The holidays are just around the corner and, of course, that means colds, flus, earaches, and coughs are on the rise. With kids back in school, holiday parties, and holiday sweets galore, the often overwhelming job of parenting, nurturing your family, and staying healthy can be challenging. Having a simple and effective action plan can make all the difference for you and your family’s health. Fall is the time to start to ensure greater immunity through the holidays.
4 ways to boost your immune system this fall and winter
- Get acupuncture — Poor sleep, chronic stress, poor nutrition, and pathogens that are stronger than the immune system are four common reasons why otherwise healthy adults and children get sick. The good news? Acupuncture has a positive effect on all of these and raises your immunity. Your immune system functions in direct inverse proportion to your stress response. In other words, the more stressed you are, the more inhibited your immune system. The more relaxed and content you are, the better your immune system works. And while we’re at it, the more relaxed you are, the deeper you sleep, the better you digest, and the more positive your mood, all of which boosts your immune system.
Acupuncture has a direct effect upon your nervous system, down-regulating the stress response and upregulating the immune system function. Down-regulating the stress response and improving sleep. Down-regulating stress response and up-regulating digestion. Down-regulating the stress response and increasing mood-lifting brain chemicals.
- Get more sleep — Not getting enough rest can wreak havoc on your immune system, metabolism, and brain. It’s recommended that adults get about 8 hours of sleep and children get 10 hours. This time resting allows your body to heal itself, helps keep your hormones balanced, and helps your immune system function in balance.
- Stop overdoing, especially stressful things — Doing too much, especially things that bring you no real joy, creates a stress response in your body. Circulation and breathing constrict and adrenaline and tension increase, responses to stress that inhibit your immune system and sleep.
If you find yourself in a pattern of having way too many things to do than you can possibly accomplish in a relaxed manner, then it’s time to have a conversation with yourself about what you’re spending time on and do what you can to trim back. Kids also go through this when they’re overscheduled with sports, music lessons, schoolwork, and trying to be a kid. You can model to your child a healthier way of balancing life activities — both of your immune system’s will thank you.
- Nutrition. Eat well, in a relaxed manner — There are 3 important components to healthy eating one of which we often forget about and all of which are difficult to achieve when we are overscheduled, tired and stressed. The first is eating high quality, whole food, in a variety of flavors and colors. The second is preparing foods with a minimum of packaging, frying, sugars or salts. The third is eating in a relaxed manner where you have time to chew, breath and enjoy each bite in good company. Well-rested, under-scheduled, low stress families have a much wider bandwidth to prepare and enjoy high quality nutrition together. All of these contribute to a higher functioning immune system.
Want to further your inquiry into immune boosting for yourself and your whole family?
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