Melbourne's Trusted Team for Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine

Dr. Scott Ling on the Coronavirus and Strengthening your Immune Response

The intent of this article is to inform you about the recent outbreaks of coronavirus and explain various preventative measures that you can take to protect yourself. Continue reading to learn more about the origins of coronavirus, how it spreads, and Dr. Scott Ling’s advice on caring for yourself.

All of the advice here assumes that you and your family have not recently traveled to an area where there are known cases of coronavirus or had some other possible exposure. If that is the case, you should call your doctor immediately for advice.

What is the coronavirus and how does it spread?

There are several different types of coronaviruses that have varying levels of severity, ranging from the common cold to potentially fatal respiratory ailments. The current outbreak of coronavirus, often abbreviated as COVID-19, is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

Similarly to other coronaviruses, COVID-19 initially spread from animals to humans, this time among patrons and workers at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan. Between humans, coronavirus is transmitted in the respiratory droplets of infected patients when they sneeze, cough, or breathe in close proximity to others.

What are different countries doing to protect their citizens? 

To date, there are approximately 71,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. Twenty-eight countries have been impacted so far. Governments and health officials have taken the following actions:

  • Chinese authorities have instituted a travel ban around Wuhan. Anyone returning to Beijing from Lunar New Year celebrations must undergo a two-week self-quarantine or report to a specialized quarantine venue.
  • In Australia, where 15 people have tested positive for coronavirus (all in a stable state), the government has established quarantine facilities in two remote locations for evacuees from Wuhan. A two-week self-quarantine is currently in place for any citizens returning from a trip in any

Who is susceptible to coronavirus?

Although anyone can contract coronavirus, individuals with a weaker immune system (such as the elderly) are at an elevated risk of contracting the virus and experiencing severe complications.

Protecting yourself from the Coronavirus

In addition to the following general hygiene, it’s important to strengthen your immune response:

  • Wash your hands often with soapy water
  • Cover your entire mouth and nose with tissues or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Don’t use your hands. Throw tissues away immediately.

We asked Dr. Scott Ling on how we can protect ourselves against the virus from a Chinese Medicine perspective and here is what he said.

Strengthening your immune response

Individuals with a weakened immune system are more likely to become infected, it is important to strengthen your immune response by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ensure that you are eating a balanced diet, taking supplements as needed, and getting adequate rest. Evaluate your life for ways to reduce stress and minimize mental strain throughout the day.

How to strengthen your immunity (from a Chinese Medicine view):

Digestion & Diet – Your digestion is your best immunity. Not all those synthetic natural products. Keep your digestion in the best shape. Avoid cold drinks, excessive raw food & vegetables, sugar, processed food, refined carbs, moderation is key. have more light and easy-to-digest meals, keep it at 70% full instead of overeating. This helps minimise digestive symptoms bloating, constipation and swelling.
Mind & Body  – Harmony is the best state of your body to achieve the highest level of defence. Keep your relationship with others and yourself in harmony including personal, family, work, and ambition. Also try to minimise anger, stress, anxiety, and fear.
Exhaustion/burn out – Maintain robust energy that is gentle and calm. Avoid overexertion in any forms including physically and mentally or emotionally. Keep a sound and solid physical, mental and emotional wellbeing every day can definitely keep your immunity confident.
Exercise – Gentle exercise that can balance up your sympathetic nervous system. E.g. Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Gentle Yoga, meditation. A balanced autonomic system will help you to enhance your immunity. It is also great in mitigating negative emotions symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fear and anger.

In our practice, these recommendations will help you avoid (and recover from) illnesses of all kinds, not just coronavirus.

What to do if you suspect you may have contracted coronavirus

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.

If you are experiencing symptoms after travelling to impacted areas, call your doctor or a hospital and inform them that you may have been exposed to coronavirus. Avoid using public transportation or coming into close contact with others. If you must leave the house to receive testing or treatment, wear a face mask and wash your hands often.

Where can I find news about coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is maintaining a website with real-time updates about the progression of coronavirus and the measures that are being taken to address this global health issue. Additional information is available at

Remember to always consult reputable sources and medical professionals for guidance on the coronavirus.

Written by

Dr Scott Ling
Dr. Scott Ling is the Chief Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Acupuncturist and the founder of Sustain Health. He holds a PHD Doctorate Degree in Chinese medicine from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine. Dr Ling’s extensive qualifications also include a Master of Reproductive Medicine (western medicine). Due to his unique medical background, Dr Ling’s approach stresses on the integration of Chinese and Western medicine to ensure patients get the greatest benefits from the best of both medical systems.
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