Staying healthy during the flu season

In traditional Chinese medicine, the common cold is regarded as a disease condition caused by an external pathogenic agent and affected by seasonal variations. External pathogenic factors include wind, cold, heat, humidity, drought and heat.

The battle between pathogens and the body’s immunity (Qi energy) leads to symptoms such as colds, coughs, sore throats, headaches and fever. Protective Qi helps fight external pathogens. Therefore, people with stronger protective Qi get sick less.

Now, if ever, is the time to take care of your body’s energy levels and strengthen your protection against disease! As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

Here are some tips to improve your immunity

Make sure you stay adequately hydrated. The recommendation is to drink 2-3 litres of water a day (article in Finnish). Water should not be drunk ice cold, but lukewarm. For example, you can keep a jug of water on the table and pour from it during the day.

Exercise regularly. Even just 20 minutes of light jogging or walking a few times a week can help improve circulation and the flow of Qi in the body.

Remember to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

Eat a balanced diet. Avoid overly spicy, fried and oily foods to prevent your body from overheating (imbalance). Make sure you eat enough fibre-rich foods and drink enough fluids to keep your bowels working (it’s vital for the body to get rid of toxins). Many of my clients have found that herbal plums help with digestive health, helping to eliminate waste products and treat constipation.

A very good and easy home meal during the flu season is a soup with lots of vegetables and a little meat. Other easy energy boosters include ginger, garlic, turmeric and astralagus (this herb should be used with caution if you are prone to high blood pressure).

Let’s take care of ourselves and each other!

Best, Chantal

Chantal Hellevig

I am an acupuncturist, Chinese medicine expert, and a registered podiatrist. I studied Chinese medicine at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and in Traditional Chinese Medicine Academy of Malaysia. I have furthered my knowledge while working in Finland, China, Singapore and Taiwan with experienced doctors.

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