Advice for Cold & Flu Season
It's that time of year again when we hunker down, get cozy and prepare for the winter time. This tends to also mean the start of the "cold and flu" season. I have always wondered why colds and flu's have a "season" and why is it always around the time that we are celebrating! Here is what I have found...
One theory is that flu peaks in winter because people spend more time indoors, with the windows closed, breathing each other's air.
Other scientists have argued that the darkness (i.e. lack of Vitamin D and melatonin) and the cold of winter weaken our immune systems, making us more susceptible to a virus.
A third theory is that, regardless of how we deal with the cold, the flu virus thrives in the cold, dry air of winter, but suffers in the warm, humid air of summer.
Nancy's Theory:Starting with Halloween, we start eating candy, even if it's only the FUN-sized treats. Who can seriously eat just one? Then comes Thanksgiving. Friends, family, desserts - basically we eat way out of our norm. By this time all bets are off. We are consuming way more sugary and inflammatory foods. Studies show that there is a decrease in the immune system for up to 5 hours after consuming sugary foods, a perfect scenario for a virus to settle in and enjoy replicating in your lovely system!
4 Cold & Flu Solutions to incorporate:
Sinus/ Nasal Flush
Try a sinus/ nasal flush and rinse. A simple saline rinse helps to sweep out bacteria and viruses from getting deeper into the respiratory tract. I add a couple drops of essential oil to mine.essential oil
Ear Canal Treatment
There is some interesting, older research that suggests flu viruses enter via the ear canal. A simple treatment would be a couple of drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide into each ear, both as a prevention and as a treatment for an active flu (in which case you would do this every few hours).
Get More Sleep
Sleep regulates the release of the hormone cortisol, which stimulates cells that boost the immune system. Getting at least seven hours of deep restful sleep is the easiest way to steer clear of the common cold. In fact, a recent study indicates that people who fall short on sleep are nearly three times as likely to catch a cold!
Make self care a priority
Our immune system is our defense against invaders. Take time to care for the self, be it an Epsom salt bath, a massage, or relaxing music. Journaling before bed time does wonders for us as a "brain dump". By doing this, we can release the events of the day onto the paper so we don't replay it over and over in the mind.