Winterizing your Immune System

Have you and your family already experienced an “immune-building opportunity” this fall? Kids, back in school and indoors most of the day are sharing respiratory droplets. Short days swinging from damp cold rain to crisp sunshine can challenge our immune systems.  A few colds a year can strengthen immunity. However, this season shouldn’t mean that we catch every cold that comes along or suffer from symptoms for weeks on end.

As naturopathic doctors, we help you build and maintain a healthy, robust internal terrain to prevent illness from taking hold, and ensuring that when you do become ill, symptoms resolve smoothly and quickly.  We have faith in the body’s ability to heal, given the proper protection and support!

Our treatment plans for the prevention of colds, flus and other imbalances, always include individualized treatments based on your unique health picture and our Foundational Health Habits:

•Healthy routines/rhythms supporting adrenal health and general well-being
•Sufficient sleep
•Nutrient-dense food choices, avoiding known food allergens and inflammatory foods
•Ample hydration
•Daily exercise, preferably in fresh air
•Regular, thorough hand-washing
•Fun, joy, laughter
•    Daily probiotics, cod liver oil (or vegetarian equivalent), Vitamin D, and a multivitamin, especially for the more “selective eaters”

Should any of your household members contract a cold or flu this season, we suggest these treatments to ease symptoms and promote a full, speedy recovery:

•    Keep it to yourself!  Stay home, keep your children home, increase hand washing, and cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
•Rest. Cancel plans, nap, go to bed early.  Don’t “push through it.”
•    Strictly avoid inflammatory foods and mucous producers: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten, dairy, bananas and citrus.
•Double your daily probiotic dosage or use a higher potency product.
•Include vitamins C and A, Zinc and immune-supporting botanicals/herbs
•Homeopathic remedy appropriate for the symptom picture
•    Hydrotherapy:  warming socks, warming throat compresses, constitutional hydrotherapy, fever treatments

As big fans of our astounding immune systems, we have a lot to share regarding its protection and support.  For more information about naturopathic philosophy, specifics about immune treatments for all ages, and handouts of our Foundational Health Habits, Hydrotherapy treatments, and Fever Guide for little ones, please join Dr. Brigid for her FREE talk Optimizing Immune Health in the Colder Months: at the Ashland Food Co-op Community Classroom on November 18th, 7-9pm.