You may have noticed the especially strong flu season this year. Even with the flu shot, our bodies need all the help they can get to stay in top flu-avoiding form. Here are 7 ways to boost your immune system at this critical time of year:
- Try to get 8 hours of sleep per night for an optimal immune function.
- Even a brisk walk around the block can make a difference. If exercising outside, remember to keep your legs, feet, lower back, and back of neck warm and protected from the wind and drizzle.
- This powerful technique has been shown to support your immune response by increasing cytokines and helper T cells to boost immune function. The secondary effects of relaxation and deeper sleep also help our bodies stay protected.
- Try a steam inhalation of essential oils or fresh herbs. Rosemary, eucalyptus, and frankincense are my favorite antibacterial, antiviral, decongestant herbs for winter. To use, simply boil two cups of water, then add 3 drops total essential oils. Cover your head with a towel and place your head above the basin, from a comfortable distance to avoid steam burn. Breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth for 3-5 min. Keep your eyes closed.
- Chinese Herbs. There are some great Chinese herbal formulas for boosting immune function, but they will vary depending on your constitution. Please consult your acupuncturist for details.
- Extract of this herb is a powerful immune stimulant. Our favorite comes from Golden Lotus herbs in a glycerin tincture form, which we carry or can be ordered online.
- Good belly laughter makes our bodies work better in so many ways, including immune function. Don’t forget to make your friends and family laugh this season, or simply settle in with a cup of tea and a good comedy over the weekend.
- Acupuncture to boost your immune system! If you feel like you’re starting to come down with something call us at (503) 281-6909 (or schedule online) to book an appointment with any of our acupuncturists.