- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Give Your Body A Fighting Chance Against Colds And The Flu
Make Your Immune System Stronger
I used to get at least one to two really bad colds every year living here in Japan. But now I'm going on three years without catching a cold. I just turned 59 this year-2008. I firmly believe that "cures" are not always the right answer to colds or any disease for that matter. But for now, the topic on hand is common cold prevention.
Common cold prevention is a process of building up your immune system. If you follow some or any of the advice in this Hub your body will thank you for giving it a fighting chance against colds and the flu.
Before we move on with this process of building up a strong immune system, let's go over what a cold is and how we catch one.
Common colds are often caused by a virus. There are over 200 types of viruses that causes colds, the "rhinovirus" is the most common virus associated with the common cold. In the United States, the "cold catching season" occurs between September and May. School has started and people spend more time indoors in crowded places, giving the virus a place to flourish and spread.
One of the easiest places for catching colds is on public transportation, especially the subways or any kind of mass transit. Crowded with people, the virus is easily spread just from holding on to a rail that an infected person touched earlier. In addition, people coughing or sneezing in confined places will spread the virus increasing the chances of others catching a cold.
From this knowledge here are a few prevention strategies you can start using right now.
1. Keep your hands away from your face at all times during the cold season (September to May in the US).
2. As soon as you get to where you are going wash your hands thoroughly. (note: Here in Japan, it's custom after coming home from work to first wash your hands as soon as you return home.)
3. As much as possible, try to avoid crowded areas, especially the public transportation. I know this maybe impossible for many readers. These are just suggestions I want to make sure you're aware of.
4. Wear a mask. In Japan people who are infected with a cold usually wear a special type mask designed to prevent the spreading of the virus. During the "cold" season some people choose to wear a mask to prevent catching a cold while riding on a crowded subway or train. Unfortunately, this idea may not work so well in the US. It's not part of the custom. But the good news is it is custom for people to cover their mouths and nose when they cough or sneeze. Hopefully they use a tissue, kleenex, their sleeve or arm and not there hand. If they use their hand, when they touch anything they will be transmitting the virus to the next person that touches that infected area.
Japanese love affair with the cold and flu mask
The Common Cold Prevention Process Of Building A Strong Immune System
The common cold prevention process of building a strong healthy immune system will take time for some people to build up. But it's easy and well worth it.
The following suggestions interact with each other. So doing anyone will help the other.
1. Making your thoughts and self-image stronger.
2. Detoxifying your body including cleansing your colon. (note: This should be done under consultation of an approved doctor)
3. Boosting your metabolism.
4. Building healthy habits. (ex. Deep cleaning of teeth and maintaining a daily routine using good dental hygiene.)
5. Having a sincere feeling of Gratefulness.
Let's take a look at the "big picture".
The body is designed to have a strong immune system. How you think, how you eat, how you physically move about determines your chances of catching a cold. A body that lives off of fresh air, healthy wholesome food, clean water, positive or up-beat thoughts, healthy types of stress, physical movement and a spiritual feeling of gratitude has a far more fighting chance than a body that has been stressed out from over use of alcohol, smoking, eating greasy trans-fat foods, negative thinking and not exercising.
There are a lot of evil viruses and bacteria out there in the world. Sadly, they seem to be on the rise. But there's good news. Our immune system is designed to become stronger with each infection. Children get colds and get sick much more often than adults. But each time they pull through with a stronger immunity.
One Of The Quickest And Most Effective Ways To Build A Healthy Self-Image.
Beefing Up Your Immune System With Your Thoughts
A good place to start building a stronger immune system is with your thinking. Your self-image.
You need to start filling your mind with "can do" thinking. If you think, "I'm not going to catch a cold." Guess what, there's a good chance that you'll catch a cold. On the other hand, if your thoughts are, "Yes! I feel great. The air is so fresh and nice today." You're body is going to start "acting" like nothing can affect it...including colds.
Building your self-image is on on-going process. Especially in the beginning of this common cold prevention process. You need to make it a habit.
Exploring More On Fasting & Colonics
Cleaning Out The Toxins--Giving Your Body A Fighting Chance
Detoxing your body by therapeutic fasting will also help strengthen your self-image because you realize that you are hitting the "reset" button to get your body and your immune system back to its original strong healthy state--the body's ability to self-heal its self.
But more important, doing a therapeutic fast will help clean out the toxins that your body is having to combat. This alone will let your body use more of it's resources to keep colds at bay than having to deal with toxins in your body.
There are many ways a person can do a therapeutic fast, from two days (Friday night to Sunday night) to twenty-one days. It's best to work with a doctor who is knowledgeable about fasting and can help and guide you in fasting in a safe and beneficial way.
The best time to do a fast is outside the cold season, during a time when the weather is comfortable and when you can have time to not worry about other things in life. When fasting your metabolism will become lower. It's just a temporary way the body is adapting to the absence of nutrition and the detoxing of waste.
