Boost Your Immune System With Chinese Medicine

I recently contributed to an article featured in the January issue of Delicious Living magazine.  It features some great tips for staying healthy and reducing your risk of catching the next cold that comes your way!

You may have already cast aside your new year’s resolutions and your healthy habits may be difficult to maintain.  But winter is far from over, so read on and learn how you can  keep your immune system functioning at its peak and stay healthy during cold and flu season.

According to Chinese Medicine theory, the “wei” qi, or defensive qi provides our outermost layer of protection against pathogens. Keeping your wei qi strong will act as a protective barrier to keep “external pathogens” – i.e. colds, flus and viruses from entering into the body.

It is important to maintain a healthy internal balance as well, focusing on keeping all your organs functioning optimally and in harmony with each other.  Focusing on proper diet and nutrition can especially help the function of the spleen, which can be an important factor in phlegm-type conditions.

* Sleep
Essential for a properly functioning immune system. Do whatever it takes to get your rest, be it getting to bed earlier or catching up with short naps if possible.*Neti Pot/Facial Steam
A neti pot can take some getting used to but it is an invaluable tool for keeping sinuses clear. Regularly irrigating the nasal passages is a drug-free way to flush toxins and reduce congestion.  A facial steam with aromatic herbs or essential oils can provide similar results as well as lubrication for sinuses which have been dried out from harsh winter heating.

*Vitamin D
Studies have shown a strong link between low Vitamin D levels and increased risk for respiratory infections, including flu. Supplementing is key, especially in the winter when our sunlight exposure is diminished.

*Acupuncture
One of the ways acupuncture can boost the immune system is to reduce stress – a major drain on the body’s resources.

*Exercise
Regular, moderate exercise can help boost immune response to fight off colds and flu, and help you to recover more quickly. Exercise is also good for boosting mood and energy which can be lagging during these dark winter months.