Swine flu season is coming upon us. There is a lot of fear out there for this particular flu, much of it being hyped by the media. I am attaching two views on flu vaccines, one pro vaccine, the other opposing the vaccine. The possible problem with this vaccine is that the vaccine may not even being available when the flu is expected to hits its peak - mid to late October.
Because this is your body, I always tell my patients to make an informed decision - thus my two articles. But my view, and that of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is that if you are healthy with a strong immune system, you can a) prevent getting infected and b) even if you do get the swine flu (or regular flu), your symptoms will be milder because your immune system is strong enough to fight off the flu from getting worse. So the bottom line is to start now to prevent getting sick, i.e. start taking care of yourself and your family to be as healthy as possible. The 5 following steps can help you stay ahead of the flu bug:
- Eat a well balanced diet, but particularly load up on vegetables and vary it everyday. Make it a goal to have 50% of your plate be vegetables at least once a day, ideally twice a day. Vegetables keep the blood healthy and circulating well throughout the body, which improves the bacterial and viral fighting agents in your body to swarm throughout your body to protect from invasion. Easy on starches, carbs and sugars, as well as deep fried and greasy foods. Easy on alcohol and caffeine as they mask how you're really feeling.
- Get a good night sleep every night . A good night's sleep is still one of the best weapons we have to keep our mind and body healthy. When you're rested, it not only means you have the energy and mental stamina to be productive throughout the day with balanced emotions, but it also means your body went through all its repairs during the night so that you're starting at a positive balance - instead of a minus. When good sleep is not had, you're working from a deficit. Your energy is down and so is your immune, which will make you susceptible to catching infections.
- Exercise a minimum of 3 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time. Exercising allows our bodies to sweat, which is not only a temperature-lowering mechanism as our bodies heat up while exercising, but also a detoxifying mechanism. If we can keep expelling build ups and toxins throughout the week, we are less likely to catch the flu bug. It will also help you sleep better through the night, which emphasizes Point 2.
- Wash your hands frequently and keep your hands away from your nose, mouth, and eyes. And if you sneeze, as a general rule - please - sneeze into a tissue or your elbow to prevent spreading any pathogens!
- Come in for regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture helps to improve circulation, relax the mind and body and activate the innate healing mechanism of your body. When the body is relaxed and healthy, it is better able to focus on any external attacks coming its way - in this case the flu, instead of working to repair imbalanced organ systems, overworked nerves, or reducing inflammatory responses coming from stress and pain. If coming in for a full acupuncture treatment is too time consuming, doesn't work with your schedule, or costly, consider the Iyashi Wellness Happy Hour ocurring every Wednesday nights in Culver City. It's quick, easy and blissful - and most importantly, can help prevent you from catching the bug by keeping your body well balanced.
If you decide to get vaccinated - or your children vaccinated, it is still important to consider daily prevention as the most important step to staying healthy. So following the five steps are still a good idea. Consider having both - the power of modern medicine and holistic medicine - in addition to daily prevention habits, as your flu fighting defense.