How to Fight the Flu and WIN

Because flu viruses are always changing, you may be protected against one strain and still come down with another, even if you got the vaccine. One of the best ways to protect yourself against swine flu is to maintain a healthy immune system. That means eating healthy, maintaining emotional, physical and spiritual balance, establishing good sleep patterns, getting fresh air and sunlight, and practicing good hygiene.

The National Vaccine Information Center suggests:

  1. Wash your hands often.
  2. Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  3. If you are sick, avoid close contact with others.
  4. Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
  5. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
  6. Get plenty of sleep.
  7. Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C (citrus fruits) and vitamin D (cod liver oil).
  8. Spend a few minutes a day in sunlight to help your body make and store vitamin D.
  9. When you are well, exercise regularly.
  10. Lower your stress level.
  11. Consider including chiropractic adjustments, homeopathic and naturopathic remedies, acupuncture and other holistic alternatives in your wellness or healing plan.

Probiotics

A healthy immune system depends on a digestive system that functions well. Probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, play a critical role in maintaining and enhancing the health of the intestinal tract, which is directly associated with immune system health. The probiotic supplement should contain at least four different species of beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, Acidophilus, Entercoccus, and Bifidobacterium.

Echinacea (purple coneflower)

This herb can stimulate the immune system. A recent Canadian study found that Echinacea promoted the activity of key factors in the immune system, including macrophages and interferon.

Garlic

Research shows that garlic stimulates the infection-fighting white cells and enhances antibody production. Garlic also is an antioxidant. These benefits are usually credited to garlic’s sulfur-containing compounds, sulfides and allicin. A suggested dose is 250 mg twice daily of a supplement containing extract of allium sativum standardized to 0.6 percent allicin.

Zinc

This mineral increases the production of disease-fighting white cells and also helps these cells release more antibodies. A recommended daily dose is 15 to 25 mg.

Ginger

Ginger has antiviral properties, and when you use it as a tea, it also helps break up mucus and congestion.

We’re here to help you Get Well & Stay Well. Let us know what we can do for YOU!

 – Dr. Michele Nickels

How To Avoid Winter Injuries

Winter is usually a long and hard season for most people no matter what the weather is, but in icy or  snowy areas, your body may be expected work extra hard at times during months where most people are more sedative.   Taking a few simple steps can help you prevent winter injuries and accidents such as falls, soft tissue strain/sprains, and heart attacks.

There are always excuses to not exercise, but for the winter months it is more important to stick to an exercise routine.  Cold and snowing winter weather may deter you from outdoor activity, but keeping in shape with good cardiovascular health can help you avoid over exertion injuries and heart attacks during activities like shoveling.

Exercise can also be the best thing to help beat seasonal depression. Before partaking in any winter sports, it is best to take a few minutes to stretch.   Performing 20 squats, lunges and/or push-ups is enough to warm up your muscles so that when you are outside in the cold, they are less likely to get pulled.  It is also beneficial to wear layers of clothing so that you can keep your body warm, but able to remove or add a layer as necessary. Be prepared for anything!

When traveling by car, bring your coat and make sure to keep a set of hat and gloves available in case of an emergency.  Bring along a pair of rubber soled shoes and/or boots to help prevent falls on the ice and to keep your feet free of frost bite if you were to get stranded. There are always newer and better items being developed every day, everything from ergonomic shovels to new clothing material to help ward off most injuries that can occur during the winter season.  These items may be worth the investment especially if you have had previous injuries that have left your body less than 100%.

If you are recovering from an injury or have not taken any of the previous advice, it is always best to remember to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks during any winter activities.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Stay Safe, Warm & Healthy!

 – Dr. Angie English, DC, CACCP

Look Your Best with Medical Grade Skin Care

Chandra Houser, Integrative Family Wellness Center’s Massage Therapist, is now a Licensed Aesthetician and we are extremely excited to introduce our Pharmaceutical Grade Product Line – SkinCeuticals!

Chandra will continue to massage; however, doing corrective skin care has become a gifted passion.  Chandra will be available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Jennifer Smith is also joining the Integrative Family Wellness Center staff to offer Advanced Skin Care.  Jennifer has been working in the beauty industry for 30 years licensed in Cosmetology.  She is a 2012 graduate of Mequon-Thiensville School of Aesthetics and is certified in Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels and Advanced Skin Care Treatments.  Jennifer’s goal is to help “You” feel confident in your appearance through treatments centered around state of art medical grade skin care products, SkinCeuticals.