Many people wonder how they can stay well this winter, considering the onset of the flu season and the fear of a possible influenza epidemic. Fortunately, acupuncture and Oriental medicine provide proven steps toward preventing illness and maintaining good health in cold weather.
We hear about so many people catching the flu - but in reality it is only a portion of those exposed to a virus that get sick. Why? According to Oriental medicine's teachings, our bodies get sick when we are in a weakened state. It is only when our immune systems are weakened and our bodies are out of balance that we are vulnerable to sickness.
Acupuncture originated in China between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago. It corrects imbalances in the body's energy systems that cause illness. Practitioners of Oriental medicine identify Qi (pronounced "chee") as the life giving energy that needs to flow freely through the body for good health. Integrated with a wise lifestyle, Oriental medicine can help prevent illness.
Here are Five Tips for Avoiding Illness This Flu Season:
1. Exercise a little bit everyday.
Exercise moves the lymphatic system, thereby helping to detoxify the poisons in your body.2. Keep warm.
Make sure your neck and chest are protected from wind, drafts and cold. Use a scarf around your neck when going outside and wear turtle neck shirts or sweaters. The neck is an area where wind can invade the body and cause sickness. The Oriental medical perspective is that wind invasions make people more vulnerable to developing colds and flu. Always keep your feet warm and dry.3. Get adequate sleep and relaxation.
Your body is vulnerable to stress without enough rest. Think about doing some deep breathing exercises to help relax and unwind at the end of the day. Use stress-reduction methods like Qi Gong meditation or yoga.4. Eat smart.
Avoid refined sugars (processed food and baked goods, alcohol, etc.). A diet of refined or simple carbohydrates (white sugar, white bread) raises the body's Ph and allows bacteria, mold, yeast and fungi to thrive. Simple carbohydrates suck up the nutrition your body needs to detoxify, nourish and build new cells and antibodies. This makes you MORE susceptible to illness. Vitalize your nutrition by eating more fresh, organic foods and less processed food. This food has more "Qi" in it.5. Get Acupuncture.
When you get regular acupuncture treatments (as little as once per month) it actually boosts your immune system. Acupuncture strengthen the "Wei Qi" or the protective energy that safeguards us against colds and flu. Use these Five Tips for Avoiding Illness to keep your body strong and healthy this winter. You can resist illness, the flu or the common cold.
By Steven Sonmore
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