In addition to fasting, or if you have no time to do a fast, colonics can help build a stronger immune system. The lower intestine is "caked" with mucus that seals waste to your intestinal lining. Your body's immune system is being challenged in two ways. One, the body is trying to rid itself of toxins that have built up. And second, the efficiency for absorbing nutrients has decreased making it hard for the body to absorb nutrients properly.
If you're unable to do colonics, a simple change in the diet would help clean the intestine. Eating more raw vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce and cabbage will go a long way to help clean out toxic waste from the intestine. Any food that is high in soluble fiber.
A Healthy Metabolism Keeps Your Body In Peak Condition
A healthy immune system has a heathy metabolism. Drinking a glass of cold water in the morning will help kick-start your metabolism. Staying active by taking the stairs and playing with your kids, your pet, or just dancing to music keeps your metabolism healthy.
Doing some Cardio-exercises for short intervals will get your metabolism up and running and make your immune system stronger.
When taking a shower gradually make it cooler. You want to feel the coolness but not to the point where you're shocking yourself or gasping to breath. It doesn't have to be for long. But finishing your shower on a cool note your body will make more white blood cells than normal giving your immune system more germ fighting artillery.
Japanese Green Tea-A Strong Immune Booster Against Colds And The Flu
Interesting Tea Links
- All About Tea
O-cha net has a lot of excellent resources about tea-culture, health, and benefits
- Why Isn’t Everyone Drinking Green Tea or Taking Green Tea Supplements?
This is an excellent Hubpage about Green Tea and it's health benefits. The Hubpage offers more credibility to how Japanese Green Tea can boost your immune system and help prevent colds.
The Author's Dental Hygiene Tools For Maintaining Healthy Teeth-click to enlarge in new window
The Author's Dental Routine
From the above picture I start from left to right.
- First clean the tongue.
- Then use various sized inter-dental brushes to gently clean in between the teeth and the gums.
- Next I brush with a very soft tooth brush.
- Finally, I use a tapered brush to gentle clean and massage along the gum line, front and back. I'll do this while watching tv for about 20 minutes.
- The result: A very clean healthy mouth and teeth that will not be so inviting to colds.
Healthy Habits With Healthy Food--Easy Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System Against Colds
Drinking green tea. Not the green tea you find in tea bags, you need to go to a Asian food store or order online and get yourself some good Organic Japanese Green Loose Leaf Tea. This is the tea that I use. I drink about 750mls (25oz or a little over a pint-and-half) every morning.
Some time ago on a Japanese TV science show, I saw how the effects of Japanese Green Tea can knock the cold virus germs right into oblivion.
The TV show presented a culture sample from a persons throat that's infected with a cold virus. The person gargaled with warm Japanese Green Tea and the throat culture showed that nearly all of the cold virus germs had disappeared.
Another interesting point the show brought out was that people don't wash their hands long enough. It takes almost a full minute of "scrubbing" with warm soap and water to get your hands clean. The next problem was after the house wife cleaned her hands, she reinfected her hands with the cold virus using a hand towel that's normally used for drying hands.
The best way to dry your hands is to shake them dry, use a paper towel, or use a fresh clean cloth towel only once.
One of the best healthy habits you can start working on right away is to get a deep dental cleaning at the dentist. Brush and floss or use an inter-dental brush at least twice a day, morning and night. Our mouths are a perfect breeding ground for colds. Making the practice of clean dental hygiene a daily habit could be that one barrier to stop a cold.
I love milk. I mean raw milk, or goats milk. When I come and visit my family and friends in the US, I go to this website to find the nearest place I can get raw milk or goats milk. The butterfat of raw milk will help boost your immune system.
And finally, treat yourself to a night out eating Thai food. Spicy food can really give your lungs and sinuses a work out. I add a little cayenne pepper to my winter dishes.
One Of The Best Sources To Learn The Power Of Gratitude
Shift Your Life To Better And Happier Days
CNN On Laughter Yoga And Laughing For Good Health
4 Babies Boost Your Immune System
The Best Medicine Against Colds Is A Good Laugh
When your are happy your body's immune system is at it's peak. Don't underestimate the power of love, laughter and having great sex. Good feelings gives your immune system an added layer of strength.Here's one of the easiest ways to laugh. Look in the mirror. Raise your hands high above your head and from your stomach give a "Ha". Repeat a few times. You should start feeling good. In fact you may find yourself having a really good belly laugh. Laughter is truly one of life's best medicines.Along with feeling good comes a feeling of gratitude. An appreciation for your own uniqueness and for life around you. Take time to smell the flowers and enjoy nature. It all works together in creating a stronger immunity that will give your body a fighting chance against colds and the flu.
Link To Laughter Yoga Article
- Saving The World Through Laughter
A great article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Dr. Madan Katari's Yoga Laughing Group with links to VIDEO and more resources.