Vail health column: Six tips to boost your immune system
It’s that time of the year when we transition into full-on winter and a lot of people get sick. The air gets drier, it’s colder outside and our immune system may not be as strong. It’s the season for cough, cold and flu. Here are a few acupuncture and Chinese medicine tips that you can try to help boost your immune system.
1. Wash your hands: The first tip we all know but it never hurts to reiterate. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. It’s the No.1 way to prevent infection. Just remember to wet your hands with water before applying soap so that the water will activate the soap.
2. Eat healthy cooked foods: Eating raw foods such as vegetables and salads is better to do when it’s hot out. Once the season changes and it gets cold, the stomach prefers warm cooked foods and room-temperature drinks; otherwise, it’s working a lot harder to digest raw, cold food and drinks.
3. Make your own bone broth: Homemade bone broth will help boost the immune system and it’s also a digestive elixir that helps heal the gut lining. It also has tons of nutrients that benefit the skin, teeth, bones, hair, nails and joints. Stop by Kellie Krasovec Acupuncture Associates in Edwards to get a recipe and step-by-step instructions on how to make your own bone broth.
4. Keep your neck covered, especially if it’s windy and cold outside: In traditional Chinese medicine, the back of the neck is called “the wind gate.” One is more susceptible to getting sick if this area is exposed to the wind and cold. That’s why when people start to get sick, they usually feel achy or sore in the neck, maybe with a slight headache before it turns into a full-blown cold or flu.
5. Get acupuncture: As soon as you start to feel sick, give me a call and let me know what’s going on. Acupuncture, along with other techniques such as cupping or guasha (non-needle technique that involves rubbing the skin to cause friction) can prevent the pathogen from going deeper into the body. Maybe you’ll be sick for a day or two but it definitely beats being sick for a week.
At Kellie Krasovec Acupuncture Associates, we sell herbal formulas and teas. The herbal formulas are specified to what you’re coming down with, be it cough, cold or flu. The teas we have on hand can also prevent you from getting sick, especially if someone in the household has come down with something.
6. Get enough sleep: The last tip is making sure you take care of yourself by getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep makes the body’s immune system weaker. Acupuncture works wonders for sleep and also for helping the body reduce stress.
Cat Black is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and registered nurse. She is available for consultation Wednesday through Saturday, by appointment only. Contact her at 970-926-6588 to schedule an appointment.