THE FLU -
Decrease the Odds
Include These Four Essential
Your Prevention Plan
Getting the flu is unpleasant, to
say the least. You feel awful - achey, chilled, feverish, fatigued, and more. It's enough to make you want to curl
up in a ball and make the world go away.
So how can you reduce the chances that you'll succumb? Here are some basic strategies to be sure you've got in
1. Get Enough
There's absolutely no substitute for getting enough sleep. No pill or potion exists that
can make up for it. Why is this?
Your body, unlike, say, a car or other piece of machinery, is made to repair itself. But it cannot do this while
it's also functioning. In other words, it has to go into a deeply neutral, non-activity state to assess what needs
repair and then to get the job done. Sleep is when bones are built, for example. It's also when your immune system
can use the energy you would expend in daytime activities to devote to surveillance. During sleep it asks, "What's
in here that doesn't belong, and let's attack it, break it down and eliminate it." Inadequate sleep translates to
inadequate immune surveillance, allowing unwanted flu bugs to take hold.
2. Maximize your vitamin D
What does vitamin D have to do with preventing the flu? Well, a lot, it turns out.
Various immune cells have a vitamin D receptor, and those cells activate vitamin D as a response to infection.
Then, vitamin D plays another role, which is that of limiting inflammation. That may not sound like a very
important thing, but when you think about how achey you can feel if you actually get the flu, you'll be glad you
remembered to keep your vitamin D levels up so your body can calm down the inflammatory response that's at the root
of all that pain.
3. Keep Your Body Clean - On the Inside Too!
Yes, of course, this includes bathing and handwashing - no
doubt you know about that. What I'm talking about here is the inside of your body.
Many people don't realize that the inside of their body is actually in the same
condition as a toxic waste dump!
Why is this so important? Because the role of these various infectious agents in the
larger scheme of things, in other words, their ecological role, is to prepare the body to return to the earth. And
this is what they start doing when they encounter a body that to them seems like a compost heap that's waiting to
be worked on.
The more garbage that's in your body, the more these bugs will find to do. And
they'll move in, bring their friends and make lots of babies!
To them, interior 'garbage' can include undigested food, pesticides, chemicals -
anything the body needs to eliminate but has been unable to do.
If you have a compost heap where you live, you know that for the compost to become
ripe, requires 'bugs'... worms, bacteria, etc.
So don't run your body like a compost heap. Keep it clean.
4. Get aerobic
How does this help? First it gets you breathing deeply and clears your
lungs. But the biggest benefit is from its positive effect on your immune system, where it stimulates production of
Pamela Levin, R.N.
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