It's that time of year again, where the leaves have changed, the clocks have turned back, and everyone and their mother is sniffling and sneezing. There doesn't seem to be any escape from the endless amount of germs floating around out there, aside from staying indoors away from all the sick people. BUT, what many people don't realize is there are three big things they can do from home to help ward off the Pathogens.
Tap tap tap.....not on the door, but on your Thymus gland! It's a part of your lymphatic system and is responsible for the maturation of white blood cells via your bone marrow. Chinese Medicine recognizes it as a key lymph node in the body that many of us so often forget about! Where is it located? It actually sits directly behind your breast bone at the level of the third rib. This is a HUGE part of your immune system, and what many people don't know is that similarly to how you feel before you've had your morning coffee, your thymus gets that way when it's not being stimulated; It doesn't function at its optimal level. The BEST way to get it working is by gently tapping on the midline of the chest at the level of the third vertebra. Do this for 20 seconds 3-4 times a day and you will be strengthening your immune system with barely any effort. You may also feel a rush of energy from doing this!
Step away from the watermelon....what do I mean by this you may be thinking? Watermelon is a healthy food that keeps you hydrated all summer long right? Summer....that's the key word here. When the weather turns cold so does your body. And it does whatever it can to keep itself warm. Therefore putting cold and unseasonable food into it such as watermelon, salad, and raw vegetables is actually causing your body to work extremely hard to keep itself warm. While taking energy away from fighting off pathogens. Stick to what I like to call the “fall into winter" foods. Here are some examples: stick to warming foods such as any cooked root vegetable (carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes) and spices such as turmeric, cinnamon and peppercorns. Lamb and beef are some of the hottest meats out there, and a small portion will do your body a lot of good. Avoid food such as raw vegetables, salads and ice cold drinks.
Forget those over the counter medicines that are riddled with side effects and chemicals. Try a safe and highly effective Chinese remedy that I have been taking since I was a kid. At The Acupuncture Center it is a big seller in the fall and winter months, as it provides a quick turnaround for conditions such as strep, bronchitis, sinus infections and any sicknesses that reside in the head and neck. It's called Yin Qiao and it is simply made of honeysuckle and forsythia flower. It is safe to give children as well as the elderly, and it has zero side effects. It's been a staple in my home and has quickly gotten me through some of the worst upper respiratory issues that others suffered for weeks from. This combined with eating warm food and some gentle thymus tapping are some of the key things you need to boost that immune system and keep you feeling healthy, strong and energetic this holiday season!
Post by Rachel Specht, L.Ac., M.S.T.O.M.
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