Stay Healthy Through the Holidays
How to prevent illness and ward off a cold or flu at the first signs
Welcome to Natural Medicine
That is not what you will find here. What I will be talking about is a Natural Medicine approach, which involves knowing how your body works and then paying attention to its variations and being able to interpret what is asked for to restore balance.
Don’t worry – I will go slow and explain it all. You will be empowered to stay healthy by your own hand, and actually delight in the choices you make and the dramatic results you get.
Fair warning: there can be a learning curve, meaning that until you get to know your body systems completely, you might miss the signals until it has gone past the point of return from the first signs, and a cold has taken hold. But then you learn the signals and are able to respond in time the next time around.
This blog is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice.
Keeping Healthy Naturally
Maintaining health naturally is about maintaining balance within a range so that you notice when the balance is just tipping to one side by paying attention to the signals your body is giving you. In this case, symptoms are evidence that the immune system is activated and making an effort in restoring balance.
The ideal balance includes times of feeling like you are starting to come down with something, then rallying so that the balance is recovered quickly by making a change in your lifestyle and with energetic or herbal support. It is a myth that if you never get sick, you are the healthiest one around. Most of the time in that case, the immune system is too compromised to respond to the stress placed on it.
Deeper than a Balanced Lifestyle
I must mention here that as a doctor, I see imbalances that maintaining a balanced lifestyle will not totally cure. Yes, it will help, but not totally reverse. There can be deeper imbalances that Natural Medicine can address. Those are not what I am talking about here.
Don’t Go with Society’s Flow
You must create your own world where life happens on your own terms.
Weigh it this way: can you afford the time it takes to be sick in bed for days on end to get over a bad cold or flu? Or worse yet, can you picture yourself working through it, being miserable every minute of it and prolonging recovery? In addition, losing your edge and productivity and making those around you miserable?
Time invested in staying balanced, whether it is staying home and choosing not to partake in some activities or being sure to schedule in exercise and sleep despite increased demands on your time during the Holiday season is always worth it.
These are some common things to beware of that create an imbalance that your body responds to with a cold or flu:
- Not getting enough refreshing sleep
- Eating imbalanced for what you need
- Not eating enough
- Eating too much sugar and processed foods
- Not moving the body enough, being unrelentingly sedentary
- Burning the candle at both ends to get things done lifestyle
- Overextending yourself in time scheduling
- Doing too much for others in relation to what you do for yourself
- A sudden dramatic change in weather from warm to cold or cold to warm
- Being exposed to a cold wind not bundled up
These also reduce the defensive capacity of the immune system, so that if others around you are sick with a cold or flu, you are more susceptible to coming down with it.
There are several strategies to help maintain balance when you are going through stress in order to prevent getting sick. In addition, I offer specific products for supporting the body both in prevention and at the first signs, and offer individualized consults and classes for individualizing treatment and finding a healthy balance.
Strategies for Balance
This may sound boring, but really, can’t you see that when you are happy you tend to do these things? Or when you do these things you are happy? If you have never done one or more of these, then it is time for a medical consult to find out what needs balancing on a deeper level.
- Sleep sound and awaken refreshed
- Exercise and/or move the body regularly
- Spend time outside in the sunshine
- Enjoy social time with friends and family
- Job or career is fulfilling and allows time for self and family/friends
- Know your needs on the deepest level and follow your intuition
- Make time for regular relaxation
- Feel and express gratitude
- Eat food that is delicious and nutrient-dense
- Minimize processed foods and sugar
- Drink water throughout the day
- Avoid environmental toxins in air, food, drink, household, EMFs
Do everything you can to moderate your response to stress, whether it is rest, meditation, lifestyle changes, taking adaptogenic herbs or homeopathic remedies.
The majority of the immune system is in the gut, so it pays to reinforce and nurture your gut bacteria. In my medicinary, I have a box of individual packets filled with the perfect combination of probiotics and immune system nutrients. Ask for HLC immune + pro.
HLC immunity + pro helps to maintain immune function with:
- 1000 mg Vitamin C
- Multiple B vitamins
- Zinc and other minerals
- 2 billion clinically researched human bio-identical probiotics, guaranteed viable
- and is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and vegetarian
- and has a great-tasting orange flavor
You can prepare your system for the encounter with cold and flu viruses by using a homeopathic remedy made up of them to give the immune system advance warning. Ask for Muco coccinum in my office.
