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Naturopathic Dr. Drew Sinatra at Bodhi Tree Wellness Centre Talks About Natural Flu Prevention
Naturopathic Dr. Drew Sinatra of Bodhi Tree Wellness Centre in Clayton Heights, Surrey, offers insight on natural cold and flu prevention options, which is particularly helpful for this winter season.
with Dr. Drew Sinatra, ND
BELOW ARE MY TOP TEN COLD AND FLU PREVENTION AND TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS WHICH HELP SUPPORT IMMUNITY:
1. Make sure you get plenty of zzzzzz's. It's perfectly normal to rest and sleep more during the winter season. From a Chinese medicine perspective,
movement and growth energetically slow down in the winter, so take the time you need to revive. Try for at least 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night, and try to fall asleep before midnight.
2. Avoid sugary / processed foods, wheat and dairy products, as these "comfort" foods can suppress the immune system in some individuals.
By eating less processed food, you will hopefully consume more fruits, vegetables and other whole foods(1) like quinoa, lentils, beans, grass fed beef, or wild salmon. If there's one dietary recommendation you choose to follow, make it elimination of refined sugar.
3. Fight microbes with microbes: take probiotics to help populate your gut with health-promoting bacteria. Probiotics help support digestion as well as your immune system. You can take them in capsule or powder form, and/or eat lots of fermented foods like unpasteurized Kim Chee, sauerkraut, and miso. Aim for at least 2 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.
4. Get enough vitamin D. Our bodies need sunlight to make vitamin D, which is crucial for immune system health.
Those of us living in the Northern U.S. or Canada usually don't get adequate sun exposure during the winter months, and need to supplement. Taking 2000 IU's a day of Vitamin D throughout the winter season is generally a safe and effective way of priming your immune system.
5. Blow your nose... that is, with the help of a Neti pot.
Washing out your sinuses daily with a Neti pot will help keep your nasal passages clear of microbes. Add ¼ to ½ tsp of sea salt to the Neti pot, top with warm water, and irrigate each sinus by pouring the water through each nostril. Then, blow your nose to expel excess mucous and water. Repeat if necessary.
6. Regularly use castor oil packs. Castor oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that, when absorbed through the skin, promotes increased circulation, elimination of toxins, and healing of organs. Double blind studies conducted by the Association for Research and Enlightenment show that castor oil packs increase the production and level of activity of white blood cells (lymphocytes)
7. Engage in light exercise daily. Activities like walking, swimming, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and yoga all help support healthy immune system function. My personal favorite during the winter months is hot yoga, as this is a wonderful way to sweat out toxins while increasing flexibility.
8. Drink anti-microbial tea. If you feel run down and/or susceptible to sickness, crush 3-4 cloves of garlic, grate a piece of thumb-sized ginger, and squeeze the juice from half a lemon into 6-8 cups boiling water. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, add 1 tsp of honey and stir. Drink up to 3 cups a day to fight off an infection and soothe a sore throat.
9. Try oscillococcinum, an over-the-counter homeopathic remedy that helps prevent and/or temporarily reduce flu like symptoms. Take 1/3 of a vial every 4 hours for 1-2 days if you feel the flu coming on. As a preventive measure, take 1/3 of a vial weekly throughout the winter season.
10. Treat your feet to warming socks. If you feel a cold coming on, thoroughly wring out a pair of cotton socks soaked in cold water. Soak your feet in hot water for 5-10 minutes, and then put the wrung-out cotton socks on. Cover these socks with another pair of dry wool socks and go to bed; the inner socks will be completely dry in the morning. Repeat for 3-4 nights. This form of hydrotherapy helps remove congestion in the head and upper respiratory tract.
(1) For more information about whole foods, read In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, by Michael Pollen (Penguin Group, 2009).
Bodhi Tree Wellness Centre is a full service health care clinic using progressive, natural & advanced treatments that are complementary or alternative to traditional western medicine for preventative, acute, or long term care needs.
We strive to offer everyone a clinical, safe, yet comfortable environment to suit individual needs, whether they be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Every practitioner at Bodhi Tree Wellness Centre is passionate about what he or she does and will always approach treatment with integrity to optimize health & well being. We welcome you to visit us and start your journey, wherever you may be on your path.
We are pleased to offer:
• Craniosacral Therapy
• Fascial Release Treatment
• Visceral Manipulation
• Traditional Massage Therapy
• Infrared Sauna
• Clinical Counselling
• Naturopathic Medicine
• Yoga Therapy
• Alexander Technique and
• Therapeutic Reflexology