‘Tis the season for happy holidays, festive new years, and yes, the flu. We have a flue season every year. This year is slightly different in that we also have the presence of the H1N1 flu virus (AKA the Swine Flue) floating in our presence.
Now, all the research so far has told us that the swine flue virus is not as string as the typical seasonal flu. Having said that, the Swine Flu is on every one’s mind and its important to know how to deal with it effectively, safely, and naturally.
Recommendations for your immune system
My first recommendation – I would avoid any of the vaccines. There is so much information out there on vaccination pros and cons and I don’t want to get into too much of that here. I will say that since the swine flu is weaker than the seasonal flu it does not make sense to take a vaccine that has a questionable safety record and relatively limited research behind it. So, if you are comfortable with it, skip the vaccine and build up your immune system form within. (This is a HOT topic for debate and plenty of information out there to help you make an informed decision). If you are not comfortable with this idea that is fine, just realize the recommendations below need to be followed anyways as having the vaccine in no way guarantees you won’t get the swine flu.
So, how do we do that? How do we optimize our health from within using our amazing inborn innate capacity for health and flu busting? I’ll outline 7 steps below that I believe are absolutely key. By the way, when in doubt about what to do, contact a health care provider you trust and create a plan that works for you.
Step 1) Your nervous system is the master controller of your body. Your nervous system is constantly communicating with the 75 trillion++ cells in your body. This communication is imperative in an optimal immune response. Your nerve system is housed in your spine. Stress, injury, and poor lifestyle habits leads to subluxations of the spine which leads to stress of the nervous system which leads to decreased nerve function. This, my friends, compromises our immune response. So, clear your spine from damage that has been done, learn to stop recreating problems in the future, and voila, we have an amazing self healing self correcting system. Its a simple concept with amazing results. To fight off viral and bacterial invaders you NEED a strong immune system a whole heck of a lot more than you need an exogenous vaccine! Did I say it feels GREAT to have a clear nervous system? Find an amazing and principled vitalistic chiropractor and stay well-adjusted!
2) Get plenty of rest. Depending on how old we are, how we live, and our unique constitution, we need to sleep about 6-9 hours per night. When we say sleep, we mean good sleep. You need to have restful sleep every night so that your body can regenerate and re-organize. Many of us go into sleep debt over time with work, kids, stress, and poor diet and our vital reserves run low. When we are out of gas, we can’t fight off illness.
3) Eat as if your life depended on it. In fact, it does. Keep it really really simple. Avoid white sugars, fast foods, anything you can’t pronounce, anything with artificial anything, trans fats, and anything that looks or tastes like it was created in a lab. Eat good grains and carbs – brown rice, quinoa, etc. Eat healthy proteins such as lean and organic meats. Get good fats in your system and don’t believe the hype that fat free is healthy. You need good fats such as Omega 3, 6, and 9 in your diet. Good resources of this are Udo’s Oil. Nature’s fast food is fruit. When you are on the go and you need a bo0st, eat fruit. Have veggies with every meal – lots of different colors. Eat local if you can and avoid anything processed. You will start to feel awesome. My family and I take a great supplement called Juice Plus to make sure we get everything we need. It is the most well-researched supplement in the world today.
4) Drink water. Simple – drink about your body weight in ounces every day. You are 70% water and you need to replenish every day. This is absolutely critical. If you feel slightly thirsty, its too late. Your immune system requires good hydration.
5) Exercise daily- this pumps your blood, lymph, and sweat. It feels great, builds your immunity, helps transform stress, and improves just about every single thing about your life. So, as Nike says, JUST DO IT! Enjoy it, and have fun. My personal favorite book on the subject is Strength For Life by Sean Phillips.
6) Take time every day to bust stress – yoga, meditation, deep breathing, talking to friends. We all got it and stress will tank your immune system pretty darn quick. So, learn to transform stress into something positive and powerful. Give the news and internet a break. Be grateful. Smile. Love and be loved. Sounds trite, but it makes a HUGE difference.
7) Cover your mouth, wash your hands, take a break from super crowded places. Use common sense. Public health precautions are much more powerful than expensive medical procedures.
If you or your family gets sick here are some general guidelines: if there is a fever, let it run its course as this is your body’s amazing way to fight invaders. A fever is your natural antibiotic, so don’t try to lower it artificially. Now, if the fever gets high – above 104, see your health care provider. Get in to see your family chiropractor and get adjusted daily if you can. This will help your immune system supercharge and help you recover faster. If you can, get oscillococcinum, a natural homeopathic flu remedy. As far as herbals go, I like andrographis for quick help. Not only is this herb antiviral, it also boosts the immune response. With regard to supplements, I like chlorella and food based vitamin C. In general, rest, lots of fluid with electrolytes is the best way to go. Gatorade is filled with sugar and artificial colors, so avoid it if you can. I like homemade ginger lemonade with a dash of sea salt. As you can tolerate it, fresh homemade vegetable and fruit juices are very powerful.
You can be healthy through the flu season. Also, keep in mind, its OK to get sick every now and then – it helps your immune system build immunity and stay strong. Don’t beat yourself up if you or your family gets sick, just do your best to let mother nature do her work without too much interference. The Power that made the body heals the body – it happens no other way.
Dr. Matt Lyon