How can you prevent allergies and prepare for flu season?
Even though we live in sunny LA, there is still a seasonal change with a cold and flu season approaching. So, Autumn is here, and it beckons us to transition from the flourishing radiance of summer into the slower, inward energy of winter. And there are some guiding principles to support you to make the most of this time for a smooth transition. Here’s how you can prevent allergies and prepare for flu season.
1. Boost immunity and fortify the body’s natural defense system.
The human immune system is naturally lower in the winter months. So, our bodies need help to enhance the immune system! By incorporating some basics, we prevent allergies and prepare for flu season. Don’t smoke, get regular exercise, get adequate sleep and eat healthy are great recommendations by Harvard Health. And, here are some natural supplements that also help*:
- Zinc is a powerful immune support as well as essential nutrient in men’s health
- Vitamin C is prevents AND treats systemic infections
- Vitamin D is proven essential in warding off auto-immune disease
- Astragalus has been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine
- Elderberry minimizes flu symptoms
- The immune system starts in the gut. Probiotics play an important role in maintaining a healthy microbiome. The health of the gut greatly affects your body’s ability to prevent and fight sickness and disease.
*Natural medicine is powerful and not without cross-reactivity. It is important to speak to your natural health provider to determine the right dose and source for you.
2. Clear out lingering negativity to calm the mind.
As dead leaves fall off trees, so too must we let go of what no longer serves. In Chinese medicine, Autumn is associated with the emotion of sadness and grief. When you allow yourself to grieve, you greatly support your health. And in this way, you release what you don’t need in your life.
- To help clear, access the lymph system by getting massage and regular exercise. According to research, healthy lymph flow is vital to moving physical and emotional toxins out of the body.
- Because of the important role the bowels play in eliminating waste, I recommend a mild detox in the form of colonic treatment for some patients at this time.
- Check out how acupuncture treatment supports the eliminating function of the Large Intestine. This goes a long way to help clear what no longer serves!
3. Conserve energy to prepare the body to weather the winter months, when resources are less plentiful.
Like shutting down inactive programs and windows on your computer screen, optimize your personal operating system by closing down open programs. And one way to do this is to celebrate accomplishments – big and small – and to do it throughout the day. Washed the dishes? YAY! Completed that huge writing assignment? YAY! Finally closed the chapter on a lingering heartache? YAY!!! When you celebrate accomplishments and close programs, you unburden yourself and create space for something new. So in this way, you gain greater emotional freedom, which is another powerful way to support your immune system to help prevent allergies and prepare for flu season!
In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is All About Letting Go
Associated with the Metal element and the organs Lung and Large Intestine, Autumn is a time of letting go of what no longer serves. The less clutter we carry into winter the better. Then, fewer precious resources will be required to maintain stuff that we simply don’t need. And that goes for material, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual clutter. Aside from Spring, Autumn is a GREAT time for a detox program!
So, when you create space in this way, you are tending your gardens. Now go ahead – prepare the soil onto which fresh seeds may fall and blossom in the springtime! The wisdom of Chinese Medicine teaches the importance of living in harmony with the seasons for a reason. And as any farmer knows, tending to life in this way yields great joy, profitability and quality of life.
According to the ancient Chinese Medical text, Nei Jing:
“In the three months of Autumn all living things become mature naturally and are ready to be harvested. In autumn, the wind is vigorous and rapid and the environment is clear and bright. So, during this period, one should go to bed early to stay away from the chillness and get up early to appreciate the crisp air of autumn. Keep the spirit tranquil and stable and guard the mind against anxiety and impetuosity. In this way, one’s tranquility can still be preserved and the breath of lung can be kept even as well.”
Wellness-based treatment with traditional Chinese and natural medicine supports the energy of Autumn and helps you to:
- Nourish the lungs to improve breathing and help prevent bronchial illness
- Clear the nasal passages and support the sinuses in purifying the air you breathe
- Support the immune system to prevent allergies and prepare for flu season
- Facilitate healthy release by supporting the function of the Large Intestine in it’s purging function
- Shift sadness and grief into healing and gratitude
Seasonal eating is one of the best ways to support your overall wellness.
Incorporate more of these foods to prepare for a healthy winter:
- Ginger: a natural antihistamine and decongestant. It also nourishes the spleen and stomach. According to Chinese medicine, that’s where the Lung meridian starts. Through this connection ginger nourishes the lungs and helps respiration, too!
- Apples: Eat them with the skin! Apples contain the flavonoid quercetin. According to research, quercetin reduces allergic reactions because it acts as an antihistamine. It also decreases inflammation and boosts immune function.
- Orange Fruits and Vegetables: Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Persimmon…hello beta-carotene! These foods are rich in carotenoids, which reduce inflammation in the airways. Root vegetables overall are important for a strong and healthy body, and are in season all autumn and winter long.
- Omega-3: Omega-3 essential fatty acids have long been celebrated and researched for immune-enhancing properties. Besides being anti-inflammatory, Omega 3’s support mental and emotional health. Good natural sources include flaxseed oil and Norwegian salmon.
- Fiber: Autumn is the time to clean out what’s no longer needed in the body (and mind, and home, and…). A healthy and active colon decreases food sensitivity, which lifts the burden off your immune system. Some seasonal fiber-rich foods are beans, avocado, and pears.
Acupuncture and Natural Medicine helps keep your body and mind balanced and clear, naturally. Boost your immune system, support your body to prevent allergies and prepare for flu season. Customized treatments, supplements and/or herbs can enhance your ability to avoid and fight illness. CONTACT US to learn more, or BOOK HERE.