3 Tips To Prevent Cold and Flu – Not What You Expected
Articles on how to prevent a cold and how to prevent the flu are everywhere. Everyone has advice on vitamins, nutrition, rest, and hydration. Hand washing and sneezing into your sleeve are foremost in everyone’s conversation. However there are even more tricks – some of which you may have never heard before.
Think of your body as having to deal with irritants on a constant – day to day basis. If you are in great health, you can deal with a few irritants easily. If you are under stress, the irritants become stressors in themselves. By finding ways to reduce these irritants, you can significantly enhance your immune reactions – allowing the body to react and heal as it was designed to do.
Tip 1 – Clean your sinuses. Well, you clean your hands and you brush your teeth – but have you cleaned your sinuses today? Our sinuses are 4 paired cavities inside the skull with a very big job. As we inhale air, the sinuses act as filters, taking out the pollutants in the air such as pollen, dust, germs, etc. they also humidify the air so that by the time it gets to the lungs, the air is ready to be exposed to the membranes that exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. If you use a vacuum cleaner with a bag, think of the sinuses as that bag. Now just think how much junk they accumulate in a day.
Well functioning sinuses are one of our best defenses against cold and flu viruses, so we want to have then performing at tip top capacity. One way of doing that is by using a neti pot. These typically look like little Aladin’s lamps and are filled with water and a pinch of salt – then the water is allowed to run through the sinuses and out into the sink. It really is easy, and it works well.
Tip 2 – Clean your hair. Just imagine through the day how many particles of dust, dirt and pollutants sticks to your hair (and yes, this includes eye brows and facial hair such as mustaches or beards). If you do not wash your hair before going to bed, the accumulation of the day will, by force of gravity, fall to your pillow. I don’t know about you, but my face is turning all over that pillow through the night. So the simple effort to clean your hair before bedtime will prevent your eyes, nose and mouth from taking in those pollutants for 8 hours or so that you sleep.
Tip 3 – Clean your bedroom. Sound like something your mother would tell you? Remember the hours of sleep are the most effective portions of the healing cycle. If you add irritants to your bedroom, it is like trying to clean a car in a sand storm. First, make sure your mattress and pillows are clean and fresh. It is surprising how many people will sleep on 10 year old pillows where the stuffing comes out as dust. Second, check to make sure the fabrics in the room are not accumulating and holding lint, pollen, dead skin cells, etc. And last – try a good filter to keep the air in the bedroom extra clean. You will be amazed at what a difference this can make.
Very simple steps can allow your body’s immune system to function the way it was designed.