It‘s that time of the year when a number of people coming in to the clinic are immune-suppressed and suffering from colds and flu. In addition to Osteopathic expertise, the varied backgrounds of our staff at Balanced Life Osteopathy ensures holistic advice from fields including naturopathy, ayurvedic medicine, chiropractic, physiotherapy, meditation and yoga. We’ve drawn on this wealth of knowledge to compile a list of top ten tips for beating or avoiding the ‘lurgy’ this winter.
- Wash your hands often & wash them well, rub the soap in your hands for at least 15 seconds before rinsing. Also resist the urge to scratch your eyes, ears, nose as many colds & flu are transmitted this way.
- Maintain correct posture at the computer – this enhances respiratory function, leading to more oxygen in the blood which boosts the immune system.
- Keeping your body at its optimum allows your body to function as it was designed so regular Osteopathic tune-ups are important.
- Take supplements to boost your immune system, in particular zinc and cod liver oil. Foods that are naturally high in vitamin C and zinc are also recommended, such as ginger, capsicum, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, seafood, whole grains and eggs.
- Drink lots of fluid, including herbal teas. The best teas for immune health are nettle, echinacea, green tea, ginger and lemon and cinnamon. A special recipe for ‘kick-a-germ’ tea is also provided below!
- Decrease your stress levels by regular exercise – an increase in endorphins in the body is linked to a strong immune system.
- Winter is a time of maximum involution (becoming still and going ‘inside’) and is a good time to start or continue your meditation practice. A regular practice will also help to manage your energy when you start to feel run down.
- Rest and keep warm! When the body becomes overwhelmed physically and mentally, the immune defence is weakened leading to colds and flu. Wheat bags can be used to stay warm if sitting in a cold spot.
- Your digestive fire is stronger in the cooler weather. To satisfy this inner fire, ayurveda recommends taking heavier, warm foods that are nourishing, slightly salty and sour in taste.
- In ayurvedic treatments, a mixture called “trikatu” (equal parts of ginger, black pepper and Indian long pepper (pippali)) is used to treat poor circulation, coughs, colds and nasal drips.
Recipe for “Kick-a-germ tea”
This tea is great for breaking up “phlegmy” coughs and even preventing a cold from moving into the chest or getting any worse. It can also act as a preventative if everyone around you is sick.
- Boil a small saucepan of warm water with a large piece of ginger grated & two cloves of garlic finely chopped for 5 mins. Take off heat.
- Add juice of one lemon, honey to taste & a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Strain before drinking
- Add more or less of any of the ingredients. Garlic may be left out but is a natural antibiotic adding to the magic of this mix. The tea should be spicy & warming.
- Drink & sweat out all germs & keep neighbours away!