Flu season generally begins in November- December and can last until May . Every year concerns are raised about new strains and the risk to elderly or immunocompromised people.
But it's not just the extra vulnerable among us whom colds and flus impact. None of us enjoy being sick, missing work, and experiencing muscle aches, fever, and chills. There are many ways we can boost our immune systems to prepare for changes in the weather and circumstances that start the spread of communicable diseases.
Number one is to stay well hydrated. The mucus membranes in the nose and throat
are defensive but they need to be supplied with plenty of clean water so they can go to work.
Humidifiers may be needed indoors in the winter, but that is like watering plants from the top
down, and the roots need water too. So drink 28-32 ounces of water first thing in the morning. For the right water temperature use half boiling and half cool so that it's lukewarm. Squeeze half a lemon into the water for vitamin C and to wake up the bowels.
Next, of course, is to eat right. If we only could! It’s not easy to get five servings of fruit and
vegetables every day, but it’s worth trying. Go for a variety of bright colors and a handful of
each, lightly cooked. Don’t wait, the sooner you start the better off your body will be. Eat early in the day but wait until half an hour after drinking so digestive juices are not dilute. Make sure to chew for a long time. As weird as that may sound, it is important to break down the food, make use of the enzymes in saliva, and to get the stomach enzymes primed.
Getting proper sleep is next on the list. Sleep should be a joy, though that isn't always the case. Peace, safety, dark, and quiet are necessities for really great sleep. Some have more trouble than others, but we all should work hard to achieve decent sleep.
Lastly, Vitamin D is likely as important as any other vitamin for immune function. The best way to get it is by exposure to sunshine. Exposure to UV B is critical and that’s only available when the sun is pretty much overhead . Also the skin cells working to make the vitamin D are disrupted when washed with soap, so we should only rinse those areas with water.
Depending on an individual’s constitution there are also different herbal formulas in east asian
medicine that will also help. The formulas can tonify the wei qi, and support the immune system, to help prevent or lessen the impact of colds and flu. See your acupuncturist at Jade Integrated Health to find out if one of these could help you this year.