By acupuncturist Kylie Stabler
As winter begins to slowly creep in, every second person coming in for an acupuncture treatment with me has some form of cold, flu or sinus infection. Here are my top tips to help your look after yourself if the dreaded lurgy threatens, from healthy lifestyle practices to delicious recipes these tips will help keep you well during this cold and flu season.
1. Get enough sleep.
Probably the easiest thing and one of the most important is to give your body the rest it is seeking. Illness is a sign the body needs repair. Research shows that getting adequate sleep is linked to a healthy immune system. The number of hours needed varies from person to person but I like the magic number 8.
2. Stay warm.
Exposing ourselves to the elements certainly leaves us wide open to more attacks of colds and flu, so be sure to wear a scarf to protect your neck and chest and protect the kidney area by making sure the lower back and abdomen is protected from the wind.
3. Keep your fluids up.
With the body made up of up to 70% water, it’s important to keep it hydrated to aid the detox and repair process. So, try drinking warm lemon and honey water or herbal teas.
4. Self-massage your sinuses.
With your index fingers using your preferred pressure trace along eyebrows starting from the middle of the face then up to the hairline, moving down with a light dragging motion over the bridge of the nose and down along beside the nose. Repeat a few times. This helps to loosen up phlegm and unblock the nasal passages. You could also use a saltwater nasal spray which is a natural way of cleansing mucous as well as other bacteria and allergens from the nasal passages.
5. Nourish your body with a soup made with “bone broth”
For a long time now I have been recommending this recipe to fertility clients of mine, but truth be told its great for everyone! Bone broth is a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals and is super easy to make to boot. The recipe below uses a slow cooker, but you can just as easily do this in a big stockpot on the stove. (If so just have it slowly brewing while you are home and turn it off when you go out).
My number one reason for loving chicken bone broth is that it is a great blood tonic which helps to nourish qi and blood in the body thus helping to replenish your energy after any form of illness. Here are a few other fantastic reasons for trying it:
- Helps heal your gut and improve digestive function
- Thins the mucus in the lungs making it easier to expectorate
- Fights infection
- Reduces inflammation
- Assists in drawing toxins out of the body
- Reduces joint pain and promote strong healthy bones
- Great for the overall health of hair and nails
Bone Broth Soup
(where possible its always better to use organic vegetables)
- 2 organic or free range chicken carcases
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 onion halved, chopped
- Thyme/ oregano/ parsley/ rosemary, whatever herbs you prefer or have on hand.
- Cover with water
- 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
Pop all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 12-24 hours.
- Get added support with Acupuncture & herbs.
Acupuncture is great for building the immune system as well as clearing out any pathogens which may be lingering in your system. It can reduce fevers by clearing heat and can help move phlegm. Try gua sha which is great for stimulating the immune systems and unblocking channels that might be blocked by congestion (think back of the neck) or cupping which is great for drawing cold and phlegm out of the body. Both methods are also great for drawing out toxins from the system. Acupuncture is an effective way to not only alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu but if used early enough, it can prevent the condition from developing at all. In an acupuncture session, I also often use techniques like cupping which is great for drawing cold and phlegm out of the body, or gua sha, (where a spoon is used to massage the neck and back) which is great for stimulating the immune system and unblocking channels that might be blocked by congestion. As a final adjunct, I often recommend some Chinese herbal formulas to help you to bounce back to your healthy self.
To book an appointment with Kylie call us on (03) 9331 0951.