So You’re Getting the Vaccine. Here’s How We Can Help.

As more and more people become eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, we wanted to let you know how Chinese medicine can support you during this time. Most people who have already received the vaccination have reported symptoms of fatigue, fever, headache, muscle soreness and/or nausea within 24-48 hours after receiving the shot. These symptoms are generally more common and more severe after the second dose. 

Throughout the years, Five Seasons pediatric patients have often made use of our acupuncture and herbal medicinal support for standard pediatric immunizations. We often recommend our pediatric patients come in for acupuncture before and after a vaccination and have specific herbal supplements available to them to ready their system prior to the inoculation and other ones to take afterwards to mitigate the varied typical responses to vaccines.  

Before the Shot:

Prior to an immunization, our aim is to balance and strengthen the system. If we see hyper- or hypo-functionality of the immune, respiratory or digestive system, we like to address these prior to a vaccination. In Chinese medicine terms, we are looking to strengthen areas that are deficient, or move and disperse any ‘stuck’ qi, blood or body fluids.

We also examine closely  the climatic elements of hot and cold in the body. When cold predominates, the body may have difficulty warming up, keeping warm, preventing colds and flus, and/or processing food intake, to name a few symptoms. When heat predominates, the body may tend towards fever, overheating and sweating, infections, bleeding disorders, headaches, and/or rashes, etc.  Our goal is to identify any of these tendencies and balance out the system so as to prevent any flaring of symptoms before receiving an inoculation. We can accomplish this with both acupuncture as well as herbal remedies suited to your particular needs. 

After the Shot:

After a vaccination, the body may respond with common cold or flu-like symptoms of fatigue, fever, headache, nausea and/or soreness at the injection location. According to classical Chinese medicine, these symptoms appear at the Taiyang or sometimes Shaoyang levels of the body. Our goal as practitioners would be to help the body strengthen its defenses and push out the pathogen if at the Taiyang level. If the symptoms have moved slightly more interior and appear at the Shaoyang level, then we help to harmonize the body’s defenses and internal environment. Again, acupuncture and custom herbal formulations can be helpful at this time.

While there have been reports of allergic reactions to the vaccine, they are rare. If you have a history of allergic reactions of any kind, please check with your doctor before signing up for the vaccine. 

Special Note for Pregnant Women:

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, there is limited data regarding the safety of the vaccine, according to the CDC. Currently vaccine manufacturers are monitoring those in clinical trials who become pregnant but no studies that focus solely on this demographic are currently underway. If you are worried about the safety of the vaccine, please consult your health care provider to see if the vaccine is recommended.  

According to the CDC website, “mRNA vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and, therefore, cannot give someone COVID-19. Additionally, mRNA vaccines do not interact with a person’s DNA because the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell. Cells break down the mRNA quickly. Based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant. However, the actual risks of mRNA vaccines to the pregnant person and her fetus are unknown because these vaccines have not been studied in pregnant women.”

For all of us, we must weigh the known risk factors of contracting Covid-19 versus the known and unknown risks of getting the vaccine.  

Summary of Tips Before and After Vaccination:

Before: 

  • Eat well and get plenty of sleep.
  • Take your vitamins. Vitamins D, C, E and A, zinc, fish oil or other omega supplements, and probiotics are all recommended. 
  • Take a Chinese herbal remedy recommended by your practitioner that is suited for you. 
  • Get an acupuncture treatment prior to your vaccine appointment. 

After:

  • Get blood flowing especially into the arm with the injection site. Soreness and muscle pain are a common occurrence so getting blood and fluids circulating through stretching, qi gong, exercise or massage can help.
  • Hydrate, rest and take it easy.
  • Some Chinese herbal formulas such as Gui Zhi Tang, Chai Hu Gui Zhi Tang, Xiao Chai Hu Tang, Ren Shen Bai Du San, or others may be right for you. Talk to your practitioner about what best suits you. Click here to book an herbal consultation.
  • Schedule an acupuncture appointment within 48 hours. Click here to book an appointment.

Be safe and reach out with any further questions. 

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