I've been meaning to write a good length newsletter about what really works to prevent COLDS, FLUS, BACTERIAL INFECTIONS, and clear up some common misconceptions about how you get an infection. I'd like to tell you what you should do, and what you should not do, what supplements you should take, and give you some reasons why you get sick, and therefore how to prevent sickness.
Whether you work in the office with multiple people or work at home alone, it does not matter; you can still get sick.
You take a trip to the supermarket one day, you notice the cashier is sick, and you are afraid of catching something because she practically sneezed on you.
It's not so pleasant thinking about it, but these bugs transmit via air droplets so small you can't see them.
What other places are a great way adults can be exposed to a virus or bacteria?
Air Plane Trips, and the Hospital!
Every time you go to a hospital, you can acquire an infection.
Now I want to avert you to an infection a lot of people carry, and that is possibly non-symptomatic: Streptococcus A.
In the United States alone, there are several million cases of strep throat annually.
What do you do if you suspect you have a Strep A infection and have a fever or feel unwell? Go to see your Physician!
It's the invasive Strep infections which are very dangerous and can require immediate medical attention.
But if you believe your body is just carrying the Strep bacteria (or Staph), and you are not exhibiting any overt symptoms like fever but feel low energy, lethargy, mild sore throat, and you are feeling like your body is just keeping it at bay and wish your body could kill it, then you can get one of Hanna's Vibropathics for Strep, or the one for Staph and rescue yourself from being in the Strep/Staph zone!
People seem to carry these bacteria at the back of their throat, and pass it on to individuals when they are in close proximity. Many people are carriers and do not know it.
On another note about susceptibility, I recently worked with a client in the warmer Florida climate who was highly susceptible to infections despite the warmer climate.
We were working on some deeper causes, but alas, one day a co-worker came into an office meeting with a blazing cold. Not a good decision.
When I inquired, I found out via email after the fact that the infection took hold, that she had been in bed for 3 days! Incapacitated. Debilitated.
Then she asked me for some suggestions.
Before I go on to make food/dietary, medicinal suggestions, let me tell you about what I think is the #1 unknown cause of susceptibility:
Eating Blood Type Diet, “AVOID” foods which disturb your immune system.
I'll give you an example of what I mean.
I am a Blood Type A. I'm supposed to eat Tofu, and avoid red meat. But I use my knowledge as a Natural Health Practitioner, and my bodily awareness to provide some common sense in how strictly I follow the Blood Type Diet. Some of the decisions on what I eat are based on my own heritage, and knowing my body very well. For example, I eat Cheese frequently because it provides a good absorbable source of B12 for me.
I also do eat chicken, and I enjoy it.
I eat Red Meat about 1X a week, but I make it in baked parmesan-stuffed meatballs, and thus make it very digestible.
I'm not big on Tofu, but I eat it out at a Chinese Restaurant about once every two months. It's not a staple in my diet.
But One of my BIG AVOID foods is Chick Peas, also known as Garbanzo beans.
It's one thing to tell someone to avoid a food, but it is another thing altogether to understand how BAD it can make them feel!
Unfortunately there are many people who are regularly consuming the wrong "blood-type" foods disturbing their body's natural health, perhaps exacerbating arthritis and possibly instigating immune system problems, fatigue, and just asking for viruses and bacterial infections to take hold whenever they can. Eating those wrong foods lets your guard down temporarily, and can slowly degrade your health!
So, Here's my story about chick peas: Several Christmases ago, I decided to forgo this AVOID rule, and in the middle of the cold December weather, I purchased and ate some refrigerated Hummus. Hmmmm. Good right? I dared consume it twice in 2 weeks! I was never a big fan of chick peas, although I enjoyed them somewhat in my adolescence as they were a heritage food I grew up with.
And I sure learned my lesson…
The SECOND time I consumed it, I got a moderate sore throat in about 1 hour! Only within 1 HOUR After CONSUMING the HUMOUS!
NOW THAT WAS REALLY SCARY!
That is the kind of sore throat, that starts at the beginning of a serious infection.
People often remember from childhood, or adolescence (and I do too), when in the 3-5 days following the first sign of a sore throat, they had perhaps a full blown cough, and their throat became incredibly sore. I remember an infection in my adolescence where I was begging for relief and not getting much at all. My throat felt like it had razors cutting it!
