It’s officially fall! As the season starts to shift, I’ve already started treating an influx of complaints of allergy and cold symptoms; the itchy eyes, congestion, sore throat, and fatigue. It’s time to use preventative medicine to boost your immune system! If you know you’re susceptible to autumn allergies and colds it’s time to start acupuncture and herbal treatments again before you get sick. Remember that saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Here are some other tips to keep you healthy during the seasonal transition.
Eat well: Wei Qi is the energy that flows at the surface of the body. It acts as a protective barrier that is responsible for resistance to colds and other respiratory infections. If you have a deficiency of Wei Qi, you’ll catch colds easily and will be more susceptible to allergens. Your body creates Wei Qi by taking qi from food and combining it with our stomach and lung qi. If any component of this process is lacking, your body won’t have optimal protection. It’s crucial to eat a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, wild seafood, pasture raised meat and eggs. Reduce dairy, sugar, and raw food intake. Salads were for summer. Now is the time to roast those veggies and make hearty soups and stews!
Make a scallion miso broth: If you’re just starting to feel the very beginning signs of a cold coming on (nasal congestion, head ache, stiff neck) this is the soup to make ASAP. Scallions (Cong Bai) release the exterior and induce sweating to get the wind cold out of your body. The salty miso helps your body retain fluids so they will be available for sweating.
- Slice the white part of 5 scallions and bring to a boil in 2 cups of water.
- Simmer for 15 minutes then mix in 1TBS miso paste (preferably non-GMO).
- Drink then bundle up and go to bed. Repeat as needed until you break a sweat. You may also make this without the miso. ** If you don't think that you'll be up for making this from scratch, get take out. Order a miso soup and ask for extra scallions.
Make a bone broth: It is more than just soup stock. You’ll be cooking these bones for about 24 hours. Time to put your crock pot to good use! The Copley Square farmers market on Tuesday and Friday from 11AM - 6PM have farms that sell soup stock bones (aka. marrow bones) from pasture raised animals (Grass Roots Farm, Copicut Farm, Stillman’s). There are many different versions. Here’s one to get you started.
Protect your neck: During this time you’re susceptible to wind cold or wind heat that will invade the body through the neck region. It’s important to always wear a scarf to protect this vulnerable area especially when working out.
Get rest AND exercise: Your body needs time to recharge from your stressful days. Wei Qi circulates through your Sinew Channels. They are most exterior channels of your body. The deep breathing supports the lung qi, movement from exercise helps to circulate the Wei Qi for adequate protection. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or excessive, it just has to be consistent. A nice walk after lunch or dinner would be ideal since it will help with digestion and your stomach qi, all key players in keeping your immune system healthy!
Wash your hands: You don't need antibacterial soap. Just use regular soap and water and lather and scrub for at least 20 seconds. When you first get into the office, wash your hands, especially after taking public transportation! The first thing you do when you get home, wash your hands! When in doubt wash your hands!