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5 Ways to Avoid Colds

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Summer is wrapping up and we are now moving into the transitional season called late summer ruled by the Earth element. During this time it is not uncommon for individuals to start getting colds. This is largely due to the frequent change happening between yin and yang, cold and hot.

The body is not sure whether to remain expansive and open or to start bringing the energy more inward…preparing for the cold winter months. So it’s important to keep the body in balance to support it in the transition and keep it healthy.

5 Top Ways to Avoid Colds

  • Rest.  Yes, that sounds like common sense but most people are not doing this.  If your body is tired, then rest. That means go to bed early. 10 pm at the latest. Take a nap if you are tired and able.  Simplify your schedule. Literally, listen to your body. Most people are “powering through” and this is highly stressful for your body...and stress affects your gut micro-biome...and guess where most of your immune system is?!  Yes, your gut!

  • Simplify your diet.  Right now we are in the season between seasons...it’s called late summer.  It’s ruled by the Earth element. So your body doesn’t know what’s happening.  Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s cool. By simplifying your diet, you nourish the Earth element and make digestion simple.  Examples of this would be light meats and cooked veggies, kitchari, or light soups. Pull out sugar, dairy, wheat, processed foods and heavy foods.  

  • Take Immune Boosters. B-Complex, Vitamin C, Advanced Mineral Complex, Daily Multi and Probiotics can all keep your immune system functioning optimally.

  • Keep your neck covered if the weather is cold or windy. In Chinese medicine, colds are called wind invasions. Wind invades the body through the nape of the neck. So dress appropriately for the weather. If you can avoid going from one extreme temperature to another (example hot outside, frigid air conditioned building inside etc) that will also allow your body to use it’s own defense mechanisms more easily.

  • Make sure your hormones are balanced. Cortisol temporarily suppresses the immune system, reducing the body's natural inflammatory response to viruses and bacteria. Because of the OAT axis, imbalances in the sex hormones or thyroid can also affect the adrenals. So it’s important that the hormones are in balance and that you are managing stress so that you are not living in cortisol disfunction.