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Back to school often means the start of what we call the cold and flu season. With so many children sharing space, germs are inevitably part of the equation.  Conventional wisdom urges us to fear the germs and teaches us that the only way to keep yourself and your family healthy is to scrub, disinfect, and go to war with them! While it is important to practice good hygiene, it is time to shift focus to what we can do to boost our immune strength. With this approach, we are focused on building, maintaining, and nourishing our body’s natural abilities to withstand and cope with illness.  Instead of fearing the germs, let’s empower our bodies.

Dr. Shaw’s Top Ten Ways to Beat the Cold & Flu.

  1. Chiropractic Care. No surprise here! The nervous system supplies the nerves to the important immune system organs. A healthy nervous system means the immune system can function efficiently.  Additional adjustments outside your regular protocol while you are sick will give a boost to your immune system and help your body heal faster.  Don’t stay away when you are sick!
  1. Supplements. Whole food supplements, herbs, and homeopathic remedies can be used to up-regulate your immune system to help fend off illness. They can also be used in acute situations in higher doses so immune response is stronger and efficient. Avoid synthetic over the counter medications as they will distract your body from its job of healing.  Discuss what options are right for you during your next visit with Dr. Shaw.
  1. Healthy Diet.
    1. Rich in colorful vegetables and fruits.
    2. Quality protein (grass-fed, organic, wild): eggs, fish, organic meat, and poultry.
    3. Healthy fats: coconut oil, avocado oils, nuts oils, olive oil.
    4. Incorporate a variety of nuts and seeds.
    5. Limit grains except quinoa, buckwheat,  and wild rice.
  1. Healthy Gut. 80% of the immune system resides in the gut!!!  Take good care of it by avoiding food allergens (main culprits are gluten, dairy and soy) and by balancing gut flora with fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, and kombucha.
  1. Avoid Toxins.
    • Hand sanitizers and flu shots are many people’s go to solutions, but they burden your system with chemicals and hinder your body’s ability to ward off illness.
    • Avoid consuming, inhaling, and absorbing chemical pollutants.
    • Choose organic foods and toxin-free personal products.
    • Avoid OTC medications.
    • Drink distilled or reverse osmosis water.
    • Choose natural cleaning products and avoid the use of commercial air fresheners.
    • Add plants to each room and crack a window all year round to improve air quality in your home.
  1. Reduce Sugar/Fructose/Carbs. Sugar competes for space in your immune cells with Vitamin C! The more sugar in your system, the less Vitamin C can get into your white blood cells causing immune suppression.
  1. Hydration and Minerals. Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water per day to keep you hydrated. Your body needs water to flush the lymphatic system of viruses and bacteria.  Improve your body’s ability to absorb water by adding a pinch of sea salt to add minerals, and a squeeze of lemon to alkalize the water.  Coffee, black tea, smoking, and alcohol all dehydrate so minimize their consumption and be sure to up your water intake if you do consume them.
  1. Healthy Fats. Don’t be scared of fat but make sure they are the healthy fats.  Coconut oil, cocoa butter, butter, eggs, avocado, flax seed, sesame oil, olive oil, and wild caught fish are wonderful sources.
  1. Rest and Reducing Stress. Our adrenal glands are responsible for immune system response and strength so take good care of them by minimizing stress and make adequate sleep and down time a priority in your life.
  1. Essential Oils. Good quality pure essential oils can aid our immune function.  Many have antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-infectious properties making them a wonderful companion through the “flu season”.  Diffusing them and applying them topically can be beneficial.  Be sure you research the oils before using them.  They are incredibly potent!  Thieves oil is a great oil with many purposes and should be a staple in every home.