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People often ask me how do I keep healthy working with sick people during cold and flu season and how can they prevent getting sick. Short answer is that catching a cold once a year or every other year is a normal part of the human condition and long term gives your body a big immunity boost. When we get exposed to a bacteria or virus hopefully our body mounts an appropriate immune response.  This is like a big carpet bomb for our body. Not only is our immune system fighting off the most recent invader, but any other low level “lurking” bacteria or virus that may have been hiding out are often flushed out during this time. A low grade fever for a day can be our best friend to fight off unwelcome critters in our bodies.  That being said,  here are some easy tips to help your immune system successfully fight off the common cold and or flu

1. Drink Scallion Ginger tea (called Cong Bai in Chinese medicine pharmacopoeia): Chop up a bunch of green onions, (include the white part but not the root) and about 6 slices of fresh ginger (keep the skin on it). And for goodness sake please wash your produce in a basin with diluted white vinegar, no sense exposing yourself to more bacteria and viruses from the ten people that handled your food before you did…yes even if it is organic!  Put these in a pot with 8 cups of water and bring it to a boil, then turn it down to a slight bubbly simmer for 20 minutes.  Drink a cup three times a day at the first sign of sickness. This can cause a mild sweat to occur…let it happen, bundle up and put on a scarf. Keep your neck warm and covered.

2. Scrape your upper back and neck with Chinese style soup spoon from spine outward and downward. Do it with moderate pressure causing slight reddening of the skin.  (Gua Sha in Chinese lingo). Then keep your neck warm and covered….noticing a trend?

3. Do NOT have sugar, alcohol (unless medicinal), dairy or orange juice: These all have a lot of sugar to feed the buggers and the dairy can aggravate mucus production

4. If you have a sore throat (most likely you do) gargle with hot salty water twice a day. It can soothe the sore throat and rinse out the bugs. (very technical terms here)

There are numerous effective and excellent supplements and herbs on the market I could go into, Cold Snap, Gan Mao Ling, Yin Qiao, Zinc, Echinacea etc… but this is just a “quick and dirty” easy tip blog site.  My hope is to highlight something new or remind you of something you heard of a long time ago…like from your grandmother? Yours in health, Rachael Rose, Licensed Acupuncturist