Common Sense Approach to Cold and Flu Prevention
by Beau Miakinkoff, LMT, LMP,CA, IAC
There is a vast collection of information on the topic of cold and flu prevention. This article, however is an attempt to pull together some very basic steps that every individual should consider to help reduce the chances of contracting a cold or flu and ending up being sick for weeks and weeks. Who wants or needs that misery?
I actually came across a publication that stated “There are no known cures for colds and flu, so cold and flu prevention should be your goal.” I found myself truly laughing out loud. Obviously, I disagree with the first part of that statement and anyone with common sense can grasp the importance of the latter part of that statement. And here’s another statement I found that, to me was quite alarming: “The most effective way for preventing the flu is to get the flu shot.” Vaccines do not prevent a dang thing, least of all the flu. It is very well documented about how dangerous flu vaccines are. But that is another topic for another day.
Lets get back on track to discussing the common sense strategies you can employ to help prevent colds and the flu naturally. The top two most widely ignored basic hygiene causes of respiratory illnesses, whether from the common cold or influenza (“the flu”), are caused by viruses (sometimes referred to as “germs”) which are spread from person to person is by unclean hands and coughing or sneezing. Ergo, the list of common sense approaches begins with #1 and #2:
#1. Wash Your Hands. Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has the flu sneezes onto his or her hand and then touches the telephone, the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands often.
Let’s face it, you can’t always get to a sink when you need to wash germs off of your hands. So keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer handy is a good idea to help disinfect hands and prevent flu and cold viruses. One study of university students found that keeping hands clean with hand sanitizer reduced the incidence of upper respiratory illnesses. If you can’t get to a sink, rub a hand sanitizer onto your hands. Young Living’s Thieves Hand Sanitizer is excellent and non-toxic as some of the over the counter brands that contain alcohol or bleach and other skin sensitive chemicals. I keep a small bottle of the Thieves Hand Sanitizer in my purse, in my car and at my desk. washing your hands
#2 Don’t Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands. Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands often results in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- If you don’t have a tissue, use your shirt sleeve/upper arm rather than your hand. Unclean hands are a major way that germs get spread from person to person.
- Throw away used tissues in a waste basket.
- Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing, using either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand clean.
- Stay at home and rest if you are sick, both to help recover and to minimize spread to others.
#3 Don’t Touch Your Face. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds and a key way they pass colds on to their parents.
#4 Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly. Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood; makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood; and makes you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells. Exercise not only makes you feel great and helps you stay fit, but it also boosts your immune system and can help prevent cold and flu viruses from making you sick. Additionally, warding off extra weight is important for overall health, particularly when it comes to preventing colds and flu. A recent study found that overweight and obese people were more likely to fall ill or be injured, and researchers determined that higher BMI indicated an increased risk of injury and illness.
#5 Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals. “Phyto” means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill, and eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.
#6 Don’t Smoke. Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones. Even being around smoke profoundly zaps the immune system. Smoke dries out your nasal passages and paralyzes cilia. These are the delicate hairs that line the mucous membranes in your nose and lungs, and with their wavy movements, sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal passages. Experts contend that one cigarette can paralyze cilia for as long as 30 to 40 minutes.
#7 Cut Alcohol Consumption. Heavy alcohol use suppresses the immune system in a variety of ways. Heavier drinkers are more prone to initial infections as well as secondary complications. Alcohol also dehydrates the body — it actually causes more fluid loss from your system than it puts in.
#8 Relax. If you can teach yourself to relax, you may be able to rev up your immune system. There’s evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into action, your interleukins — leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses — increase in the bloodstream. Train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming. Do this 30 minutes a day for several months. Keep in mind, relaxation is a learnable skill, but it is not doing nothing. People who try to relax, but are in fact bored, show no changes in blood chemic
#9 Wipe Down Germy Areas. It’s probably common sense not to shake a sick person’s hands when you want to prevent a cold — but that’s far from the only place that you can pick up cold germs. A recent study looked for the presence of viruses on classroom surfaces and found that the flu virus was found on as many as 50 percent of surfaces. So take some time when you clean up your office or home to wipe down germy areas — light switches, doorknobs, your phone, your computer, and your TV remote — with your favorite cleaning product. (again, Thieves is an excellent choice) Minimizing exposure to germs can help prevent colds and the flu.
