If you live parallel to or north of Washington D.C., you happen to live in what's known as a Vitamin D Winter Zone. That means the tilt of the earth leaves you with little available UVB light for most of the year. Depending on what study you read, 60–85% of people in North America are deficient, which means most of us who aren't lifeguards or sunbathers need to supplement.
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Our belly contains several pounds (yes, pounds!) of helpful bacteria that help us with things such as digesting last night's kebab and killing fungi or harmful bacteria that have managed to find their way into the gut. Good bacteria is a vital part of our immune system, and when the bacterial balance is off, we're off too. Learn how to shop for the right type of probiotic, recommended protocols, and the brands I'm always recommending.
This year's winter onset seems to have hit people particularly hard. The most common comment I'm hearing from the clinic to the subway is, "I can't BELIEVE how dark it is at 4:30pm. It's just so depressing." Allopathic medicine calls this S.A.D., or seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that's related to a change from fall to winter. Asian medicine calls it normal.
Keeping your allergies to a minimum is all based on managing inflammation, minimizing allergen exposure and keeping immune response down to a dull roar. In addition to acupuncture, there are plenty of things you can do to control your body’s inflammatory response and reduce your exposure to allergens without having to rip out all the carpeting in your home.
Outside of the standard "wash your hands" there are a whole host of things you can to do to stay healthy between now and spring. Some of the below suggestions will help you become a "Flu Day Prepper" by creating an autumn arsenal should the Flu-pocalypse hit. Other suggestions will help give you the best chances of it never happening - either way, stay healthy my friends!
Routine is key, and whatever your particular brand of "regular" is, it's important to keep it. There are six basic things that can help you from getting too bunged up: breathing, fiber, water, flora, exercise, and poo-sition.
At one point or another, most patients struggling with insomnia have tried melatonin. I usually hear one of two things: "I think it's working, but I'm not sure" or a simple "didn't work." Melatonin can be a phenomenal help – when taken correctly, that is. The magic lies within the timing, the dose, and your great-great-grandmother's bedtime routine.