Take these steps to improve your immune resilience this autumn
If you subscribe to my monthly newsletter, you’ll know that in the most recent edition I wrote about the resurgence of Covid 19.
For those who don’t receive it, latest figures released at the end of August show that there were more than 230 recorded cases of the new virus variant Pirola in the UK. That’s up from 40 in July, and the expectation is that as the weather becomes cooler and damper this figure will continue to rise rapidly.
There is currently no suggestion at all that we will see a return to pandemic levels of infection, or, indeed, anything remotely close to it – but a 600 per cent rise in cases in four weeks at what is traditionally the driest and warmest time of the year does seem to indicate that Covid is still very much part of our day-to-day lives.
The government is now rolling out a new vaccine campaign for the most vulnerable people if they want to participate. Many do, many don’t – and I’m not here to press the argument one way or the other.
That said, it is definitely important to take whatever steps that we feel are appropriate to us as individuals to safeguard our health as we begin our descent into winter – especially if you consider yourself to be at high risk of viral or bacterial infection, or if the impact of an infection will seriously compromise your health.
That isn’t just about protecting ourselves against Covid, which is pretty unpleasant even for those whose general health and fitness is good, but also for the battery of other conditions we typically see in greater numbers at this time of year.
From flu to norovirus, coughs and colds to sore throats, and everything in between, looking after our own immune systems properly is increasingly important during the colder and darker months.
Acupuncture can be excellent at helping your body to protect itself from these health threats by:
- Helping to reduce stress and promote relaxation
- Helping to regulate the body’s natural anti-inflammatory immune response
- Influencing the production and activity of immune cells, such as white blood cells and cytokines.
- Improving blood circulation, which enhances the delivery of immune cells and nutrients to various parts of the body.
- Balancing the body’s energy (qi) and restoring its natural flow, which assists in strengthening overall health
But acupuncture works best when its beneficial effects are consolidated through making better lifestyle choices.
So, here are 8 things you can do right now, in addition to booking acupuncture treatment, to give your natural immune system the best possible chance of keeping you fit and well this autumn and winter:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats
- Ensure you get essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and antioxidants
- Stay hydrated:
- Drink plenty of water to help maintain proper bodily functions, including immune system function
- Get adequate sleep:
- Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to allow your body to rest and regenerate
- Manage stress:
- Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, so practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises
- Take regular exercise:
- Engage in regular physical activity, which can enhance immune function and overall health
- You don’t need to work out furiously – anything that raises the heart rate is good for you – but before starting any exercise regimen, do be sure to check with your GP if you’ve got underlying health conditions or you have been inactive for a long period of time
- Maintain a healthy weight:
- Obesity can negatively impact immune function, so aim to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise
- Practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol:
- Smoking and alcohol consumption can weaken the immune system. If you smoke, seek help to quit, and drink alcohol in moderation
By forming good lifestyle habits and enjoying the benefits of regular acupuncture sessions that create a physiological environment in which your immune system can thrive, you should find you are more likely to avoid infections – or, at least, are able to mitigate and manage the symptoms better.
If you’d like to know more about how acupuncture and a better approach to your lifestyle can help you to stay fit and healthy over the coming months, please get in touch for an informal and totally confidential chat.