Flu and cold season is upon us.

Fall season brings us beauty and colors in full splendor. Along with that comes a bit colder weather and…Flu and Cold season.
Here are some tidbits about Flu and Cold :bug:.

Recently I have developed a nasty cold :sick: and very nicely within 3 days I have got rid off it. 🙂 It’s quite amazing because in the past I would be sick and down for a week or so, this time around I haven’ taken a single Tylenol or any “western pill”, just common sense and some Ayurveda. This has lead me to reflect, a lot, on the current situation and the season we are in FALL.Do you know the difference between the Cold & Flu :question:

Below are just a few notes on the common cold and flu and some preventative measures. Please note that I have written this article in the best faith of my nursing and holistic judgment. It is not, by any means, a medical treatment – if you are ill you should speak to your medical professional.

Why am I posting this on the Trinity Web, well dear yogi, because you appreciate good health and I would love to see you all out there living healthfully and flu/cold free.

So here is the 411 on both:

FeverUsually present, high (38-41C); lasts 3-4 daysUncommon
Aches and painsCommon and often severeSlight
Fatigue and weaknessCan last up to 14-21 daysMild
Extreme exhaustionVery common at the startNever
Stuffy noseOccasionallyFrequent
Sore throatOccasionallyFrequent
Chest discomfort, coughFrequentMild to moderate, hacking cough

To Vaccine or not to Vaccine, this is the question :question:

I’m not sure about other provinces in Canada, but in Alberta we are quite behind this year on flu vaccination. Usually I start to immunize my patients and my family in early October. This year, it’s not going to happen until early November.

The reason for this is to determine the best combination for the vaccine to prepare us better – and avoid a flu pandemic. However, at the same time, it gives the super bugs more time to work on their strength.

Did you know that the flu vaccine is only effective for 3-4 months? :exclaim: Many people think it works for the entire year. It is only used to protect you during the “peak” season. Each year a new vaccine is designed to accommodate all the new bugs out there.

A common myth is that the influenza vaccine can actually cause flu. It’s NOT true. The flu shot is made from KILLED influenza virus and CAN NOT cause flu. However, your body recognizes it as foreign substance and makes antibodies to it (that’s how most vaccines work), so that when you are exposed to the LIVE virus – your body can defend itself.

Who is at high risk and should get the vaccine…the choice always remains yours.

  • Any healthcare professional. There are only so many people you can stand to sneeze and cough at you before you get sick.
  • People with suppressed immune systems. Your body is already compromised there is no need to compromise it any further.
  • Children– since their immune systems are developing, we want to add more resilience to them. Also – we don’t know where their hands have been…do we? So, before all the sneezes, coughs, hugs and bugs marry and live happily ever after…get a flu shot.
  • Women who are pregnant especially if they will be in the 2nd/3rd trimester during a flu season.

Who should not get a flu shot

  • Someone who is allergic to eggs.
  • Someone who previously had a bad allergic reaction to a flu vaccine.
  • Someone with a fever. Wait until the symptoms disappear.
  • Someone who has a Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).

As yoga instructors, we are constantly with people, providing a service of holistic care (body-mind-spirit). We are all, in essence, “health-care-providers”. Looking at previous points, you can draw your own conclusions from this.

Preventative measures:

  • Neti pot. I can’t say enough about it. Keeping your sinuses nice and clear during the colder days and varying temperatures will be the best way to stay mucous free. And if you are mucous free there is no room for ugly bugs to grow.
  • Vitamin C – if you can help it try not to take the pill form. Instead I invite you to try Chyawanprash – an Ayurvedic (all dosha balancing) supplement. It’s a huge immune booster. It’s made primarily from Alma berries – which have the highest concentration of Vitamin C on earth. Being 100% natural it also is easier absorbed by the body. If you can, buy the Danbur brand. A good friend told me about this and I have converted a lot of people to it since, just a tablespoon a day in the morning…will keep a doctor away.
  • Healthy diet – balanced protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats…listen to what your body tells you.
  • Drink plenty of water – sip through out the day. Keep yourself hydrated. Water will flush out any bugs right out of your system before they have time to grow.
  • Your asana practice – yoga is a healing art form. It has oodles of benefits; it works on all 11 systems of your body, one of them being your lymphatic system (which is responsible for your immunity). Awareness is the key, sometimes during your practice your body may tell you more about what’s going on inside than any doctor or nurse out there – LISTEN to it.
    I found out I was getting sick with a cold during my asana practice.
  • Most important…drum roll please… SLEEP.
    Yes, zzz’s are very crucial and, contrary to popular belief, you can’t catch up on them. Make sure that during these busy fall days and nights you get plenty of rest. Your body needs time to regenerate itself. Savasana here I come!
  • WASH your hands – can’t say enough about that, as yogis we play on the ground often…need I say more?
  • Hugs and kisses are also imperative – if you’re laughing right now and not taking this seriously – there has been a study conducted by the Cambridge University – Affection DOES boost your immune system, and increases longevity. Snuggle up! 😆

At the first sign of Flu or Cold

  • Continue with Neti – it will help immensely with whatever may be brewing in your sinus cavities. If you are NOT prone to nosebleeds you may try this tip: add a little bit more salt to the water, thus making the solution more hypertonic, this in result will dry out the nasal passages quicker and prevent formation of new mucus…
  • Change to a bland diet. Remove all mucus forming foods from your diet – ie. gluten containing foods (bread, pasta, cereals), sugar, all diary products including yogurt and ice cream, juices (rather have the fresh fruits & veggies). Rice is your best bet.
  • Use ginger and cumin to heat up your body and to help sweat out the bugs.
  • Use turmeric it has great antibiotic properties.
  • Continue or start Chyawanprash daily (I can’t say enough good things about it).
  • Increase protein intake. Proteins are building blocks for your body’s cellular regeneration. Since your body is in fight-mode (trying to defend itself) you can help it by providing the right building defense blocks.
  • Drink LOTS of water. Let me define lots, 1 L per day is not a lot. In fact, it’s just enough if you’re healthy. 2 L per day is a good start. Don’t drink more then 2.5 L daily – as you may risk diluting your electrolytes. Drink water that is room temperature. Cold water decreases your Pitta and thus lowers your body’s fighting power. Also remember water not only hydrates your cells but also aids your body in removing all the impurities.
  • Continue with your asana practice, but mellow it down a bit – especially if you’re a regular eka pada galavasana kind of person (you know who you are). Remember that yoga is a form of healing and now that your body is fighting bugs you don’t want to strain it. A restorative practice could do a lot of good. 😉
  • Get plenty of rest, and as many hugs and kisses you can manage.

If your symptoms don’t improve within 4 days or are accompanied by a high temperature (over 37.8) please, please, please see your doctor.

Stay healthy and happy
Enjoy this gorgeous fall season

Aleksandra Suriel. 🙂