Acupuncture is very helpful in preventing colds and flu and accelerating healing. Getting treatment is most effective right when you feel it coming on or when you are near the end. It will also help during the middle of the cold/flu but its much more powerful at the beginning or the end. Getting a treatment right when you notice the achy shoulders, fatigue, hint of a sore throat or nasal stuffiness will help you kick it before it gets you.
The CDC describes the flu season as the fall and winter months with a peak in February. However the flu and cold germs are present everywhere year round and getting acupuncture regularly will boost your immunity.
1. Enjoy some healing broth with fresh grated ginger and sliced scallions. Bone
broth is an ancient East Asian Medicine recipe for healing everything from colds and flu to injuries and post surgical recovery. Ginger and scallions will help disperse phlegm and warm your system. If you don’t have the energy to make the broth from scratch, some of the boxed broths aren’t too bad. I have used the Whole foods organic low sodium broth. Trader Joe’s also has a good boxed bone broth. These may not have all the nutrients as cooking the broth down yourself, but when you are sick, it will soothe and nourish you. Regular consumption of bone broth will enhance your metabolism and overall health.
2. Stay away from cough drops-even the “natural” ones as the sugar inflames the throat and keeps you coughing (and buying them). If you need something to soothe your throat, take a teaspoon of raw honey, a dash of lemon and a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger as a tea in warm water. Raw honey is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral/bacterial and an expectorant. The ginger is warming and dispersing and will help get rid of the phlegm. If you really think you want a cough drop, its better to get a piece of hard candy that you actually enjoy and do just that. Often when we are ill, we feel down and are in need of comfort and cough drops are an easy trap.
3. Fresh pineapple juice contains bromelain, an immune boosting enzyme that helps break down phlegm in the body. This provides relief especially if you have it sticking to the back of your throat. But it must be real and fresh, not canned/frozen etc. Please take the juice at room temperature in small amounts.
4. Avoid sugar-it causes inflammation.
5. Get rest. Now is the time to take care of yourself.
6. Take Vitamin D daily. It will boost your immunity and your mood.
7. Go outside often, even when the weather isn’t great to keep you in tune with the seasons. This goes a long way to building your immunity and health.
8. Frequently wash your hands using regular soap. Anti-bacterial soap reduces your natural immunity. You may also use alcohol based hand sanitizers.
9. Stay home from work when you are sick. This will allow you to get better faster and also avoid spreading the illness to others. Going to work ill reduces the productivity of everyone else and prolongs your time being sick.
10. Seasonal acupuncture tune-ups will keep your immune system running smoothly and prevent illness.