A fundamental principle of traditional Chinese medicine is called yang shen, or nourishing life. Its goal is to maintain health and promote longevity. As an inherently preventative medicine there is always a focus on keeping the mind and body healthy and the immune system strong. During the cold and flu season there are three main things I like to focus on to stay healthy: reducing stress, optimizing sleep, and taking supplements and herbs.
To tackle stress, I like to focus on simple breathing exercises like the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It is the first thing I do in the morning and last thing I do in the evening to start and end my day relaxed. During the day I like to begin every hour by taking three deep breaths. This can be done at my desk, while with patients, or during a meeting. These two things offer me a mental and physical reset throughout the day that allow for increased circulation and decreased inflammation and stress.
Focusing on sleep is always a top priority for health in general. One important thing to do is set a regular sleeping and waking schedule to help regulate your circadian rhythms (this means waking and going to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends). It’s also good sleep hygiene to be free of all screens (TV, phone, tablet, etc.)for at least an hour (ideally 2) before bed. Instead, you might read a book, make a cup of tea or take a bath.
The final element of my regimen is taking supplements to support my immune system. I am particularly fond of an herbal formula we carry at AMH called Base Camp. Its base is a classical Chinese formula that has been used for centuries to ballast the immune system. To boost its immune regulating functions of the formula a mushroom complex known for its immune properties was added along with elderberry. This is a complete and balanced formula that is a great addition to the lifestyle changes mentioned above.
Stay healthy, know your triggers and please reach out to your acupuncturist if you need some support. Fill out the form below to get started.
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