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Tips for the Cold Season

Written by Licensed Acupuncturist Nhan-Esteban:

It’s that time of year again.

The weather is shifting quickly, catching people unaware with cold, wet, windy, overcast spells followed by brief periods of deceptive warmth and calm skies.

This slow changes of the Fall season should be encouraging us to change our habits in preparation for the Winter. Yet, as is often the case, we get caught up with everything else while health gets placed on the back burner. Nature is supreme, and we should pay attention to our bodies, as they are the ultimate weather gauge.

Here a few tips to help you weather the Winter (pun intended):

1. Wear layers
2. Close windows and turn off AC at night (yes, it is obvious but a common factor nonetheless)
3. Do not touch your face (especially eyes, nose, mouth) or food before washing your hands. These areas have thin membranes that are easily penetrated by pathogens.
4. If you have been exposed to someone in the contagious phase of a cold (when a person is sneezing, coughing, etc) make certain to wash your hands and blow your nose (better to flush your nasal passages with a saline solution). This will help reduce the concentration of pathogens entering your body and thus increase the chances that your immune system will destroy them

5. Get up and go to bed early. Humans are diurnal animals and our bodies were designed to function maximally during daylight hours. Getting up early ensures greater exposure to sunlight while going to bed early increases rest and regeneration, ultimately leading to greater immune system health.
6. General health maintenance. Exercise, whole seasonal food, rest, and lots of joy, love, harmony, and happiness.
7. Herbal remedies and supplements. Vitamin C and Zinc are the most popular vitamins for cold defense, but frankly, all micro nutrients will help so make sure to take you multi-vitamin. An omega-3 essential oil supplement is essential for prevention (I recommend Krill oil). Echinacea is also popular, although I prefer the Chinese formula Yin Chiao. Normally, Yin Chiao is used to combat colds during the fever phase, but at low doses it has also been shown to be effective for prevention.
7. No health regimen is complete without acupuncture (I don’t sound biased do I?) I generally recommend acupuncture at least four times per year at the start of every season to boost the immune system and help the body acclimate to changes.

If you still happen to “catch a bug,” there is till hope.


1. Rest. If you are getting sick, give your body a fighting chance by reducing its workload through good sleep and general peace (that means no stress and agitation).
3. Light food. Along the same lines as rest, food that is easy to digest will make it easier for you body to combat invasion.
2. Fluids. This means mainly water. Soups and teas are also good. Avoid anything that is high in sugar.
2. Sweat it out. Traditionally it is believed that sweating expels pathogens through the skin. Although this is a dated idea, mild exercise does increase circulation and boost the immune system. Nurturing a fever may also help destroy pathogens by increasing body temperature and thus making it unfavorable invaders. Just make certain to drink extra fluids.
3. Herbal remedies and supplements. The same supplements and remedies in the prevention section apply here.
4. Acupuncture. Yes, it does work. How does it work? By helping your body do what it naturally does — heal itself.

As for flu vaccinations, don’t bother. My parents would probably be shaking their heads if they read this, but the fact of the matter is that flu vaccines are more of a pharmaceutical money maker potentially full of toxic contaminants. We are all better off focusing on natural prevention through optimal health in mind, body, and soul.

In Health, Nhan

Victoria Vives Khuong


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