Beat the Flu Season Naturally - Boosting Immunity with Acupuncture

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The flu vaccine is being pushed aggressively now but there are ways to help keep yourself healthy naturally this cold and flu season.  The great thing about naturally boosting your immune system is that it will benefit other aspects of your body, not only your immunity.  Every system from the digestive system to fertility are all conected to our immune system.  The entire body and all of its systems need to be healthy to ward off illness and keep us healthy.
Some of the easiest ways to keep yourself healthy are through diet, sleep, stress reduction, supplementation and even acupuncture.  
Acupuncture has been used to keep the immune system optimized, traditionally known as "boosting the Wei Qi (defensive system)".   This system of medicine has been scientifically proven to show a significant positive effect in people with the common cold.  Not only good for the common cold, it can also be used to help cancer patients stay healthy. Patients undergoing cancer treatments have shown a boost to white blood cells if combined with acupuncture therapy.   
Other ways to help keep you strong and healthy during the cold and flu season are:
- A good nights sleep !  trying to get a solid, uninterrupted 7-9 hours of sleep can greatly increase your immune system.  Get some rest
- Stay away from sugar !  sugar will suppress your immune system making it more difficult for you to fight off anything that you may be exposed too.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables of different colors.  These are natures multi-vitamin and mineral supplements.  Not only will these foods provide the building blocks for our bodies but also contains high levels of antioxidants to keep our immune system optimized.  The best sources of antioxidants are fresh fruits and berries.  Here is a quick link to a good list.
- Stress reduction.  High levels of chronic stress also will make your immune system compromised.  Take time for yourself every day, deep breathing, a walk outside, meditation, ...   all help build your immune system.
- Get Moving !  regular exercise is also a great way to help boost your immunity.   
It is amazing how powerful general diet and lifestyle adjustments can keep you healthy during the winter months.  Eat well, keep regular excise and rest and see how well your immune system holds up.  If you do get sick take time to rest and you will bounce back extremely quickly.
Adding in regular acupuncture to help optimize your immune system is another way to keep your immunity up to the challenge.  Stay strong, stay healthy, live well !
Wishing you a healthy flu season !

Dr. Ryan Funk, Dr.TCM