Friday, February 8, 2013

An Acupuncturist's Secrets to a Healthy Cold and Flu Season

Last week we posted a link to an article about how top herbalists stay healthy during the cold and flu season. We thought it would be interesting to write about our own tips of the trade and how we keep those bugs at bay!

~Prevention is Key

Just before the autumn Equinox in September, when yin and yang are close to being balanced, it is time to start prepping the body for winter. Autumn corresponds to the Lung system which is most closely related to our immune system in Western medicine. It is during this time it is best to do a course of acupuncture treatments focusing on boosting the Defensive Qi or rather the immune system of the body. There are several acupuncture points that have been shown to increase the white blood cell count making easier to fend off those nasty colds and flu.

Another option to helping stay healthy during the winter is taking the herbal formula Yu Ping Feng San or Jade Windscreen Remedy. The name itself describes a beautiful image of our immune system acting as strong barrier against attacking pathogens. It is best to take Jade Windscreen in autumn combined with acupuncture. This formula can also be taken in early spring to help prevent seasonal allergies.

~Keep your Medicine Cabinet Stocked

There are three main herbal formulas we keep on hand in case cold symptoms start to occur. The first, and probably most famous, is Yin Qiao San or Honeysuckle and Forsythia Remedy. This formula is used when there are more symptoms with heat aspects such as sore throat, fever, thirst, etc. The second is Gui Zhi Tang or Cinnamon Twig Remedy. This formula is for the opposite situation when there are more symptoms present that have cold features such as chills, shivering, tension headache, body aches, runny nose, etc.

The final must have formula is Gan Mao Ling, which literally translates to Common Cold Effective Remedy. If you have only one herbal remedy at home this is the one to have because it is more versatile than the other two above. It treats most common cold symptoms but is formulated to stop symptoms from getting any worse. It is best to take Gan Mao Ling in the very acute stage of a cold, as soon as you start feeling a hint of a sore throat, take this formula immediately!

If you would like any further info about acupuncture or any of the formulas mentioned above, please feel free to email us at or call us at 604-521-6639. We would love to hear from you!

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