We are transitioning now here in Colorado at the end of Fall and beginning the dance of Winter. Following a few inches of snow, we find ourselves approaching another weekend with nearly 70 degree temperatures! Because of this dance, we often try to keep up our summer pace (which is fast, way too fast if you ask me!) before falling all the way into Winter’s pace and slowly but most assuredly, our immune systems begin to get a little shaky. Any imbalance in the system will reveal itself around about this time of year. This is why this time of year is known as “Sick Season”.
It’s not as though all of a sudden all these new bacteria are floating around in the air (and on our children!). These bacteria have been here all along. But the difference is that this is the time when they start to find their way into our systems. Maybe we ran ourselves down a little this summer? Maybe we just really dislike the winter (it’s too slow, too dark, too depressing…)? Or maybe we just expect to get sick this time of year because we usually always do? But know that it really doesn’t have to be this way. Now is an excellent time to begin strengthening the immune system. Don’t wait until you get shaky.
I often get asked the question, ‘How does acupuncture and Chinese medicine help when you are sick?’ as many people still think acupuncture is only for pain relief!
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine strengthens the immune system! It gets all your energy moving so that you can fight off all the crud. Not only does it help prevent sickness, but it can also help you get better faster! Additionally, Chinese medicine has some incredible patented herbal formulas that have been used for thousands of years to help people in situations just like this. On top of all of this, there are many ways to strengthen the immune system outside of my office.
Here are my top pointers to boost your immune system (in case you haven’t been in to see me in a while):
- No more cold, raw, foods. No salads. No juicing. No cleansing. This is the time of year when we need to build our energy, not take away from it.
- Eat only cooked, warm foods. This includes cooked fruit! Sauté some chopped apple or pear with ghee (or coconut oil) and cinnamon, ginger, clove
- Think warm, warm, warm. Warm beverages, warm soups, warming foods (lamb vs. chicken, ginger, garlic, and spicy foods versus mints and citrus).
- Consider making a Bone Broth and drinking 1-3 glasses each day for good winter health.
- Take some extra Vitamin C especially when you are feeling run down. Or get on the really good Multivitamin you’ve been thinking about so you know you are covering all your bases. Reishi mushroom is an excellent immune system stimulant, as is astragalus!
- Get your “Uh oh, I think I may be coming down with something” shelf all stocked up! so you can nip it in the bud (I can help you with that!)
- Rest more! Don’t move so fast and don’t try to do it all, all the time (taking some of my own medicine as we speak!). Slowwwwww wayyyyyyyy dowwwwwwwwwwn.
- Find some more “yin” practices that are nourishing to you like reading, writing, crafting things, knitting, or whatever delights you in the quiet space!
- Take a Detoxing Bath minimum once per week. It settles the nervous system, helps flush the liver, and gets your blood and qi circulating in all the good places.
- Even though it’s getting cooler, keep “Getting outside a little each day” on your list. It’s GORGEOUS, for one. Each season has something unique to offer us. But also it’s important to stay in tune with what’s happening out there! Get your own energy in sync with the energy of the season.
I’m here to support you and your immune system through the seasonal shifts! To learn more immune boosting tips, check out my book – Everyday Chinese Medicine: Healing Remedies for Immunity, Vitality, and Optimal Health – where you’ll have access to your Five Element Constitution quiz, seasonal recipes, and best practices for keeping your system happy and healthy all year long!