- Klebsiella pneumoniae K2 200K
- Branhamella catarrhalis 200K
- Micrococcus tetragenes 200K
- Influenzinum 200K
As a homeopathic preparation, this medicine gently activates the body’s natural defense mechanisms to protect you from the flu. Several studies conducted in Belgium have shown Mucococcinum to have a positive immune boosting effect on lung and lymphatic tissues.
Ask in my office if Astagulus tincture is right for you.
At the First Sign
The first signs that you are coming down with something, in case you need a reminder, include:
- More tired than usual
- Body aches, not related to exercise
- Feeling cold, chilled
- Scratchy throat
- Niggling feeling that you are not your usual self
- Feeling that something is off
- Mounting a fever
You can start with what I am presenting here if these symptoms have gone on no longer than 24 hours. After that a cold or flu has taken hold, and you need other more individualized measures to speed recovery.
Know your Symptoms
By knowing your body’s usual functioning, you will notice when something is off. Look at yourself in the mirror to get a full picture of what is going on. You may notice:
- pale face
- pale tongue with thick white coat
- reddish throat
- looking tired
- and so on
Symptoms such as fatigue, being chilled and a scratchy throat are evidence that the immune system is working. This is an important point.
Symptoms are not something to ignore and hope they will go away, or attack with over-the-counter medications to suppress or mask them. Symptoms are the language your body uses to communicate an imbalance. Also, symptoms show the strategies the body uses to regain balance.
In general, they are also a call for something in your life to be re-balanced, most often starting with getting adequate rest. So start by taking extra time to rest now.
For example, when you have a cold with a runny nose, the body is producing large quantities of mucus in order to flush microbes, spent immune cells, and other waste materials from the mucous membranes lining your nose. The nose is the entry point to the lungs, so this additionally is protection for the lungs. If you stop the flow with an over-the-counter medicine, you rob you body of the opportunity to rid itself of those unwanted materials. The result can be that the cold lingers longer or that it moves into the lungs.
Lost your appetite? Then nourish yourself with simple foods like meat broths and cooked foods. Avoid sugar, because it weakens the immune system and feeds microbes.
Is is a coincidence that you often feel chilled, or cold a the start of a cold? Listen to the body. It is asking for support to mobilize its immune system. When you feel cold, get warm by
- Bundling up, whether it is with layers of clothing or thick blankets in bed.
- Or taking a warm bath or soak your feet in warm water, possibly with warming herbs.
- Sipping on warm drinks like warming herbal tea or soup broth.
- Avoiding cold in the form of cold foods like salads, raw veggies, dairy, oranges and orange juice.
If you are mounting a fever, go with it! Do not take an aspirin or tylenol to bring it down. When you make a fever efficient, the immune system is activated multiple times over. So, bundle up or take a hot bath to reinforce the heat generated by the fever. Stay hydrated with plenty of clear fluids, but don’t eat if you are not hungry – and you won’t have much of an appetite with a fever. You can also use warming spices to heat up.
Kitchen herbs such as ginger, garlic and cayenne can be used successfully at the first sign of a cold.
Elderberry syrup is well-known for shortening the duration of a cold when taken at the onset. This needs to be taken frequently, about every 30 to 60 minutes.
Avoid goldenseal herb at the first sign of a cold, because it is cooling and tends to tighten the mucous membranes and decrease mucus. Echinacea is similarly cooling, but if it is combined with warming herbs, it may be used in a cold.
For advice on which herbs are safe for pregnancy, see Aviva Romm’s Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition and Other Holistic Choices.
The brilliance of Homeopathy is that the symptoms you are having match the symptoms of a particular remedy. Muco coccinum is great for prevention as well as the first stages of a cold or flu when the symptoms are unclear. As well, there are single remedies which can be used. All it takes is a small amount of homeopathic education along with the right remedies in your kit.
Are You Ready?
I can help prepare you with more information as well as with herbs, homeopathics, and nutrients in convenient packages. Call my office at 928-649-9234.
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