Luckily that December a few years ago, I knew about this possible difficulty with this AVOID FOOD (because of the Blood Type diet), and decided no more Hummus for me!
It was not worth me getting sick! And I did not get sick!
Then I finally knew how much of a detrimental AVOID food, chick peas really was for me! No denying that proof!
This was one of several dramatic Food Encounters in my life which created great conviction in utilizing the Blood Type Diet, written by Dr. D'Adamo, to increase one's health.
Conversely for me (being Blood Type A), I already know that peanuts are an extremely powerful infection fighter. I just haven't eaten them in a long time because of the invisible health degrading myco-toxins that may be commonly on them. You could say on the one hand they are powerfully "good" for me, and on the other hand I'm intolerant of them.
So, what are your AVOID foods?
I can't tell you all of them here, but Here's a link to purchase one of the Blood Type Diet Books on Amazon.com. Dr D’Adamo’s Blood Type Diet Books on Amazon.com.
Having worked with a Blood Type B client recently, I want to also mention that Chicken can be a real difficulty for this Blood Type.
If you are a Blood Type B, and are eating chicken, and you are having some difficulty with your body, I would remove it immediately.
I know this is not easy to do, because it is available everywhere; it's easy to find and easy enough to cook, but it's one of the best decisions you can make.
Just make sure you are getting enough daily protein!
There is definitely controversy about using the Blood Type Diet in medicine, but if you are a person who has low immunity, and/or get colds and flu's easily, I can guarantee you that removing those AVOID foods will change your life for the good!
You may even drop a few pounds too.
I'm not saying you should avoid your AVOID foods all the time! I don't avoid tomatoes all the time, or tomato sauce all the time. But I do occasionally eat cooked tomato sauce and rarely tomatoes.
What I'd like to point out about the Blood Type Diet, is that as people get older, those unknown "blood type" avoid foods are manifested as “Allergic” foods! And strongly allergic foods they usually become!
To give you another poignant example: Almost every Blood Type O client I've ever worked with has told me that they are highly allergic to Dairy. These people would have to be given a large sum of money to eat diary! It just makes them feel so bloated, and so very rotten! And Dairy: yogurt, and almost all cheeses except a few are completely on the AVOID list for Blood Type O's! And those of us who can eat, and enjoy good quality yogurt for example just know how good it is for us.
So, avoiding whole wheat/Gluten is not the only food you should be prudently avoiding if you are a Blood Type O who wants to be healthy.
Well, Enough talk about the blood Type diet.
Lets talk about cold's/flus's and the Spleen. Sometimes when you get a cold or flu, the best thing you can do is to take care of your SPLEEN. If your Spleen goes down in Energy, you are in big trouble!
I used to have this motto stuck in my mind when I was a teenager: “Eat oranges when you have a cold.” I thought they were a significant source of Vitamin-C and the cold or flu would go away sooner.
When I was a young teenager, and I got a cold, I would mostly drink refrigerated Apple Juice though. Doctor recommended. Great source of Vitamin-C. And the sweetness is good for the SPLEEN!
But having expertise on the cooling nature of foods, and living in a Northern Cold Climate, I have to be very careful about eating oranges or other raw fruits if I want to avoid catching a cold or flu or making it worse.
After all, oranges are not grown in any northern State, or Canada. And what I am essentially saying is that they can be too cooling. They cool your body off. They can drive a cold deeper into your body. Ginger, garlic on the other hand are warming, so you can cook ginger or garlic into soups to help. Some people use a stick of cinnamon in very warm water to regularly warm their bodies in the winter.
So, Oranges on the one hand are very alkalizing and this can help your body if you are well, but if you are exposed to cold wind, and you then have oranges, or bananas, or grapes without thinking about it, that consumption may just be the straw that breaks the camels back, and literally drives the COLD deeper into your body, and gives a virus an opportunity to take hold. And then your Spleen and digestion can begin to be called into play and have a rough time. Of course eating ice-cream is just asking for problems too.
Now let me explain this whole concept of how we get colds and flus to you in another way:
There is also controversy again in Medicine surrounding whether a person can pick up a cold virus by exposing themselves to frigid or cold wet weather, or constant exposure to air conditioning.
