Five Easy Ways To Avoid The Flu This Winter

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    Many people wonder how they can stay well this winter, considering the onset of the flu season and the fear of a possible influenza epidemic. Fortunately, acupuncture and Oriental medicine provide proven steps toward preventing illness and maintaining good health in cold weather.

    We hear about so many people catching the flu, but only a portion of those exposed to a virus actually get sick. Why? According to Oriental medicine’s teachings, our bodies get sick when we are in a weakened state. It is only when our immune systems are weakened and our bodies are out of balance that we are vulnerable to sickness.

    Acupuncture originated in China between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago. It corrects imbalances in the body’s energy systems that cause illness. Practitioners of Oriental medicine identify Qi (pronounced "chee") as the life giving energy that needs to flow freely through the body for good health. Integrated with a wise lifestyle, Oriental medicine can help prevent illness.

    Tips for avoid illness this winter

    • Exercise a little bit everyday. Exercise moves the lymphatic system,
      thereby helping to detoxify the poisons in your body.

    • Keep warm. Make sure your neck and chest are protected from wind, drafts
      and cold. Use a scarf around your neck when going outside and wear turtle neck shirts
      or sweaters. The neck is an area where wind can invade the body and cause sickness.
      The Oriental medical perspective is that wind invasions make people more vulnerable
      to developing colds and flu. Always keep your feet warm and dry.

    • Get adequate sleep and relaxation. Your body is vulnerable to stress without
      enough rest. Think about doing some deep-breathing exercises to help relax and unwind
      at the end of the day. Use stress-reduction methods like Qi Gong, meditation or yoga.

    • Eat smart. Avoid refined sugars (processed food and baked goods, alcohol,
      etc.). A diet of refined or simple carbohydrates (white sugar, white bread) raises
      the body’s pH and allows bacteria, mold, yeast and fungi to thrive. Simple carbohydrates
      suck up the nutrition your body needs to detoxify, nourish and build new cells and
      antibodies. This makes you MORE susceptible to illness. Vitalize your nutrition by
      eating more fresh, organic foods and less processed food. This food has more "Qi"
      in it.

    • Get Acupuncture. When you get regular acupuncture treatments (as little
      as once per month), it actually boosts your immune system. Acupuncture strengthen
      the "Wei Qi" or the protective energy that safeguards us against colds
      and flu.

    Use these tips to keep your body strong and healthy this winter. You can resist illness, the flu or the common cold.

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    Steven Sonmore has helped people transform health problems into solutions for attaining better health for more than 19 years. Steven is a licensed acupuncturist, Oriental bodywork therapist, and herbalist. He offers complete health care with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional counseling, Oriental massage, and facial rejuvenation. He is licensed by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. For more information visit www.orientalmedcare.com or write to [email protected] or call (612) 866-4000. Copyright © 2006 Steven Sonmore. All rights reserved

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