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How to boost your immune system in the winter

Ahh winter. Darkness. Cold. Hibernation. Sleep. These are just a few words that come to mind when I'm thinking about this season. The most yin time of year. The season when time slows down and the days are long. And...when people seem to be getting sick left and right. Read on for tools I have learned along the way to help build up the immune system to not only treat sickness, but *prevent* it from happening in the first place.

7 tips for prevention:

  • Keep your neck and feet warm. In Chinese Medicine, the back of your neck is very susceptible to colds and wind. Make scarves, turtlenecks, and slippers your best friend in the winter! Especially any time it's windy.

  • Eat and drink warm things. This is not the time for iced coffee, cold beverages or raw vegetables. Have you ever noticed how your stomach may get in a knot or become upset when you drink or eat iced things in the winter? We need things that are easy on the digestive system and keep us warm. Soups, ginger tea, bone broth, garlic, black sesame seeds, and Asian pears are great options. Also, make sure you're keeping up on your electrolytes.

  • Liver. Before judging, it's important to know that this is basically nature's super vitamin and can be great for people with low energy/fatigue, menstrual issues, and low iron levels as it helps to build the blood. Make sure you are always getting liver from an organic grass-fed, high-quality source. This is my favorite recipe for making it. Use plantain chips as a cracker for eating it! If you can't tolerate eating it, you can also get it in capsule form. Check out my favorite liver capsules (use my practitioner code DRKAILEEACU for 10% off!)

  • Gentle movement. As a runner, this is easier said than done for me (and many of you!) 🙃 But winter is a time when we should be slowing down and doing things like yoga, tai qi, breathwork, and moderately-paced walks.

  • Acupuncture and herbs! Acupuncture and herbs are incredible for building up the immune system. We call the immune system the "Wei Qi" in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Think of your Wei Qi as an invisible barrier around you that you want to keep strong to fend off bacteria and viruses. Every day we come into contact with millions of microorganisms and pathogens. If you have strong Wei Qi aka a strong immune system, your body can fight off this bacteria and defend itself.

  • Prioritize sleep. Winter is not the time to be skimping out on a full night's sleep. During this time, we should be going to bed earlier (by 10 pm) and waking up later. Aim for a minimum of 8 hours of sleep/night.

  • Cleanse. Get rid of what doesn't serve you and what may be causing dis-ease in the body and join me for a 90-day health reset using organic superfoods beginning January 15th. Gain free health guidance from a team of Certified Regenerative Health Practitioners, a supportive community, recipes, and nutritional guidance, and lay a strong foundation for 2024. Use my practitioner code DRKAILEEACU for a gift card and discount on your superfoods.

Think of winter as a time of relaxation and restoration. With these tips, it can be a time of nourishing the body and keeping you healthy to enjoy all of the wonderful things winter has to offer!

*The information contained on this website/page is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or substitute for medical, nutritional or acupuncture advice or treatment. Any reference to or mention of any particular diagnoses or dysfunctions is intended for informational purposes only and not an attempt to diagnose your particular problems. You should always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medicine or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem.


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