What Can Traditional Chinese Medicine
Do For You During The Flu Season?
The flu season is hitting us particularly hard this season. It's been everywhere in the news. Some hospitals are making it mandatory that workers in high-risk areas receive the flu vaccine.
Generally, most flu activity in the US occurs from November through March. The best way to treat a disease
is to prevent it. It is absolutely a bad idea to wait to dig a well until you are thirsty. So, do something to enhance your qi now, before the influenza virus shoots you down.
In China, special anti-virus teas are usually given in public schools to help prevent illness during the flu season. Chinese herbs such as Huang Qi (Astralagus) and Dang Shen (Codonopsis) are used to
strengthen qi and to boost the immune system. Herbs such as Ban Lan Gen (Isatis) and
Da Qing Ye (Daqingye) are commonly used as anti-virus herbs.
Acupuncture can help stimulate the immune system and rid the
body of pathogenic influences. Several clinical studies have demonstrated
that acupuncture and herbal medicine reduce the incidence of upper respiratory
tract infection and shorten the length of time one is ill. When you get sick
with the flu, do not wait. Start acupuncture treatments in the early stages.
Regular exercise of moderate intensity (enough to warm you up, but not to
make you sweat) has been shown to reduce the incidence of the flu. Exercises
such as qi gong, tai chi, and yoga can help reduce emotional and physical stress,
strengthen the immune system, and prevent illness.
Make sure to eat a full balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, antioxidants,
and minerals. Foods containing beta-carotene (such as carrots, broccoli, sweet
potatoes, garlic and tomatoes) can help boost your immune system and keep your
mucous membranes and upper respiratory system healthy and harder to infect. Eating
these foods can also speed up your recovery from illness.
Drink plenty of water (one 8-ounce glass per hour) to help flush your immune
system of invaders and their waste products. Chicken soup adds extra water and
expels mucous to help you get rid of the illness.
Extra rest and sleep will give you energy for battling the illness.
This is particularly important if you became sick when you were already tired or run down.
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