As October rolls around, we are approaching the cold and flu season. This is the time of year when people are more prone to viral or bacterial infections that lead to bothersome symptoms, such as runny noses, sore throats, muscle aches, coughing, headaches, fever, and chills.  These symptoms can prevent people from performing their best at work, enjoying fun activities with their friends and family, and even sometimes require them to stay in bed for several days to recover.


Wouldn’t you love to be able to prevent, or significantly minimize the odds of coming down with a cold or flu this year?  The good news is there are measures you can take to keep your immune system strong and resilient so that it is likely you won’t have to suffer from becoming ill.


First, keep yourself protected from the cold winds that occur as the weather cools down.  When you expose yourself to cold wind without wearing the proper clothes, your body temperature decreases and your immune system weakens.  You are then more susceptible to viruses and bacteria that are present in our environment.


Second, significantly reduce the amount of sugar you consume.  Sugar has been proven to debilitate your immune system, which puts you at a significantly higher risk of succumbing to a cold or the flu.  According to a 1973 study by Loma Linda University, when you eat 100 grams of sugar, your white blood cells are 40% less effective at killing germs.  This can paralyze your immune system for up to five hours!


Third, get acupuncture treatments.  Acupuncture is a wonderful way to increase the activity and strength of your white blood cells, the cells that are crucial for strong immunity.  The Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in May of 2014 found that acupuncture helps to regulate and coordinate the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems to help the body fend off illness and disease.


Try to implement some of these tips this year to avoid becoming another cold and flu victim and instead enjoy staying healthy and strong!



Eric Carpenter, Licensed Acupuncturist