How to Stay Healthy this Fall 2018, By Breana Harrison

Fall is coming as the days become cooler and daylight grows shorter. With this transition our immune systems are taxed, and we are more likely to catch colds. Regular monthly acupuncture sessions support and strengthen immunity.  Scientific research shows that acupuncture increases the white blood cells in the body and moderates the immune system allowing it to react swiftly and strongly to threats.  This summer we have had really poor air quality leading me to the assumption that our immune systems have been taxed, and I am predicting that we will need to work extra hard to keep ourselves healthy this fall.   To do this we need to take a look at all areas of our life, and especially what we are eating. We should be eating foods that are in season like apples, pears, and pomegranates as well as root vegetables. I also advise when sweater weather kicks in to ditch your salads and smoothies in favor of soups and bone broths. The warmer foods will taste better in the cooler weather, and your digestion will also not have to work as hard to break down your food. Ginger is a great spice to start adding in the fall as it will help warm your digestion and is beneficial in fighting against colds and flues. Cinnamon is the second super spice of the fall as it speeds up metabolism, increases circulation, reduces allergies, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, fights colds and flus, balances blood sugar and reduces sugar cravings, clears acne, kills candida, and it benefits your oral health.  It is really important to take care of our digestive system because it plays a vital role in keeping our immune system strong.   Although we try to do everything we can to stay healthy if you get a cold and have a cough, ginger is beneficial to reduce your cough and recover from the cold. Ginger tea can be made from fresh ginger root. You slice about an inch of it thinly and simmer it in warm water for 20 minutes, discard the root and drink the water. If the cough is dry raw pears and pear juice are beneficial. Additionally, you can make tea with honey, lemon, and cinnamon to moisten the lungs.  You can further help your lungs to stay moist by using humidifiers at home. Some people like using essential oil blends like Thieves or On Guard blends for health in diffusers to maintain health in the winter.   If you find that you have a lot of phlegm with your cold, spicy food is great at helping to clear the phlegm and help you sweat out the virus. If you have access to a sauna and can sweat out the toxins that is even better. Make sure you are not going from the hot to the cold, it is a shock to your system. Always wrap up from head to toe after a sauna or an intense gym session. Bananas, almonds, dairy, refined sugars and grains will produce more phlegm in the body, so if you are experiencing a lot of phlegm or constant sinus infections, try cutting out these foods.  An occasional sinus rinse is also great to help keep the sinuses clear of phlegm. Be careful not to do it every day, Colorado is really dry and rinsing too often can cause the sinuses to become dry and irritated.    Lastly, I recommend that you come in for acupuncture at the first sign of a cold. Acupuncture can help boost the immune system to shorten the severity and length the cold. I can use cupping or gua sha which further raises your white blood cell count to fight colds, flus, fevers, and inflammation. Prescribing herbs to purge the virus or boost the immune system is another option if they do not conflict with other herbs and medications. Following this advice should help you to stay healthy this fall.