Sheri Cutter and Gregory Gilbert: It’s only natural; wear the mask |

Sheri Cutter and Gregory Gilbert: It’s only natural; wear the mask

As longtime complementary health practitioners in the region, we’d like to address some of the misconceptions around wearing face covering during a time when COVID-19 cases are climbing at an alarming rate in our community. We’d also like to speak to the treatment of those who are on the front lines of this crisis — our public health workers.

There have been a few loud voices on social media, in local protests, and most recently in the Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting — who advocate defying the governor’s order to wear face covering when in public. Some of these people are also bullying and harassing our public health officials — the very people who are charged with caring for our community’s overall health. When we silence or threaten those charged with safeguarding the public’s health, we undermine our ability to keep our community safe.

Holistic health care considers the whole person — body, mind and spirit, when thinking about health. In addition to practicing evidence-based protocol of frequent handwashing, physical distancing and covering one’s face:

Get good sleep, and prioritize your self-care. Sleep is critical to optimal immune function. Eat a healthy diet. Your diet provides building blocks used by your immune system to fight illness. Get outdoors and/or exercise regularly. It does the body and the mind wonders when under stress. Stay hydrated. Water keeps our whole system functioning optimally, including our immune systems.

Of course, personal health is important, but each of us is part of an interconnected community as well. Wearing a mask or other recommended face covering protects others who may be more vulnerable or susceptible to this terrible disease — the elderly, and people with pre-existing conditions such as heart disease or autoimmune issues — many of whom are our patients, and your neighbors.

Holistic health is about caring for the whole person — providing for your physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs. It’s rooted in the understanding that all these aspects affect your overall health, and being unwell in one aspect affects you in others. Caring for the community you live in is imperative for our ability to thrive on all levels. So let’s take care of each other, Nevada County. Let’s honor the people who care for us everyday. Wear the mask.

Sheri Cutter and Gregory Gilbert are health practitioners at In Balance Physical Therapy and Acupuncture in Nevada City.

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