Having a healthy immune system is vital to good health, and it is something I support in all my patients in my NW Calgary Naturopathic Medicine practice. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to be exposed to people that have a cold or a flu without being affected yourself? Fortunately, there’s a lot Naturopathic Medicine can do to support your immune system so that you are not catching every cold and flu you are exposed to! Keep reading below to see what your options are.
There are a lot of factors that can influence the strength of your immune system. As you know, when you are feeling more run down due to poor sleep, high stress, a busy schedule with inadequate rest time, or a poor diet, you are much more likely to catch a cold or get the flu. A diet high in sugar and refined grains and low in vitamins and minerals is also linked to a less than optimal immune system. This is not to say that you should never catch a cold or get the flu. It is important for your immune system to mount a response to the virus and boost your immune system in general. However when you are getting sick frequently, it is important to address the factors listed above, plus give your immune system a natural boost.
Nutrition for Cold and Flu Prevention
As stated above, nutrition is one of the most important factors in having a healthy immune system that can prevent and fight colds and the flu. Having a diet high in vitamins and minerals, rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, and low in processed and inflammatory foods is important. A high sugar diet also suppresses the immune system. Based on your health history I can also prescribe vitamins and supplements that can boost your immune system to keep you healthy. These can also be used to balance your stress hormones which, when elevated, can also suppress your immune system. You can read more about Nutrition here, and more about Vitamins and Supplements here.
Herbs and Botanical Medicine
Herbs are a very powerful way of supporting your immune system as well as fighting a cold or flu you currently have. There are herbs that are antivirals and antimicrobials, as well as herbs that soothe a cough, boost the immune system, soothe your mucus membranes, and so much more. Herbs are always carefully researched to ensure that they do not interact with any medications you are currently taking, and are designed for more short term use. Herbs often can be used to boost your vitality as well, for people that get sick easily because they are run down and fatigued. You can read more about Herbs and Botanical Medicine here.
Acupuncture for Cold and Flu Prevention
From a chinese medicine perspective, if the Qi (energy) is flowing through your body optimally, you are in a state of health. If it is not then you are more susceptible to illness. Acupuncture can be used to create a smooth flow of Qi, and therefore health, or it can also be used to treat the symptoms of a cold or flu such as runny nose, sinus congestion, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, and so much more. You can read more about acupuncture here.
Bowen Therapy for Cold and Flu Prevention
This is an excellent option to support the parasympathetic state of the body, where healing and rejuvenation can occur. It is also excellent for treating body aches and pains, headaches, and sinus congestion. You can read more about Bowen Therapy here.
Homeopathy for Cold and Flu Prevention
A lot of my patients love this treatment option both for preventing colds and flus but also for treating them once they are suffering. I tend to use complex homeopathics in my practice that work very well. I use these quite a bit myself and they work well!
Lifestyle counseling for Cold and Flu Prevention
As I stated above, stress is a huge contributing factor to a weak immune system, therefore lifestyle counseling and stress management is an important part of the treatment protocol for supporting the immune system. Yoga and meditation is great, as is cardiovascular exercise and resistance training. Conversely, over exercising can also suppress the immune system and this must be taken into consideration. You can read more about lifestyle counseling here.
As you can see, Naturopathic Medicine has so much to offer in Cold and Flu prevention. Having a strong and healthy immune system can allow you to put your energy towards living an energetic and vibrant life. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about how Naturopathic Medicine can help you!
Naturopathic Vitality Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic
#205-5403 Crowchild Trail NW
Calgary, AB T3B 4Z1