Why is it then, that Grandma used to say, "Dress warmly!", "Wear a scarf!", "Don't forget your hat!" and "Get Out of those wet clothes, or you will catch the death of you!"? Was it Common sense or unproven folklore?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has studied colds and flus centuries ago, and how they come into and disturb the body. TCM would beg to differ about how a COLD pathogen actually enters the body and weakens it.
TCM would dictate that we protect our upper back, and the neck area because COLD and COLD WIND can actually enter the meridians at the upper back/neck, and disturb the health of your body.
You see, we have these meridians which circulate our internal energy and which have exit points on our skin.
Does Medicine really understand or accept that?
So, you must cover your neck and upper back well with a scarf if necessary. Turtle necks are good too.
When that "cold wind evil" invades, if your body cannot throw out the COLD because it is not strong enough (meaning you don't have the constitution, or you are under a lot of stress or your vitality is temporarily weak because you are exhausted) you are more susceptible to getting sick. If you don't go to bed early, (and treat your spleen nicely) and instead stay up late a day or two in a row, don't take good care of yourself, deplete your energy by freely giving to other people, you may find yourself sick in a day or two early in the morning upon awakening. Then you may feel like a simple draft can really debilitate you and keep you unwell, and you may find yourself with chills, and be forced to stay in bed under the covers. And so you must rest.
There are also other entry points to COLD getting into the body. Another is VIA THE FEET. So, walking barefoot, or just with socks on a cold floor in the winter, even though you may feel it is not cold enough and you think you have really warm insulating socks on, can weaken your body considerably to the point you could get sick. You have to wear warm socks, and well isolating slippers. One of my popular web pages: Walking Barefoot on Floor Causes Illness discusses this.
If you also want to prevent colds and flus, and treat it before it takes hold, also try doing a simple 5 Minute Chinese Foot Reflexology message. It can work the Energetic magic, and keep your Lung's strong!
Now here's a shocker: Eating too many raw fruits is often counter-productive to recovering quickly when you are older, and your cold or flu has demanded a lot of spleen involvement. I always used to think raw fruits (uncooked) are the best for you, because the doctor said so. But prolonging recovery is especially true when your digestion lags or is very sluggish because of a cold and you eat too much raw foods. Everyone's digestion gets at least a little sluggish during a terrible cold or flu.
This is because your Spleen involvement makes you feel miserable. You feel very weak, weak muscles, and your stomach/digestion is very weak. It makes you want to go to bed to rest because you can't even stand on your own legs. You lose your appetite in a big way because your Spleen doing its job fighting off the virus!
Traditional Chinese Medicine explains that the Stomach and Spleen work together, in harmony if you will. The SPLEEN plays a large part in digestion.
So, when your Spleen gets weak, your digestion gets sluggish and therefore lags. Food feels very, very heavy, and indigestible in the stomach. You would demand too much from your Spleen: more than it can give to eat the same foods the weak before you got sick. Remember when you had a cold, or the flu, and you felt that your digestion was so weak, you could not even eat so much solid food?
So, one thing the doctor was right about was eating light!
That is Spleen involvement. The Spleen in TCM.
And that also means that the Spleen does not like raw fruits, juices, nuts, and other cooling foods like yogurt simply because it is too cooling. Yes. Nuts, like Almonds, Cashews, and Filberts, Brazil Nuts!
But what you should be eating during a cold is broths, soups, with some flesh protein in them, a little chicken if you can, protein powders (not whey based) and cooked apples, and well cooked veggies (if you feel like it). If you don't feel like making a soup for yourself because it is too much work, bake some chicken breasts, or buy a rotisserie chicken. Eat some protein.
In fact eating an appetizing rotisserie chicken may be much better for you than eating fruits all the time!
Always Remember though that simple table Sugar is enemy number one! You've probably heard the saying in Natural Health "Eat a Teaspoon of sugar, and suppress your immunity for several hours!"? That store bought pumpkin pie looks good, but have you any idea how much simple sugar it has in it? And you also can't keep drinking soda pop, and the like, and expect to ward off every cold, flu, and bacteria coming your way with all the sugar in it?
You should also stay away from dairy, simply because dairy will cause your lymph system to work too hard and get congested. Your lymph fluid is the clean up and fighting system in your body for the viruses, and bacteria.
So, raw foods like apples, oranges, bananas may not be the best for you when you are sick. They can drive THE COLD deeper into your body and stress your Spleen.
