When is Flu Season? The Truth About Flu Season
Flu is not a season. Many people think of winter time as “Flu Season” because so many people get sick. Actually “bugs” and viruses are circulating amongst us all year. People tend to get sick more often during the winter months because weather, diet and stress challenge immune system more this time of year.
To Get the Shot or Not?
The flu shot may reduce the odds of getting the flu but it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get the flu. It does not provide protection from the myriad of other bugs, viruses or common allergies that are prevalent during fall and winter.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: How Strong is your Wei Qi?
The key to staying healthy in the winter is to enhance the immune system as a whole. Chinese Medicine focuses on building the foundation of a healthy immune system.
You know that one person who never seems to get sick despite being surrounded by people hacking and sneezing? According to Chinese Medicine they have strong Wei Qi (way chee). Wei Qi circulates around and through the body creating a protective shell. In Western terms, this correlates to the immune system.
Take Care of Your Body and It Will Take Care of You
Strengthening your Wei Qi field galvanizes your body to fend off whatever bug is being passed around the holiday party.
Here are the keys to building a powerful Wei Qi field:
According to Chinese Medicine the lungs are the bellows of the system, creating movement and circulation of the Wei Qi. Those who say “sitting is the new smoking” are tapping into Chinese medical wisdom without even knowing it. Sitting for hours working on a computer leads to slouching which collapses the chest and leads to shallow breathing, thereby limiting the lungs ability to circulate the body’s defense energy. The first key keeping the immune system functioning is to keep fresh air circulating through the lungs.
* Take frequent breaks and go for brisk walks.
* Although it’s tempting to hibernate on the couch make cardio-vascular exercise a top priority through the winter season.
* Reverse the tendency to slouch by clasping the hands behind the back, then arch the back and look up and breathe.
* Remember to really breathe. Stop periodically and take 10 full deep breaths.
All those sugary, yummy comfort foods gunk up the works of the digestive system, generating mucus and congestion that gets stored in the lungs and sinuses. Then the downward spiral begins.
According to Chinese Medicine, digestive strength directly translates into increased energy which, in turn provides vital energy to enhance the immune system.
* Enjoy the holiday food but only eat until you are 60% full, and then take a brisk walk to aid the digestion.
* Take probiotics daily, they help your body transform food more efficiently and boost the immune system.
* Drink Chai, and plenty of fresh ginger tea to warm the digestive system.
* Talk to your Chinese Acupuncturist about a Wei Qi Tonic.
These foods enhance the immune system according to both Chinese and Western medicine:
* Focus on eating orange root vegetable comfort foods – Carrots, yams and squashes are high in anti oxidants and easy to digest.
* Eat white pungents – such as onions, garlic, ginger, radishes and mushrooms.
Sleep More. The animals may be onto something with winter hibernation. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic (dating back somewhere around 300 B.C.) instructs “Sleep until the sun is well into the sky.” A recent Carnegie Mellon study found that participants who logged fewer than seven hours were nearly three times more likely to come down with a cold than those who got more rest. With the cold weather and less sunlight we may fall into the habit of jacking ourselves up on coffee to make it through the longer dark hours of day, adding additional stress to our adrenal system, leaving us worn and run down.
* Get at least 7 hours of rest each night
* Replace coffee with Chai or green tea which boost the immune system.
* Talk to your acupuncturist about herbs that are very effective for treatment of adrenal fatigue.