MORE THAN A MONTH AGO, we featured in The Chronicle the medi-cal findings of an expert ENT Specialist Dr. Gil Vicente (practicing at the St Lukes Hospital in Bonifacio and Quezon City) about the efficacy of “Tuob” (facial sauna) to alleviate some of the symptoms of the Covid-19.
We can only speak here from a layman’s perspective. We know, for a fact, that immersing oneself in the hot springs whether in Laguna or in Okinawa Japan has good results in purging out toxins in the body from the profuse sweating.
A recent documentary on why the people in Okinawa, Japan seem to live the longest on earth- aside from their fish diet and walking extensively everyday-is their “end-of-the-day” sauna or a hot bath at the home bathtub. We ourselves feel the general well being feeling after say ten minutes in a steaming sauna bath in Manila.
We remember our dearly beloved departed mother Mommy Charing who was always a believer in “tuob”- to relieve many of her ailments like fever and colds, anxiety and post-birth malaise- calling (“manghihilot” in Bisaya-”masahista” in Tagalog )”Iya Petra” from way off her residence after the Coca Cola plant to get herself a home therapy.
“Iya Petra” would come along-with all sorts of herbs and plants and candles and would place the patient under a blanket for several minutes after a body massage. Generally, our mother would become well- after.
It is a Pilipino traditional medicine in the same way that perhaps acupuncture would be a Chinese equivalent. Since time immemorial, since the time of Hippocrates as Dr. Vicente says-this method of strengthening the immune system against viruses has been effective.
We are not even suggesting that the usual suspects- the washing of the hands with soap or disinfectants, wearing masks and social distancing are not necessary. Quite on the contrary. Tuob is just an added defense, we might put it like this was a military war game.
There are disbelievers like iamgenm columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Hyacinth Tugapa who says there is a “science gap” in promoting “tuob”.
The WHO (World Health Organization) told Rappler that it will “not prevent the disease but may alleviate the mild symptoms” of the virus in the human body. But using that argument, it has been proven that only about 10% of those infected are in severe conditions and therefore the rest of the 90% are suffering from just mild to nil symptoms. So-what then is wrong with using the inexpensive “tuob” for them?
The DOH (Department of Health) publicly stated that such DIY (Do It Yourself) remedies are not prohibited but will not cure the disease. Though not prohibited, Hyacinth Tugapa cautions further that it is dangerous to rely on them, as well. Well taken.
Cebu is now one of the hottest spots of the virus attack and Governor Gwen Garcia took a lot of flak from social media after “enjoining” government employees (June 24) to do “tuob” twice during the day (even in the office)- inhaling hot water steam with lemon, ginger, eucalyptus or salt as the case may be.
We find nothing wrong with suggesting remedies entrenched deep in our culture for generations in the absence of “a”real medicine to cure and vaccine to prevent Covid-19.
Gov. Garcia never said that this is exclusive from a healthy lifestyle of 8 hours of sleep, regular rehydration, exposure to the sun and drinking Tumeric ginger and calamansi. We find absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Dr. Dale Pasco, a hydrotherapy advocate, on the other hand, believes “tuob” would promote the “multiplication of white cells which will alleviate the patient’s plight.” He said it is the first 4-5 days after the virus enters a man’s nose or mouth that the battle becomes crucial so that the virus does not enter the lungs.
Strengthening the “immune system” at that point through the help of “tuob” may be crucial.
Dr. Pasco is a believer in the findings of the United States Department of Home Security which postulated that the virus dies when exposed to 27 degrees Celsius and 40% humidity.
In our Manila Bulletin article two weeks ago “ Is the Virus Equal or Smaller than Our Fears”, we pointed out, too, that 9 of the 10 most infected nations in the world of Covid-19 except India have a cold to moderate temperature while we in Southeast Asia -nearing the hot equator- have much fewer infections than them.
Yet, we hear no one pursuing the “climate” angle- content with daily fire fighting- when the SARS malady in the past evaporated so suddenly as it came – precisely during the hot summer months. But again, we are no doctors nor scientists, Just using logical thinking.
With the raging debate involving the use of “facial sauna” which Dr. Gil (Heal) Vicente (pun needed) first publicly espoused after using it on himself for protection, we decided to share his thoughts once again regarding this controversy.
Amid this conflict of ideas, let us just remember though one axiom” We are in this -together. We are not the enemies- Covid- 19, the virus is.” Shalom!
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