability to filter smoke is exhausted. Some are wearing Covid compliant masks on top of their N95 masks when outside. My house repair man wears a respirator when he works outside in bad air. From a biochemical perspective, smoke causes toxin build-up and inflammation in the body. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is a well-studied nutrient to reduce inflammation. And though it may seem counterintuitive, charcoal capsules, tablets or powder binds toxins so they can be safely eliminated from your body. I use a bamboo charcoal product called Takasume from the Supreme Nutrition company. Mullein is an herb that’s been used for centuries to help sooth lung problems. My colleagues at Gathering Thyme herb store can help you with herbal recommendations.

In 1939 an osteopathic physician named Chapman published a book called The Nuro endocrine Reflexes of Chapman. Dr. Chapman found that rubbing certain reflex points for 30 seconds to three minutes on the body improved his patient’s health. The points related to the lung lie between the second and third ribs just outside the breastbone on the front of the body. And on either side of the spinous process of the second and third thoracic vertebra on the back of your body. The spinous process is the bone that sticks out along your spine in the center of your back.


In Chinese Medicine, working with the Lung Meridian restores balance. The lung meridian runs from your lung to your thumb. it starts on your chest just inside where your arm attaches and runs down your arm to the end of your thumb.


Stroking down your arm in this direction while smiling into your lungs and making the lung sound from the Taoist tradition fortifies the energetic strength of your lungs while clearing them from toxins. The Taoist lung sound is SSSSSSSSS made while exhaling. Taoists believe that sadness and grief pull down the health of your lungs. While courage enhances their strength. Exhale sadness and grief while inhaling courage! If you want to get really metaphysical, a white tiger is the animal associated with strong and healthy lungs. Why not embody a white tiger for a few minutes and see how much better you feel?

This information is in no way a substitute for medical care. Always consult with your healthcare practitioner for significant health problems including those in your longs.


FUN FACT: Lungs aren’t the same size. To accommodate the heart, the right lung is larger than the left lung — for humans, that is.

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