Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. The predictability of flu season has been infinitely complicated by the COVID epidemic that we are facing today. In this instance, prevention may be the best cure to avoid unnecessary self-quarantine or dealing with the awfulness that is the flu.
Seasonal Wellness according to Traditional Chinese Medicine
Chinese medicine encourages wholeness, not only within the self, but with the world around you. Traditional Chinese Medicine demonstrates that it is easiest on our bodies and our minds to work with the change of seasons by adjusting our diets, exercise, and daily habits.
When the seasons change, they can predictably bring a change in the environment such as higher pollen count in the Spring, scorching days in the Summer, or the windy chill of Winter. Aside from changing the types of clothes we wear, Chinese Medicine suggests we also change our mindest, habits, and diet.
As we near Flu Season in the Fall, and with the return of students to school, we can absolutely expect to start seeing some sniffles and coughs. During this current pandemic, it’s best to prep for flu season now, in order to avoid potential quarantine.
Flu Season Starts Right Now
We don’t really start seeing a spike in flu cases until late November. However, if you want to be active about prevention and avoid flu season altogether, you have to start thinking of flu season as starting right now. We are tailing the end of Summer which means nights start getting cooler and you can definitely expect a chilly day or two in the coming weeks.
Chinese Medicine associates Autumn with the Lungs – a Yin organ.
An out-of-balance Yin energy is often associated with emotional awareness. When out of balance, Yin energy can result in depression, anxiety, melancholy, or stress. Developing strong habits of QiGong (or any regular exercise) and meditation now, can help balance the Yin and allow you to ease into Autumn, avoiding dips in energy and wellness.
Autumn brings pungent flavors.
Seasonal foods are available to us year-round, which means we rarely take the time to adjust our diets to the change of season. But eating seasonally means you are eating foods that are grown in their peak time. You can also shift your diet to help rebalance your gut and immune system to fight off the cold.
Sour fermented foods, warming spices, fiber-rich fruits & veggies, and starchy vegetables can provide a wide range of vital nutrients that your body needs to maintain balance and immunity in the coming months. Start planning your dietary shifts now and experiment with new foods. Here is a great list of Autumn foods to incorporate into your diet.
Recognizing the Symptoms of the Flu
The flu often comes on very quickly resulting in a range of symptoms including:
- runny or stuffy nose
- body aches & chills
- potentially vomiting, diarrhea, earaches, and sinus infections
Knowing the Difference Between COVID & the Flu
The flu and COVID are both respiratory diseases which results in very similar symptoms. All of the above listed symptoms can also be expected if you’ve contracted COVID. COVID also typically results in a loss of taste or smell; however, this can also occur if you have a stuffy nose.
According to the CDC, significant and serious symptoms associated with COVID include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms (including the flu list) then you should immediately see a doctor and get tested for COVID. They may suggest that you self quarantine until proper diagnosis.
Discovering Self-Care & Total Wellness
Listening to your body is the first (and sometimes most difficult) lesson to learn when trying to navigate self-care and wellness. It is so easy to get busy with life and forget to take some time to self assess how our health is doing.
A successful habit setting technique says to involve your community in your efforts. Discover what your goals are and find someone to help you stay accountable to those goals. Stick with a routine that you know supports your goals. Routines are essential to keeping the work involved in a goal at the top of our minds.
If you experience the flu every year and are just sick of it then make this the year you commit to preparing to avoid the flu with healthy eating, meditation, self-reflection, and sticking to a health routine that supports your immune system. You can do this!
If you have additional questions about Traditional Chinese Medicine or want other suggestions on how to implement healthy immune routines in your day-to-day, schedule an appointment with one of our acupuncturists. We have strong backgrounds in Chinese Medicine and a long history of success implementing acupuncture, herbalism, and dietary adjustments to see real change. Get in touch.