#10 Hands Off. Whether you’re nibbling on finger foods or you’re a nail biter, your hands have a habit of finding their way into your mouth, not to mention your nose, and eyes — all areas where germs can enter the body. And if you haven’t recently made it to a sink to scrub your hands, you’re inoculating yourself with those cold germs. To prevent cold and flu viruses, don’t touch “your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands,” says Dr. Elder. This is how germs get inside your body and grow into an upper respiratory infection. You should also encourage others not to touch their eyes, nose, or mouth with their hands to help prevent cold and flu viruses from spreading.
#11 Drink Plenty of Fluids. General good health practices keep your body strong and ready to fend off cold germs and the flu virus. And that includes drinking plenty of water. In fact, one recent study found that staying hydrated may boost a particular immune response to enable your body to better fight the viruses. Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of fluids, especially water, and by avoiding caffeinated drinks. Shoot for six to eight glasses of water per day, more if the weather is hot, says Elder.
#12 Take Probiotics. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that can help keep the body healthy and protect it from “bad” bacteria — and there’s even some thought that taking probiotics may help to prevent cold and flu viruses. In fact, a recent study found that regular use of probiotics kept people healthier and reduced the incidence of upper respiratory infections (like the common cold). Consider eating foods that contain probiotics or taking probiotic supplements to prevent flu.
#13 Take Vitamin D. Vitamin D switches on genes in macrophages that make antimicrobial peptides, antibiotics the body produces. Like antibiotics, these peptides attack and destroy bacteria; but unlike antibiotics, they also attack and destroy viruses. A creditable hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease. vitamin D, in appropriate doses, can prevent flu viruses from infecting us.
#15 Eat Healthy Foods. A healthy diet can strengthen your immune system — and help you prevent flu and cold viruses from attacking. “Fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins, and complex carbohydrates are the keys to good nutrition that will stoke your immune system,” says Elder. A recent study found that providing seniors with plenty of nutrients powered their immune systems and helped them to prevent the flu virus.
#16 Get Plenty of Sleep. Getting enough shut-eye each night offers bigger benefits than staying awake during a long afternoon at the office. Studies have found that getting enough sleep is essential for healthy immune function, and that insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality is associated with lowered immune function. So that means catching enough zzz’s at night can help prevent cold and flu viruses from slowing you down.
#17 Adopt the French Customs. The evidence for hands as a major route for transmitting infection is so strong that scientists at the London School of Hygiene recommend greeting friends the French way, with a peck on the cheek rather than a handshake. Or improvise, according to the situation. The next time someone approaches you with palm outstretched, try an “air kiss” or a manly hug instead.
#18 Disinfect Household Surfaces Regularly. Door handles, taps, television remote controls and refrigerator doors may all be repositories for germs; other culprits include telephones, computer keyboards, light switches, kitchen surfaces and cleaning cloths.
In the chance that you inevitably do catch a cold or flu, receiving a Raindrop Technique massage therapy treatment will greatly reduce your “down time”. Usually after a Raindrop treatment, you will find yourself virtually cold or flu free within a 24 hour period. I also offer a Cold and Flu bath salt soak to help you recover even faster. I make an essential oil blend that is ingested that will absolutely annihilate the germs causing the cold or flu. If taken at the first sign of a sore or scratchy throat, within a 12 hour period, you will be well.
My manta on flu vaccines is: educate before you vaccinate. The link I am providing here is an excellent source to start your education on this world-wide hoax….
Tags: Cold and Flu Prevention, flu vaccine education, Portland massage, Probiotics, Theives Cleaner, Thieves Hand Sanitizer, Vitamin D, WDT Original Raindrop Techinique massage therapy, White Dragon Therapies
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