Its that time of year again! The viruses and bacteria just had a big party because the lovely small people are back in school creating a perfect environment for spreading germs. Even if you are shielded from the littles, you are bound to come into contact with some one with a cough, a cold or a mystery nose over the next few months.
As an Osteopath, I believe the body is always trying to heal itself. Its not a matter of running around the world in a bubble and not getting exposed. The question is, how do I give myself the building blocks so even if I encounter germs, I can fight them off? My daughter and I talk about this beauty of the immune system as “the fighters”. She once asked, “do your fighters have swords?” Here’s how to arm yours for the winter battle.
- Get enough sleep. Seven to nine hours is preferred. Best time to sleep is before midnight.
- Get outside and exercise. Exercise moves your lymph system, that is how your fighters travel around and do their work!
- Keep your vitamin D level up. If you don’t know yours, ask me and we can test it ($17). If you don’t know what your level is, most people can safely take 4000-5000 IU daily. This can help keep up your defenses.
- Take a probiotic (25-50 billion CFU is the dose for adults). And give one to your kids (5-10 billion CFU is the general range for kids 3 to teens). Previous research has shown that probiotic supplementation can cut down on the frequency of colds.
- Stock up on honey – a teaspoon can be used as a cough suppressant!
- Get to know elderberry. We have some of this delicious tough-on-colds-even-fights-flu herbal in our in pharmacy at the office, let us know if you want to drop by and pick up one up.
- Buy a neti pot and learn how to use it. Don’t make your own salt solution. Leave that to the chemists. Follow it with Flonase (but don’t buy it at the big box stores, we have it for $7 vs $25). This works not only for mystery nose but for all coughs! Most coughs are triggered by silent post nasal drip. Try this line of products, available at all pharmacies and hippy stores.
- Get some mushrooms. Cordyceps or Reishi or a blend preferred. ImmunoBerry™ Liquidcatalog.designsforhealth.com/ImmunoBerry-Liquid is yummy.
- Stay hydrated. Snuggle up with tea that can boost your immune system. Try nettle for nourishing, echinacea at the first sign of illness, rosehips and hibiscus for vitamin C, and chamomile for calming and soothing mucous membranes. Visit local herbalists such as Rosehouse or Apothecary Tinctura for a custom tailored blend.
- Spread love, not germs! Give hugs but wash your hands. Rest or work from home when you are sick. Use liberally: hand sanitizer, essential oils, and a humidifier.
Getting a cold isn’t the worst. But getting the real respiratory flu or influenza is terribly uncomfortable (sometimes life threatening) and can keep you down for weeks. If you are older than 50, have a chronic illness or are a kid, getting a flu shot is one of the best things you can do. At Direct Osteopathic, we have a limited supply for ages 3 to 64. We are using Fluzone, quadrivalent (four strains) in preservative free, single dose vials.
Text “I want a flu shot” to the office at 303-422-2236 and we will ear mark one for you. First come first serve. We have a limited supply, $25 each. If you are over 65 or want your insurance to pay for it, get the shot at your local pharmacy.
Cheers to your health all winter long.