Well, it’s fall, the weather is changing, the kids are back in school and it’s that time of year when those bugs start going around. Nobody wants to catch the latest cold or flu. The best defense is a strong offense. It is easier to be proactive and prevent these bugs from attacking our system then to treat them once they have attacked us.
There are simple things you can do to help prevent the colds and flus that travel around during the season.
- Vitamin D. Studies show it’s more effective at preventing the flu than the flu shot. So, why not include it in your armor whether you get the flu shot or not. If you would feel better, you can always have your doctor order a vitamin D test to check your level. Your healthy range should be between 50-80 ng/ml. I prefer the 70-80 range myself. Usually it takes around 5,000IU’s a day to maintain an adequate level. Just make sure you take in the D3 (not D2) that is in oil/softgel form.
- Manage your reaction to stress. Stress happens to all of us, this we know for sure. It’s your reaction to it that can negatively affect your health. My first suggestion is acupuncture. It really helps to relax you and settle your nervous system. You can also try breathing exercises, yoga or even good ole cardio can help burn off the stress.
- Take a Probiotic daily, preferably at bedtime. What most don’t realize is that the bulk of your immune and nervous system comes out of your gut. So, do your gut a favor and supplement with good bacteria to keep it in tip top shape. The awesome side effect is better digestion and regularity!
- Reduce or eliminate processed foods, sugar, & candy. I always get groans with this one, but it really makes a difference. Load up on whole fruits and veggies as much raw as possible and good protein. Feeding your body right makes it just work better. You can also make lemon ginger tea in the mornings to help cleanse and alkalize you which aids immunity. Green smoothies are a great way to increase your raw fruit & veggie intake. Focus on whole food forms of vitamin C like broccoli, kale, red bell peppers, citrus, kiwi & strawberries.
- Sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, your immunity will suffer. You should be getting 7-8 hours a night. If not, make sure you are managing stress and exercising daily. If you still have trouble sleeping, there are herbal formulas and chinese formulas to help with sleep or you can try melatonin. This is a double whammy. When you are run down you tend to get sick easier, plus the less sleep you have the less able you are to deal with stress which also affects your ability to fight off colds & flus.
- Garlic. I recommend you take a garlic supplement before bed. Garlic will help you fight viral infections and boost overall immunity, among the million other things it can do for you! It's a good insurance policy.
- Supplement. If you are around sick people, you fly, or you get overly stressed and tired, then I recommend you temporarily boost your immunity with supplements. Or, if you all of a sudden feel something coming on then supplement your immunity immediately. First, increase the amount of garlic that you are currently taking. Second, add Chuan Lian Xin (Andrographis) several times a day. You can find this through me or your local health food store. And of course there are several chinese formulas that work to fight the attack before it has a chance to get you. Other western herbs that can be added are wild oregano oil, olive leaf extract and elderberry.
- Acupuncture. Of course once monthly acupuncture will help to prevent those colds & flus, but it is also excellent at the first sign of a cold coming on. Traditionally if you receive cupping at the first sign of a cold, usually you can stop it in its tracks. Again acupuncture will help to relieve stress which negatively affects your immune system. It should be apart of your wellness plan.
If you have questions or would like guidance, just contact us at 813.749.7127 or go to the website www.acupunctureinwestchase.com or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/eastwestacupunctureandwellness