But you still have to take what I'm saying to you with a grain of salt. You have to eat, and you have to use your intuition.
Maybe you should have an a protein meal, and eat an Orange afterward, but not too much, and then get some vitamin-c from a supplement.
I would recommend a balance between a few raw fruits, more cooked fruits, and more on flesh protein, or plant protein, but probably not the steak, unless you can really digest it!
If a COLD or FLU is prolonged, and you are over-doing RAW FRUITS without understanding the digestion weakness, then reaching for some Zinc Supplement, high doses of Vitamin-C, or Echinachea is not really the answer!
If you've ever had a cold or flu, and eating raw fruit made you feel worse, you will know exactly what I am talking about.
Oranges then, may not be ok for your blood type, but there is most likely an insufficient amount of vitamin C in them anyways.
And Bananas may be the most cooling, and worst food you can eat during an infection.
So, eating these foods in excess in a cold season such as winter, when your body is not "warmly" balanced may be the way your body gets weakened!
In fact juices are a no-no too.
First of all, Juices if need to be consumed, should be at room temperature or warmed up. That may be ok in moderation. Consuming them should be done carefully.
Yes, they are a source of vitamin-C, but raising your blood sugar and pushing your pancreas to work is not such a good idea during deep sickness.
You may still need the potassium of course, so by all means have some.
It could help get your appetite back.
A rather unsuitable juice however would be cranberry based (because it is too cooling) It would probably contain too much bad sugar as well, unless it is the naturally sweetened. Stay away from corn syrup too. And since pomegranates are becoming so popular, I'd be remiss in not mentioning that pomegranate juice, may be the most cooling.
The one good thing about Apple Juice is that is it already sweet without anything added.
There comes a point in any infection though, when you have to decide am I getting better, or do I need assistance?
One of the first signs of your body dealing with any bug trying to take hold is stiff muscles on both sides of your neck. This is not neck stiffness when you are sitting at a desk too long and your neck muscles are strained. This neck pain is an sign from you body telling you to take better care, and do something differently.
As well, does your Spleen, or Lungs, or Digestion need assistance?
Do you need antibiotics, or a more powerful herbal combination, or prescribed Chinese Herbs which can help boost your Spleen, your immunity, and return your appetite to normal.
You also need to also ask yourself: Are you at risk for pneumonia, or bronchitis?
Do you need to go and see an acupuncturist, or Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor to treat what you have and then look after your susceptibility?
Do you need to take something at work, every day to boost your immune system and be well?
Do you need to get to bed earlier, such as after 9pm to give your body more rest, and help your spleen?
Finally here are a few other helpful tips:
Don't Eat food that is COLD, that is colder than room temperature, therefore straight out of the fridge and not properly warmed up.
If you are going to drink juice, drink it after it is warmed up slightly in a pot. It may not taste as great, but your Spleen will thank you!
Don't drink COLD water. Drink at least room temperature, or warmer water.
Don't consume green drinks, green powders, or meal replacements or protein supplements which contain green powders in them, because they are too cooling.
Don't make smoothies with frozen fruits, like blueberries and then drink them cold.
Do Drink Warm Teas to boost your warmth, but be careful of sweating and then opening your pores too much.
Don't Take Acidophilus or Probiotic pills during an infection like a COLD or FLU unless you really know what you are doing.
Using cinnamon as a spice is ok, it is warming, and very helpful. But using hot spices which you are not sure of, can make you sweat, maybe make you worse, and perhaps disrupt your digestion.
Getting an infection, whether it be bacterial, or viral is not all about just getting exposed to some bug that can take hold in your body and wreak its havoc.
Susceptibility comes from the foods we eat, how much we rest, how well we sleep, how easily the COLD WIND disturbs your body, how strong our immunity is, and how strong our organs are (in particular lungs, and spleen).
It is always wise to have some kind of supplement to take to assist or boost your immune system, and keep your digestion in top form.
Hanna Published Help for the common cold in one of her books, writing that Cooking Cloves in Apple Juice, would help the cold.
The reason, is the sweatness of the apple juice is good for the spleen, and is warmed up with the Cloves (which are warming to the body), and are also anti-infective. Isn't it amazing how Natural Medicine is the only one that can help with this combination.
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