Staying Healthy in Cold & Flu Season

Fall season has arrived. The leaves change their colours and the days get shorter…It’s also the start of the cold and flu season. Influenza (or the flu) is a common respiratory illness that affects millions of Canadians each year. Symptoms might include sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion. The common cold is a minor infection of the upper respiratory tract that can be caused by different viruses from those that cause the flu. Cold tend to be less severe than the flu, usually last only about a week and are characterized by sinus congestion, coughing, chills and sore throats. On an average, Canadian adults get four colds a year, while Health Canada says up to 25 per cent of Canadians (that’s eight million people) will come down with the flu each year.

Now is the time to boost your immune system, so that you can effectively ward off any viruses that might be floating around and you can stay healthy! Here are a few suggestions:

• Get enough sleep: Sleep is the best medicine! As soon as you feel you are coming down with something, go to bed as soon as possible and sleep as long as possible. Almost all people stay at their healthiest with 8 – 10 hours of sleep.

• Avoid excess stress: Studies show that stress hampers the ability to stay healthy. Sleep enough, exercise, take a walk a day, meditate, practice Yoga, have an Alexander lie-down… – find some practice that works for you to decrease stress hormones in your body.

• Eat nutritious healthy food: Just one can of sweet soda can decrease the immune system by 50 percent for hours!

• Eat garlic and onion: Garlic and onion have well researched anti-inflammatory properties and can often prevent you from getting a cold. (You can also get garlic in capsule form in order to avoid bad breath.)

• Maintain a positive attitude: What we think has an effect on our body and the state of our health! Positive thoughts create a healthier body! Start by just observing your thoughts… and shift a negative train of thought into a positive one!

• Take Reflexology treatments!

Therapeutic Reflexology promotes self-healing and regenerative power in the human body. Reflexology may be used preventatively to boost the immune system, so you are better prepared for this season. Once the cold or flu has already settled into the body, taking Reflexology treatments supports the body to relieve the symptoms such as headaches, sinus congestion, body aches or sore throat and chest. It is best to book a session after the contagion has expired (usually after three days), but when the symptoms are still present. Symptoms usually subside and patients feel better only after a couple of days.