With the kiddos back in school and fall in full swing, it’s officially cold season. It’s not always possible to avoid the common cold, but it is possible to keep yourself healthy so your body can best fight off infections. Below, we discuss 5 easy ways to better your immune support to lead a healthier life.
What is a Cold?
The common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. There are a slew of viruses that cause the common cold, but the most common is rhinovirus, and can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Sore throat
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Low-grade fever
Most colds last 7 – 10 days, and while there is no cure, you may feel relief from rest, drinking plenty of fluids, a hot shower or bath and OTC medicine to help ease the pain of certain symptoms. If your cold persists for longer than 10 days, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor.
While the common cold is sometimes unavoidable, there are certain measures you can take to help lessen your chance of getting infected. Immune support is a great way to protect yourself against the common cold and other widely-spread illnesses.
Immune Support for the Whole Family
The basis to staying healthy is leading a healthy lifestyle. This is certainly the most important step you should take to not only avoid the common cold, but to feel better overall. There are plenty of ways to lead a healthy life:
- Move: Whether you prefer a fully planned workout regimen or just a simple walk around the block, getting up and moving can help keep your body strong.
- Be cognizant of what you eat: Unfortunately, we live in a society where fast food is abundant and our schedules don’t leave us time to cook multiple meals per day. The good news is that meal planning is a great way to save time and get the entire family excited about eating well.
- Take care of your mind and soul: Too often, we forget about mental health when we think about leading a healthy lifestyle, but it is just as important as physical health. Here are some tips for how to keep yourself healthy mentally.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is vital to our health, and implementing better sleep habits can help your body function better in a variety of ways.
While it seems like a mundane task, a recent study conducted by the USDA found that people are incorrectly washing their hands 97% of the time. Washing your hands is one of the simplest ways to help stop the spread of germs, which is why it’s so important to do it correctly.
Additionally, teaching children how to wash their hands properly will help instill a healthy habit they’ll use for a lifetime.
One of the defining characteristics of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that it does not solely aim to treat symptoms, but instead, treats the body holistically. Acupuncture in particular helps keep the body at homeostasis, and has been shown to naturally improve immunity.
“Protetive qi is considered the most vigorous type of energy in the body. In the daytime it is mainly distributed in the skin and muscles, warming and nourishing all the outer (subcutaneous) tissues. There it circulates, opening and closing the pores and sweat glands and defending the body against outside disease factors such as the extremes of climate and the assaults of microorganisms. At night, protective qi circulates deeper, within the organs of the body.”
Yin Chiao helps boosts your wei qui (outer defense layer) to push out any pathogens that have invaded your body (AKA the cold & flu bugs), and Chinese herbal cough syrup, along with honey and loquat, has herbs to help soothe the throat and quell your cough while you are heal.
The lymphatic system and immune system are closely linked, making lymph drainage massages a great way to boost your body’s natural immune support. We also recommend dry brushing to activate the lymphatic system.
Essential oils are a great way to help get over your cold by alleviating symptoms. Oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can help open up airways so you can breathe easily. Here are some recipes for cold-related essential oil blends, depending on what you’re specifically dealing with. Additionally, oregano oil is frequently used as a natural, broad-spectrum “antibiotic” for it’s powerful antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal properties.
As always, check with your acupuncturist and/or doctor before starting any new regimen.
Some back-to-school sicknesses are unavoidable, but taking some simple precautions can dramatically decrease your risk for developing the common cold. Remember, consistent care is the best care, which is why we offer a 10% discount when you purchase 5 sessions of the same service.