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To Your Health

Cold and Flu Season - Yuck

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10/01/2011 - Hello again! Welcome to another season of stuff from your friendly neighborhood chiropractor. Since this will be printed in October, I will be focusing on preventing (as best we can) getting sick or at least reducing the frequency of illness. This will be done with emphasis on prevention -- not what to do when you're sick.

First, why we are susceptible for getting colds, flus and such? Let's look at our body. Is it functioning the way it's supposed to be? Let's be honest, probably not. The most important part of the body in dealing with illness is our immune system. If our immune system is depressed the viruses and bacteria will have an open invitation to infect our body.

What suppresses our immune system? A lousy diet, lack of exercise and ( number one in my book) STRESS. Stress can come in many different forms. Examples: You're mentally stressed in your job, watching the news, reading the newspaper, worrying about everything, young children stressing about school, be it tests or bullies. Physical stress includes such things as overworking, not getting enough rest and/or quality of rest. Anexample of toxic stress would be exposure to noxious chemicals such as petroleum products or even perfumes and colognes. What these different types of stresses do is compromise your sympathetic nervous system, which if you remember, is our "fight or flight" mechanism. Increased pressure to our sympathetic nervous system will depress our immune system resulting in being vulnerable to illness. This is what a chiropractic treatment does -- it decreases the increase in the sympathetic pressure thus helping your body get the immune system firing back up

Let's talk about our diet. I hear the groans already about this one, but let's be realistic. If you want to stay healthy you have to give your body the proper materials. The soda and chip life style with occasional piece of protein will not ensure you a proper vaccination from visiting the doctor. It is also important that during the current stressful lifestyle that our forefathers did not promise us but our politicians delivered, it costs a lot less to eat correctly than it does to put out the money at the local pharmacy for the antibiotics, antihistamines, cough syrup, etc.

How about supplements? Yes, it would be wise consider taking 5000 IU vitamin D daily as well as glutathione, one of the most important if not the most important antioxidants that the body makes (in actuality you're taking the materials to build glutathione). A good multivitamin also helps. But remember this is not an excuse for a bad diet; make sure you have plenty of vegetables and fruit. Also drink plenty of water, not flavored water but the real stuff. It's important to keep the body hydrated.

Now how about some simple things like exercising. There are studies that have supportive the benefits of exercising for overall health but the main thing I'm emphasizing is getting out in the fresh air, cold or not, for a short walk (15 minutes to 30 minutes daily). If you can't, jogging or biking will reinvigorate you, but get the fresh air into the lungs since you don't get that much in the controlled climate of an office building. There are those who say they can't be out in the cold because of one reason or another -- well it better be a darn good excuse because you're missing out on something good. Maybe for medical reasons you may need a mask or wheelchair but try to get out if you can.

Now let's wrap this up. I'm sure you have been taught since grade school about washing your hands and for goodness sakes keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and your eyes. This will reduce the direct self-infections. Be aware of being in crowds because of coughing, sneezing and the unavoidability of touching doors, chairs, etc. This is a problem since children and some adults attend school, hence the importance of diet, exercising and trying to control stress. "Yeah right how?" you say. Well how about eliminating some TV like the newsor stock report. Avoid reading too much of the paper. Spend more time with kid -- maybe taking a walk with them or playing with them is a nice idea. Jjust try to keep a healthy environment for you and your family. Include these components and hopefully you can have many healthy days. Well gotta go. See you next month.

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Chris Walsh

42 Degrees North

307 Orthodontics
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