Side effects of wearing masks – according to Chinese Medicine

Good morning Reader

In times of pandemic, we will take the opportunity to talk a little about the consequences of wearing the mask on a daily basis and in the practice of physical activity.

We know that in addition to social isolation and constant hand washing, the only effective way to protect ourselves from Covid-19 is to wear masks when we are outside our homes. However, with the gradual resumption of activities, many people are using this protection for longer, developing symptoms and even thinking that they are contaminated.

So, I will explain some symptoms and why they occur:

1. Intense tiredness:

We are used to breathing without a mask, so the flow of oxygen into our lungs is greater than when we breathe with a mask. Thus, receiving less oxygen, the lung will have less raw material for energy production.

In Chinese Medicine, the Lung is the largest energy producer in the body. Responsible for receiving Air Qi and producing Wei Qi (defense energy) Ying Qi (nutritive Qi), when there is less oxygenation, the entire energy production chain is compromised, leading the patient to tiredness and sluggish functioning. of various organs by decreasing nutrition Qi.

In addition, spending many hours wearing masks can lead to decreased immunity.

In short, intense tiredness comes from the lower overall energy production of the body.

2. Headaches:

The headaches caused by wearing a mask are related not only to the tiredness explained previously, but also due to muscle mechanics.

When we use the mask, we inhale less O2 (oxygen) and more CO2 (carbon dioxide), leading the body to understand that we need to oxygenate better, the inspiration muscles go into “forced inspiration mode”.

Normally, we use the muscles: diaphragm, internal intercostal and external intercostals to inspire. When we are forcing the inspiration, the muscles come into play: scalene and sternocleidomastoid (ECOM), which are located in the neck.

With greater activity than expected from these last two muscles, they go into fatigue, generating points of tension, known as myofascial trigger points. The trigger points of these muscles generate pain radiated from the side of the head, neck and interscapular pain.

This justifies the headaches added to the intense tiredness.

3. Shortness of breath and feeling of incomplete breathing:

These symptoms happen due to the two previous symptoms. With less oxygenation, decreased energy capacity of the Lung and muscles that should not be recruited coming into full operation, the consequence is a difficulty in breathing range, giving the sensation of shortness of breath and incomplete breathing.

If the patient does not have a fever, difficulty in smelling or tasting, in principle, there is no reason to believe that he is infected with Covid-19.

It is important to note that all the above symptoms worsen when the individual practices any physical activity using masks, as the energy consumption is naturally higher, as well as the need for more efficient breathing.

How to alleviate these problems?

To alleviate the above symptoms we can do a few things:

  • Stimulate points LU7 and LU9, on the wrist, bilaterally to improve the energy of the Lung and preserve the Defense Energy. The stimuli can be done from 1 to 3 minutes per point, just pressing, from 1 to 2x per day.
  • In the ear, Lung and Ping Chuan points (Upper and Lower) can be stimulated to improve immunity and strengthen the Lung.
  • Feed on neutral foods from the Metal element table to keep your Lung strong. You can find the tables at:
  • Massage the trigger points of the Scalene and ECOM muscles to decrease the tension in the neck and the pain radiated through them. The movements can be done in circles, from 1 to 3 minutes, bilaterally with or without the aid of sliding oils.
  • Every 2 hours wearing masks, spend at least 15 minutes without them, in an environment that is considered safe. Nowadays, with the return of many people to work, many employees need to stay inside shops and closed offices wearing a mask all day. This 15-minute interval is suggested to relieve your muscles and breathe fresh air.
  • Don’t forget: wet masks lose protection. Change every 2 hours when needed.

Together we will overcome all these problems together!

Let us be careful and wise! And all will be well!

I hope you enjoyed.

A kiss with great affection to all.

Profa. Fernanda Mara