It’s our acupuncturists jobs to help us heal and recover from illness, so what do they do when they’re feeling under the weather?
Slowing down to fight a cold is hardly an option amid the busy holiday season. Medication can help get us through the day but experts are urging cold suffers to take caution with common cold medicine ingredients like acetaminophen.
The truth is, your body needs time to rest while your immune system recovers. Luckily, you can give your body extra time and shorten the duration of your cold or flu with a few natural cold remedies, including acupuncture.
Many natural remedies can be traced back for thousands (and thousands) of years and there is a reason they’re still around. They work. While you can’t cure a cold, you can do several things to speed up your recovery – or even better, prevent illness from taking hold in the first place.
Acupuncture for Cold & Flu
Acupuncture is an increasingly popular option this time of year to combat the symptoms of cold and flu. As soon as holiday travel begins, we see an influx of patients who are coming down with a cold right before they are set for holiday or work related trips. A quick visit to an acupuncturist can relieve symptoms (especially, congestion and sinus tension) and also gives a boost to the immune system.
If you feel the looming symptoms or are currently combating a cold or flu, our Acupuncture team is here to help.
Beyond acupuncture, our team says there are several natural remedies that relieve your symptoms without side efforts and boost your immune system to boot.
Acupuncturists’ Top Natural Remedies
1. Prevention. As Dr. Lamya Kamel explains, “Let’s not get you sick in the first place.” Kamel, who works on a daily basis with patients suffering from a variety of illnesses, rarely gets sick herself. She attributes this “luck” to lifestyle and her secret weapon – vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 boosts immunity, can prevent infection, reduces inflammation and has been connected to the prevention of several diseases. If you are curious about whether or not you’re getting the right amount, you can test for vitamin D deficiency. At Aligned Modern Health, our Functional Medicine doctors oversee vitamin D blood tests that reveal whether you’re getting too little, too much or just the right amount of vitamin D. Working with a professional can help you make the safe and appropriate lifestyle changes to make sure your body is getting what it needs to stay healthy and balanced.
2. Kamel notes that home remedies vary by symptoms. After you become sick, it depends on what is going on, but often dryness needs to be addressed – particularly if you live in a wintery environment. A humidifier can help you breathe easier while moisturizing your nasal, throat and lung passages.
3. For a sore throat, honey in tea is great. While reducing irritation, honey brings many health benefits to the body, and hot liquids are a great way to stay hydrated. Dr. Kate Phillippi opts for fresh Ginger Tea. Ginger helps your body sweat out toxins, is good for an upset stomach, and can also ease muscle pain and soreness.
4. It’s worth repeating. Hydration is super important. When we are dehydrated we a more prone to illness and once we are sick, our symptoms may be more severe if we remain dehydrated. Not mention, Dr. Kamel reminds us: Vitamin C won’t work effectively if you are dehydrated.
5. Miso Soup is another great way to stay hydrated and multi-task for your body. Miso soup is a popular food within traditional Chinese medicine that offers your body an abundance of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It’s so delicious and healthy, Dr. Kamel warns, that your chicken soup might get jealous. (Pro tip: make sure to never boil your miso as it will kill the enzymes in the cooking process.)
6. Acupuncturist, Kathleen Barber, craves pears and walnuts when she’s feeling under the weather. She adds them to oatmeal cooked or raw. Together or separately. Pears tonify the lungs, in effect supporting the immune system. They are moist and sweet by nature which supports lung function and especially good for dry throat, cough, phlegm or colds. Walnuts support both the lungs and the kidneys and are packed with EFA. Due to their natural oily quality, they can help add moisture to dry conditions like a dry cough and they help support the kidneys which are influential in working with the lung organ system when there is a cough, wheezing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. Which may or may not be associated with a cold.
7. Barber also supports winter health with essential oils. Using a diffuser, Barber’s favorites include 2-3 drops of any of the following: Rosemary, Saro, Silver Fir, Cedarwood, Pimenta Berry, Juniper and/or Cypress. All oils help disperse and circulate. Rosemary is also great for lung function and memory. Saro drains damp in the form of phlegm and addresses grief. Juniper is a great detoxifier, Silver Fir moistens the lungs. Pimenta Berry warms the air ways/passage ways of lungs.