Preventing Cold and Flu

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Cold and Flu :: As the seasons change, here are tips to keep your immune system strong.

1. Keep your neck covered. The neck is known as a "wind gate" in Chinese medicine, a vulnerable spot where "wind" can get into if the body's defenses are low and lead to "wind cold" symptoms (what we know as cold and flu!). Wearing a scarf or turtleneck sweater to cover the neck keeps the body protected.
2. Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables such as persimmons, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. These orange foods are full of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A and that helps to fight infection.
3. Cook with ginger, garlic, scallions, and mushrooms (especially shiitake, maitake, turkey tail, lion's mane, and oyster mushrooms). These powerhouse foods have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. 
4. Take elderberry syrup for a boost to the immune system. This fruit is rich in vitamin C and has traditionally been used to prevent and remedy cold and flu symptoms.
5. Get more sleep and slow down. As we transition from the yang of summer to the yin of winter, we can change our lifestyle to stay in harmony with the changes in nature. It's important to get enough rest, because not resting enough makes our qi weak, and we need our wei qi (defensive qi) strong to fight off infections.

Coming in for acupuncture treatment can help keep you healthy, ward off a cold and flu at the onset, or shorten the duration of symptoms. Make your appointment for a seasonal tune-up to keep your immune system strong!