Ah yes, winter is quickly approaching. The air is getting cooler, the snow will soon be falling, and, unfortunately, colds and infections will become more common. Luckily, there are many ways to help protect ourselves from these viruses and bacteria.

The virus for colds, the flu, and sinusitis is transmitted from person to person. It occurs either through the air, when we breathe it in, or by touch. When someone with a cold coughs or sneezes, the air can become full of very fine droplets carrying this virus. When another person breathes in this air, the virus can quickly infect the person as it penetrates into their body and attaches itself to their respiratory cells. It then reprograms these cells and quickly multiplies.getty_rf_photo_of_soapy_hands.jpg

The best medicine is always prevention.

A few simple hygiene rules can help to keep these infections away. Eating well, washing your hands regularly, exercising regularly, and keeping your immune system strong are the pillars of prevention in the winter months.

Acupuncture is very effective in building and maintaining a strong immune system.

If the immune system is strong, one’s own body will easily take care of any virus or bacteria that tries to invade the organism. For the best effects, a couple acupuncture appointments in November and early December are suggested. This way the body has time to adapt and strengthen before the usual cold and flu season. People who regularly catch a few colds or sinus infections during the winter are the best candidates for this approach, but anyone who is looking to prevent infections rather than deal with them as they arise can benefit.

Another interesting way to help prevent infections is the use of aromatherapy. First of all, it is important to choose essential oils that are antiviral, antibacterial, and have expectorant and mucolytic agents. Expectorant and mucolytic agents promote the drainage of mucus from the lungs. A few essential oils to consider are: clove, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and pine Sylvester. The essential oils can be diffused in the air with a diffuser, which helps to purify the air. The oils can also be added to a vegetable oil and rubbed directly onto the skin. It is important to use oils of good quality, preferably with an organic certification, and consult with a professional knowledgeable in essential oils before using them.

From personal experience I would also highly recommend organic oregano oil. This oil is ingested by diluting a few drops in water. I had the start of an itchy throat in September after my daughter’s return to school, and was successfully able to stop the symptoms from worsening thanks to an acupuncture treatment and oregano oil.

Consulting with a doctor or another health-care professional is very important as well as they can help to evaluate the gravity and evolution of the illness.

newcoldfluchart.pngThis is a nice chart to compare the symptoms of a cold or flu.

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