The Winter months are upon us in the Northern Hemisphere...and not every pregnant or breastfeeding mama wants to get a flu shot. Whether or not the flu shot is for you, here are some practical immunity-boosting tips from our favorite chiropractor that don't involve shots, sprays or otherwise:
It is that time of
year...getting ready for winter. We prepare the pool for winter, the car, the
furnace, even our grass changes. We prepare the cabin and the toilets up north
for winter. Doesn't it make sense to prepare our bodies for winter?
As the weather switches
from warm to cold, nature goes through a preparation for the change. At this
same time our bodies also have to go through a physiological change. Through
the summer our bodies did not have to spend much energy on making or storing
body heat. Now, it has to spend more energy on the making of body heat to keep
all the systems at the correct temperature.
It's important to
understand that our bodies are a "closed system" in terms of energy.
What this means is that our body only has so much energy available internally
to do all of the functions of the body. If the body needs more energy in one
area it has to take that energy from another area. For example, when you get
sick you often feel tired. This is because the body moves energy to the immune
system, and away from other less important functions which are then shut down
or minimized. Eat a large meal and watch your energy level drop...as the body
takes energy to digest the meal, the available energy for other functions
So it is this time of
year for our bodies. As the hypothalamus in the brain changes the body's physiology
for body heat maintenance, other areas have less energy available to do their
jobs. This is one of the reasons behind the cold and flu season. When the
immune system has less energy available you are more vulnerable to virus and
bacteria. It's not that there are more virus and bacteria necessarily, because
they are around us all the time. It's when the body is unable to fight the
germs that we manifest as sick. This is truly the main factor for illness. It's
why when three people are exposed to the same virus, bacteria, etc., one gets
sicker than a dog, one is a bit sick and one has no apparent symptoms. The
internal environment of the body to fight has a major factor to whether your
exposure to a pathogen turns into an illness.
So, what do you do? (For
those of you with children, this also applies to them as well!)
The most important
factor is maximizing your body's internal forces. There are many ways to do
this. Here are four:
Slow life down. We keep the same hectic rate in life,
non-stop. When you are at full potential the body will try to adapt to the
pace. But throw another stressor into the mix and watch the body get down and
possibly sick. At this time of year, if you don't have to - DON'T. Another
shopping trip? NO. Another late night when you don't have to - DON'T. Spend
some family time away from the TV. Read a relaxing book. Listen to some
relaxing music. Take a walk.
Watch the foods you eat. With less fruits and vegetables available
in the winter it is very important to make good choices. Your food is the raw
power for all functions. Put high quality food in for high quality performance.
Do you have to eat on the run? Try the salad instead of the burger (with
vinaigrette, not the blue cheese). Drink water instead of soda or coffee. Put
down the candy bar and have an apple instead. Processed foods as well as sugars
are hard on the body. Eat less of them. It is that simple. We should eat 7-14
servings of fruits and vegetables daily. If you can't (or won't), I suggest
JuicePlus every day. (Order at DoctorRoss.JuicePlus.com or in the
Take some vitamins. Extra vitamin C daily is great. A few
thousand milligrams a day as an adult is fine. If you get loose bowels back off
a bit. (It is water soluble so any extra will go out with the urine.) If you
are sick, Echinacea helps to boost the immune system. There is a great liquid
for kids with the brand name "Herbs for Kids". Read the label for
amounts. "Kyolic" brand garlic is great. It is often called nature's
penicillin. Double your JuicePlus if getting sick. Also, take the much
overlooked essential fatty acid supplement, Omega 3 fatty acids (The good
fats). Vitamin D3 is also important in the winter (we have D-Dots at the
office). Investigate other immune system boosters.
Most Americans are sleep
deprived. We are too busy to slow down and sleep. Sleep is the time that the
body recuperates and repairs from the damages of the day. If we don't slow down
and sleep we never let the body get caught up. Is it any wonder we keep getting
sicker instead of healthier? Run a humidifier at night to increase moisture and
help keep mucous membranes moist.
a few precautions and get proactive and you will be amazed that you don't have
to be a victim of the "cold and flu season". Let's stay healthy
together and make a healthier community and a healthier world!
About the Author: Dr.
Kevin Ross is a Tempe chiropractor with a family and pediatric wellness
practice. He has completed over 160 hours of pediatric chiropractic continuing
education, and is trained in the KST Technique. Any questions on natural health
and additional ways to build the internal power of the body can be answered at
What do you do to boost immunity during the winter months?
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