Some people will get a flu shot, some won’t, and others torture themselves trying to decide. These tips are designed to invigorate your immune system regardless of your decision. Understand that only about 10% of “flu” is actually influenza and therefore addressed by the flu shot. This is based on CDC reports citing the number of specimens submitted to labs for testing that were confirmed to be influenza, regardless of type. Relying solely on a shot that is only designed to address 10% of the problem is a bad bet if your goal is to stay healthy and happy.
- You (may) have between now and Halloween to prepare. Every year, I see the incidence of flu-like sickness explode about a week after Halloween. I suspect it’s related to the immune-suppressing effect of our yearly sugar orgy. Oct 31st is also the start of the yearly holiday marathon that extends through New Year’s. Now is the time to build your defenses.
- Your immune system is an engine that needs fuel. Seasonal veggies to make sure you include are kale and collards, black eye or purple hull type peas, winter squash, rutabagas, and sweet potatoes, to name a few. Here in Alabama, there’s no shortage of “tailgate” food around football season, but it’s not going to fuel that engine when you need it, so listen to your momma and eat your veggies.
- Your immune system is an engine that needs maintenance. A good balance of rest and exercise is important to keep your immune system (and all the rest of you) well maintained and prepared for the future. If you’ve been letting that slide a little lately, I suggest regular walks outside because the weather is gorgeous and naps. Check out the Birmingham Art Crawl if you need some inspiration to get out!
- Your immune system is an engine that needs no interference. Behind the scenes, your immune system is controlled and regulated by your nervous system. The effect of accumulated stresses, not just physical, but also environmental and emotional, on your body, can and do cause interference with the function of your nervous system. This interference, or vertebral subluxation, disturbs your ability to heal and regulate, functions critical to the immune system. If you were going on a long trip, you’d have a mechanic check your car even though it seemed fine. You need to be checked by a chiropractor for vertebral subluxation if you want the best protection.
A chiropractor may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to flu season, but it was our success with helping people overcome the flu during the great flu pandemic of 1918 that helped establish chiropractic as an effective means of getting the sick well and helping the well to stay that way. But that’s a story for another time.