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  • Writer's pictureBeth A Reddy DC

Dare to DREAM to fight off Colds and Flu!

Year after Year, we are bombarded with ‘Flu Season’ updates and misinformation. And every couple of years, there is a new scare about a new strain of virus. And each go around, it intensifies until the general public is in a panic frenzy.

After helping thousands of families through the cold and flu season naturally, here is some information that you may not have heard: How to build your own resistance to the germs that are ALWAYS floating around our environment. What is it that makes a co-worker ‘catch’ the flu, but not the others in the office? What do we do to give our body the best chance it has to adapt to the environment?

Rather than focusing on the fear frenzy, focus instead on the DREAM of good health…

Diet: Limit simple sugar and the foods that turn to sugar as they break down (Breads). WHY??? Sugar depresses the immune system by 25% for up to 4 hours. Ever wonder why the cold and flu season follows the holidays? The combination of too much sugar, with not enough Vitamin D, leads to depressed immune function.

Try 15 minutes of sunlight without sunscreen a day, because Vitamin D boosts your immune system. We are not sure why, but taking thousands of IUs a day does not have the same benefit. Vit C is great way to fight a virus it helps to blocks the energy production in the virus.

Elderberry Syrup is a great supplement (Not gummy vitamins! These are full of sugar.) In a study paper that appears in the Journal of Functional Foods, the investigators report that substances present in elderberries can stop an influenza virus from entering and replicating in human cells.

“What our study has shown is that the common elderberry has a potent direct antiviral effect against the flu virus,” says one of the study’s co-authors, Golnoosh Torabian, Ph.D.

“It inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells,” the scientist continues. (

Rest: Lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

While you are sleeping, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Some of these cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. A lack of sleep means a decrease in production of these protective cytokines. In addition to these, are infection-fighting antibodies and cells. These are also reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep.

So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. How much sleep do you need to bolster your immune system? The optimal recommended amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.

It is extremely important to shut down external stimulation, meaning, do not go to sleep with the TV on, turn cell phones and tablets off. Make sure your family is doing the same!

Exercise: Working out regularly has many more benefits than weight control and stress relief. It will also boost your cognitive function, emotional well-being and immunity.

A regular fitness routine has been shown to have a wide-range of positive health effects, such as a lower risk of cancer and  stroke, better cardiovascular health, stronger muscles, and slowing of bone density loss associated with age.

Exercise has also been linked to better brain health and emotional well-being. And a study published in the journal Circulation found that exercise, even without weight loss, may help you live longer.

Recent studies show that even 15 minutes a day of a combination of high intensity exercise (one that leaves you breathless for, 30 sec) with continued motion in between (90 sec) is beneficial!

ALIGNMENT: CHIROPRACTIC wellness care…. Did you know that regular adjustments have a powerful impact on your immune system?

Many people are aware that a Doctor of Chiropractic works on your spine, but they do not know why! Your spine is the structural ‘house’ of your nervous system. The health and the function of your spine is DIRECTLY related to the health and function of your Central Nervous system and Brain. Because your brain and your nervous system control and regulate EVERY function in the body, the health and function of your spine directly impacts your health. Here are some interesting facts:

Every adjustment affects the hypothalamus via layer (laminae)7 of the spinal cord. And get this...the spine is the only direct influence on the hypothalamus in the entire body! An unhealthy spine negatively and directly affects all stress hormones in the body. This is torture for the human experience if it becomes chronic!

Although you don’t have to know everything about layer 7 of the spinal cord, just know that altered mechanics (mechanoreceptors) from subluxation travels to layer 7, and affects a host of things up the cord into the upper brain centers for the body to process.

When we make an adjustment, the brain will immediately begin to inhibit (stop) the fight or flight/ stress state and start into a rest and digest/relaxed state. This DIRECTLY effects the hypothalamus and the balance of autonomic activity.

Without getting too technical, I can tell you that stress hormones begin to be reduced, which sets off a cascade of positive effects in the body.

We know that once the “fight or flight” behavior physiology is inhibited, that the body will go from alarm &

defense to growth & repair. Come see me at Simply Chiropractic in Southern Maine to get your nervous system in tip-top shape.

Mental Attitude ‘Thoughts become things, Choose good ones”

What is going on in the brain when one produces positive or negative thoughts?

Every thought releases some type of chemical. When positive thoughts are generated, when you’re feeling happy, or optimistic, cortisol decreases and the brain produces serotonin, creating a feeling of well-being. When serotonin levels are normal, one feels happy, calmer, less anxious, more focused and more emotionally stable (Scaccia, 2017).

Positive Feelings: Thinking in the positive actually helps to stimulate the part of the brain that is responsible for organization and higher reasoning, the Pre-Frontal Cortex! Positive thinking results in enhanced mental functions such as creative thinking, cognitive flexibility, and even faster processing. (Chiropractic research shows that this is the part of the brain that increases its activity when one receives a Chiropractic adjustment)

Looking at the prefrontal cortex, when happy thoughts occur, there is brain growth through the reinforcement and generation of new synapses. The prefrontal cortex is where all mind/brain functions are received, and then are disbursed to various parts of the brain or transmitted to other parts of the body. The prefrontal cortex is the switching station that regulates the signals from the neurons as well as allows you to reflect and think about what you are doing at the time. In this state, the primitive brain (the Limbic system) is much less active, and so we are able to reason.

Negative Feelings:

When we experience stress, and/or anger, the brain actually draws precious metabolic energy away from the prefrontal cortex. The Primitive brain (limbic system) becomes more active. With these negative thoughts, the brain can’t perform at high or even normal capacity. When stressed or scared, it’s difficult to take in and process new material, yet alone think creatively. “Stress can alter plasticity in the nervous system, particularly in the limbic system” (Sapolsky, 2003).

The more you focus on negativity, the more synapses and neurons you brain will create – supporting your negative thought process. Negative thoughts slow down the ability of the Pre-Frontal cortex to receive and sort out the input, and so we are less able to think and reason.

Glass Half-full or Half-empty? Behavioral scientists have also observed some interesting differences between optimists and pessimists. Besides the fact that optimists are more preserving and successful in life, they also tend to have better physical health. Being optimistic “involves highly desirable cognitive, emotional, and motivational components” (Reynolds, 2011).


To boost your immune system, vitality and health and be better prepared to fight off nasty viruses, bring yourself and your family into my office in South Berwick, Maine! Call me at (207) 200-3113 to set up your initial appointment.

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