6 Ways to Stay Healthy this Fall
Fall is here and it is a wonderful time of year that marks a transition in not only the seasons but in our lives. As the leaves change color to hues of golden orange and begin to fall, it marks a new season of school and a regular schedule of meals and bed times. For some it can also mean the beginning of fall allergies, asthma attacks, colds and flus. The best way to treat an illness is to prevent it from happening in the first place. According to Chinese Medicine theory, the shifting of seasons is an important and vulnerable time for maintaining health. As the weather shifts from warm summer nights to windy days, it effects our internal body by quickly asking us to shift from the easy flow of summer to beginning to conserve and store our energy for the winter. During this time “external pathogens” (bacteria and viruses) can more easily enter our bodies. Here are some simple tips to strengthen your immune system (and your kids too) and reduce your chances of getting sick over the next few months.
Decreasing stress can be as easy as breathing! It is simple but true that reducing stress is one of the easiest ways of positively impacting your health. Stress has been show in many different studies to effect the body and decrease immunity. Most people breathe shallowly or breathe with their upper body and neck muscles. Taking a few minutes each day to deeply breath into your lower belly can reduce the overall stress in your body and mind. When you breath deeply you engage the diaphragm, a connective tissue that separates the lungs and the heart from the lower organs of the belly. By engaging the diaphragm it gently pushes and massages the lower organs, helping to enhance their function. Breathing deep also stimulates your parasympathic nervous system which helps to relax your nervous system and slow your body down. We have found a couple of Apps to help you to remember to breathe and relax during the busy holiday season (see below).
Wear a Scarf
Wearing warm clothes and having a scarf around your neck is a healthy and fashionable way to maintain your immunity during the fall. In Chinese Medicine “wind” is seen as the carrier of most illnesses. Wind can enter at the upper back, neck and head where the acupuncture channels meet and are closest to the surface. If the immune system is not strong enough, the wind will enter and you might catch a “wind cold”. By wearing a scarf you can help prevent a “wind” invasion.
Eat with the Season
Fall is a great time for healthy foods, and fresh homemade soups. Eating with the seasons is a healthy and delicious way to improve your over all wellbeing. When you eat local seasonal fruits and vegetables your body easily absorbs the available nutrition. Here in central California we are blessed with many wonderful options of healthy organic produce, fresh eggs, meats and fish. The local Farmers market is a great resource of local organic food, and many farms now offer CSA boxes that deliver an assortment of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Mike’s store, People and Planet, is a great resource for CSA boxes from a variety of growers.
Wash Your Hands
One very easy way to prevent catching a cold or flu is to wash your hands on a regular bases with soap and water. Both the office and the school classroom can easily spread cold and flu germs through the air and the surfaces of the room such as door handles, desks, and other surfaces. By washing your hands after sneezing, interacting with community items and eating you help to prevent a cold and reduce the risks for others too. If you do get a cold or flu here are a few more tips on getting better, faster.
Garlic is a very accessible and wonderful herb to help aid the function of the Lung through its cleansing and healing properties. Garlic acts medicinally as an antiseptic, disinfectant and germicide. To use garlic internally to help prevent colds and flus take a few cloves of raw garlic a day, it is also a wonderful body cleanse in helping to eliminate toxins. To avoid the “garlic breath” try chewing parsley to help balance the odor. Even if you choose not to eat raw garlic, cooking with garlic still incorporates many healing benefits as well as arousing your taste buds.
Sweating Remedy to Get Rid of a Cold
If you have a cold, are cold in temperature and are not sweating try this home remedy. Make a strong tea out of ginger and scallions, drink the tea. Then take a hot bath, as hot as you can stand it, soak for about 10 to 15 minuets till you feel very warm on the inside and out and sweat. Cover up warmly with pajamas and snuggle into bed, wrapping your self up in lots of blankets. This remedy works by bringing your body temperature up so you feel internally and externally hot and begin to sweat. Sweating helps release the “wind cold” that has become trapped in the acupuncture channels, which releases the cold symptoms. Always make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated before, during and after sweating. Remember there is no reason to suffer this season. Taking time for yourself and resting are important during this time of year. Autumn begins the time of less hours in the day. Finish projects begun in the spring and summer and start more inward and home based projects. Take a mediation class, cook fresh soups and relax, you deserve it. This blog post has been shared on: Thank Goodness It's Monday from Nourishingjoy.com Simply Natural Saturdays from Pistachioproject.com Let's Get Real Friday Party from Jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com