Sometimes it’s just impossible to avoiding catching a cold. In the Bay Area, we are exposed to international viruses on a daily basis and if you got kids, you’re exposed to their entire school as well. Here’s how you can tackle cold and flu season.
Cold & Flu Prevention
In this order, sleep, exercise, and diet, are the keys to a strong immune system. Of course, I’m also a big proponent of acupuncture herbal supplements, so I recommend those too.
- Sleep: 7-8 hours of quality sleep. Caffeine, alcohol, and eating later can all impair sleep.Exercise: 30-60 minutes daily. This will also reduce stress. Stress can weaken the immune system.
- Diet: You already know this. Sugar can create both inflammation and fatigue. Consider warm soups and stews, & ginger tea to nourish the digestive system. Yes to fruits and veggies, protein, & healthy fats. No to refined carbs, cereals, pastries, cookies, and cake.
- Acupuncture relieves stress, improves energy & sleep quality, and treats nagging aches and pains.
- Supplements: For daily immune support in the winter I like Echinacea Premium from MediHerb, Calcium Lactate (ask me why) from Standard Process, and Stamets 7 Mushroom Blend as a daily supplement.
Cold & Flu Treatment
Did you know there are literally hundreds of formulae in Chinese herbal medicine for treating cold and flu? Two of my favorites are Gan Mao Ling and Yin Qiao San. Herbs also prevent a condition from getting worse. It’s always easier to use herbs for a cold than it is for bronchitis, pneumonia, or a sinus infection.
- Acupuncture stimulates the immune system. A shorter 10-15 minute treatment is recommended as the first part of the treatment stimulates immune function while a longer treatment can actually allow the pathogen to take hold because of the sedating effect of acupuncture
- Suction cups on the upper back and shoulder (upper trapezius) can both relieve muscle tension, remove ‘toxins’. The cups improve blood flow to the lungs—an organ responsible for immune function in Chinese medicine
- Rest. Yes, this is how you got sick in the first place. Take the time you need to recover