Yup, it’s that time of year my friends- the time for holiday shopping, over eating and, in case you haven’t noticed, the return of the Cold and Flu season. Before you go pumping a bunch of unnecessary, largely ineffective and potentially dangerous vaccinations into your body, it’s time to remind yourself of the things you can do to support your immune system naturally. By now, you’re probably aware that getting plenty of water, rest and exercise are the basics of prevention, but there are a few more things you can do that can dramatically increase your odd of staying happy and healthy through this season.
1) Get a targeted, immune-boosting Acupuncture treatment and Herbal support.
Fun Fact: In Ancient China, doctors were only paid as long as their patients were well. As soon as a patient fell ill, payment to the doctor was stopped! As I’m sure you can imagine, the medicine was largely created with a primary focus on PREVENTION- and obviously, that’s really the BEST medicine.
Acupuncture has been used to support immune function and treat the common cold and Flu since the early 17th century. Modern research has now proven that Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can significantly enhance the functioning of the immune system, helping to dramatically speed up your recovery time if you’re already sick or prevent you from getting sick in the first place.
Always call your Acupuncturist at the first signs of getting sick!
Early signs include chills, fever, fatigue, sore throat, headache or body aches. Getting an acupuncture treatment or a prescription for herbal medicine as soon as possible can prevent you from getting the full-blown illness/infection, shorten the duration of the illness if it’s already started, resolve those pesky lingering symptoms (“the ick!”), and help repair immunity so you don’t get sick again.
For those of you who get colds/flu’s frequently, preventative Acupuncture treatments and prescribed herbal formulas will literally change your life!
2) Take a high-quality, Wild Oil of Oregano
This very special herb is finally coming into the modern-day spotlight and is quickly becoming known as a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic oil that can effectively fight off many different types of infections. For treatment and prevention of illness, adults can dilute two drops wild oil of oregano in four ounces (120 ml) of water, and take 1-2 times daily. For children, dilute one drop in four ounces (120 ml) of water, and take 1-2 times daily. Heads up! The liquid extracts are PUNGENT! Juice or any other natural liquid can be used in place of water, if it tastes too strong for you. Personally, I prefer taking my Oregano oil in capsules, if you want to go that route, just be sure to take it according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Don’t use oregano oil internally if you are pregnant or nursing. Anyone with a very serious medical condition of any kind should always consult an Licensed Herbalist or professional medical practitioner before taking oregano oil.)
3) Eat a nutrient-dense, toxin-free diet.
You’ve heard it said a thousand times- you are what you eat! You want to have a strong immune system? Then avoid the foods that will weaken weaken it! These include sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods and oils. Sugar is a big one: sugar, whether from a Snickers bar or from refined carbs, acts as ‘fertilizer’ for pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungi that can set your immune system up for an assault by a respiratory virus. Check out Top 10 Dietary Guidelines To Live By for the complete run-down of the optimum diet for supporting your best health.
4) Get your Vitamins!
There’s good reason to be taking a high-quality multi-vitamin all year round. During the cold and flu season, though, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting plenty of Vitamin D in particular. The research is quite clear, the higher your vitamin D level, the lower your risk of contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory tract infections. It’s even possible that you could avoid colds and flu’s entirely by maintaining your vitamin D level in the optimal range. The average adult dose Vitamin D required to reach healthy levels is 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D per day, if you’re taking an oral supplement. For children, many experts agree they need about 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight. However, keep in mind that vitamin D requirements are highly individual, as your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors, so while these recommendations may put you closer to the ballpark of what most people likely need, it is impossible to make a blanket recommendation that will cover everyone’s needs.
The best source of Vitamin D, though, is through safe sun exposure. When you expose your skin to sunshine, your skin synthesizes vitamin D3 sulfate. This form of vitamin D is water soluble, unlike oral vitamin D3 supplements, which are unsulfated. The water soluble form can travel freely in your blood stream, whereas the unsulfated form needs LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) as a vehicle of transport. The sun exposure option may not always be feasible for everybody, though, and certainly an oral vitamin D3 supplement will be much better than nothing at all.
This information brought to you by your friendly, neighborhood Austin Acupuncturist, Melanie Irvine, L.Ac., MAOM, owner Turning Point Wellness. For more info about how Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, and natural nutrition can help you achieve vibrant health and well-being. Feel free to visit my website, www.TurningPointAcupuncture.net for more details and direct contact information.