November 23, 2016

By  Steve Hoffman

I never realized this but one of my bio-med teachers, who is also a medical doctor, said that the viruses that cause the cold and flu are present year-round. So why is it that there is a cold and flu “season”. Well, what happens in the fall and winter. Kids go back to school and incubate germs then bring them home! The other thing that happens is that windows get closed, air is recirculated and instead of getting together for outdoor BBQ’s we get together and pass germs around in these closed, recirculated environments. Actually, not much mystery here. OK, so how can you prevent yourself from getting a cold or the flu. Become a hermit, don’t go near kids or people in general, hibernate and come out in the spring. Not realistic, well the good news is there are some safe, natural ways to prevent colds and flus. 

Jade Windscreen Powder! Huh? This is the name of a formula that has been used since 1481 to help people boost their immune systems. The ancient Chinese saw colds and flus as pathogenic factors that the body was not strong enough to keep out or expel. These pathogenic factors entered the body mainly through wind so you would use a “windscreen” to help the body keep out these pathogenic factors (viruses). Modern research in to this formula has revealed that it modulates the release of cytokines thus helping to regulate immune function. The formula is given as a matter of course to children returning to school in many Asian countries. Here are some other ways to help prevent catching a cold or flu: 

Hydrate: Humidity is greatly decreased in the winter and along with forced hot air heating systems, this will suck the moisture right out of you, so up your water intake. 

Vitamin D: We get very little sun exposure in the winter and this vitamin is crucial to our immune systems. 

Cut Back on Sugars and Carbs: This is often the opposite of what happens with the holidays but sugars and refined carbohydrates have been shown to depress the immune system. 

Exercise: Again, cold weather works against us and tends to force us inside where we are not getting exercise but raising your body temperature and breaking a sweat can help keep the bugs at bay. 

Sleep: The only time your body (and your immune system) is rebuilding and repairing is when you are sleeping, so up your sleep a bit in the winter. 

Stress: Stress has been proven to depress the immune system so either try to reduce your stress or find ways to mitigate the stress that you are under. Meditation and exercise (another reason to exercise) are great ways to relive stress and you can read my post Acupuncture For Stress Relief  to find out how effective acupuncture can be at reducing stress. 

Chinese herbal medicine is not a one size fits all modality and while the Jade Windscreen Powder can probably do just about anyone some good, there may be another formula that fits you better or a customized formula might be appropriate. Click below to book a consultation or treatment and get yourself ready for the winter!

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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