5 Ways to Avoid the Flu

It’s that time of year again and it seems like everyone you know is getting sick.  Here are some great ways to boost your immune system to prevent and/or shorten the flu and common cold.

  1.  Sleep – Nighttime is when your body is meant to recover and when your immune system has the opportunity to work overtime.  Getting plenty of sleep makes a huge difference in your body’s ability to prevent and fight off illness.  Get to bed by 9 or 10 p.m. and sleep for at least 8 hours.  (Having trouble sleeping?  Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine is great for insomnia and sleep problems)
  2. Wash your hands – One of the easy and common sense things we can do to avoid getting sick, yet most of us don’t do it enough.  Wash your hands after contacting and surfaces used by other people.  Every hour or two is not too much!
  3. Watch your diet! – Though we should be doing this all year, it is especially important this time of year to avoid getting sick.  Avoid refined sugars and excess grains which depress the immune system and facilitate the growth of bad bacteria.  Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso and kimchee.  These help maintain the micro flora of good bacteria in your gut which improves your immune system.
  4. Reduce your stressStudies show that chronic stress weakens your immune system and leads to individuals getting sick more often.  Ways to reduce your stress include meditation, yoga and exercise.  (Hint: Acupuncture is one of the best ways to reduce stress)
  5. Get regular acupuncture – Regular acupuncture treatment is a great way to keep your body and immune system running on all cylinders. Among its many other benefits, studies show that receiving acupuncture results in a better functioning immune system.

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