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10 Tips for Cold and Flu Prevention

Calgary Acupuncture: 10 Tips on Cold and Flu Prevention.

If you live in Calgary and find that you’re plagued by frequent colds as the weather gets chilly, you may want to implement some of the following suggestions. Fall is too gorgeous a season to waste being sick in bed!

1. Keep warm and avoid drafts. Bundle up and keep your head, feet, and torso from being chilled. Most importantly, keep the back of your neck covered when outside. Chinese Medicine theory sees colds as a type of “wind-invasion” which initially attacks the most superficial meridian (energy pathway) which is located on the back of the neck and upper back.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.

3. Gargle with salt water as soon as you get home from work. Do this especially after you have been exposed to sick people.

4. Get enough rest and try to be asleep by 11:00 pm. According to Chinese Medicine, we lose our vital qi if we make a habit of going to sleep later than 11:00 pm.

5. Choose soup over salad. Add leek, garlic, green onion, or ginger to soup. If you feel sudden chills and think you may be catching a cold, make chicken soup with ginger and green onion. If you want something easy and quick, make a ginger/green onion tea. Simmer both ingredients for 15 minutes, drink immediately, get under a blanket and sweat it out. Make sure to change into dry clothes soon afterwards!

6. Get enough exercise, but don’t overdo it. Fall and winter are the seasons for storing energy. Replace some of your boot camps with yoga or long walks.

7. Keep your immune system strong with healthy food choices. Avoid sugary, fried, processed, and junk foods. Try to stay away from cold, raw foods as well as ice cold water. Decrease alcohol comsumption and think about throwing those cigarettes away.

8. If you are taking any tonifying herbs such as Ginseng or Astragalus, stop taking them when you start to feel ill. They will only make the cold go deeper into your body and last longer.

9. If you are beginning to feel under the weather, give your digestive system a break by eating light healthy foods. This way your body will have more energy to fight the virus instead of digesting heavy, rich foods. Congee, a simple rice porridge, is commonly eaten in Asia. It is a great food to eat when you’re ill, and can also help to build up your energy following a prolonged cold or flu.

10. Chinese Medicine has some great herbal formulas which can help to prevent colds and flu if taken at the first hint of illness. If you do end up getting sick, there are other herbal formulas which can greatly speed up the recovery process. Acupuncture is also extremely effective in building up the immune system as well as shortening the course of colds and flu. A session of acupuncture combined with cupping on the upper back can often stop a cold in its tracks.

Stay well and have a wonderful fall!


Dr. Maria Wristen is a passionate practitioner who is dedicated to helping her clients achieve optimal physical and emotional well-being. She strives to empower her patients, encouraging them to take a proactive role in their health through changes in lifestyle and nutrition.