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November News Letter

The Dreaded Cold and Flu Season: I'm not going to go into a big opinionated brouhaha about this year's cold and flu season, because I think all of you are well aware by now of what I think about the flu shot. So the operative word here is PREVENTION! I will just remind you of all the basics: First of all, please wash your hands a lot, especially after you come in from "out there". Even before you take your coat off, wash your hands. Then, try not to touch your face and nose, especially when you are out and about. Bugs love the warm, moist places.

By all means, please get my Cold Combo: Phytogen, Congaplex and Gan Mao Ling just to have them on hand for an emergency sniffle. If you want to up the healing ante, you would also add Thymex and Zinc lozenges. If you are flying, then... well, all I can say is good luck. I would take all the above products before, during and after your flight, plus rub Thieves under your nose and if you can, get a portable ozonator, the kind you wear around your neck. And lastly please keep up your high water consumption even though it's cold out and no one feels like drinking a lot of water. Do it anyway. Call me if you get something and you and I can figure out if you should be making an appointment to see me.

Essential Oils et al: You could also invest in some powerful essential oils for winter. I particularly like R.C., Thieves and Purification for starters. Ask me how to do that. If you can afford it, get yourself a decent ozonator for your home. I have one in my office which runs most of the time, protecting us from the sneezes, the coughs and the bugs that you and I carry in from the outside.

Now for my antibiotic lecture: First of all, I hope you will trust me to know when you should go to your mainstream doc for antibiotics, because my dictum is "Do No Harm" no matter what if antibiotics are called for, and my medicine just isn't doing the job. Don't worry, I will tell you. But before you toddle off for antibiotics, there is so much we can do to make you feel better in record time and without the nasty Big Pharma side-effects.

A new study conducted by Swiss researchers and published in Lancet found that one third of all doctor's visits for upper respiratory infections in the United States end up in a diagnosis of rhinosinusitis or nasal/sinus infection. Approx 80% of these patients are prescribed antibiotics. Because of the proliferation of in-your-face Big Pharma advertising, MD's are even getting calls from patients demanding a specific antibiotic and asking for it by name because they have read about it in Reader's Digest or seen it on the evening news, and MD's usually cave and prescribe because it's just easier.

Here's why you don't want to do this, and here is the caveat most of us tend to ignore about sinus infections: Most sinus infections are either viral or fungal and antibiotics will not touch either one. In fact, it will make the fungus worse. The researchers found that for every 15 adult rhinosinusities patients treated with antibiotics, only one would receive any benefit from the drug. They went on to say that "antibiotics are not justified even if a patient reports symptoms for longer than 7-10 days.

One more thing: With the advent of pretty serious drug resistant bacterial strains like MRSA, it's even more important not to "waste" your antibiotic use on something as trivial as a cold. Let your healthy immune system fight it on its own with the assistance of natural herbs and supplements.

Let's talk about Trees: Forest bathing is in. Luckily I live in a forest bath up here in the foothills on my 4 acres of pines and aspens. Yes, the 3 or 4 days I must leave my idyllic setting, I encounter the annoying construction on the canyon, the increasing traffic in Boulder and the general noisy muss-fuss of the city environment, but I get to come back to my nature bath and I feel better the minute I start down my driveway. If you are not as lucky as I am to be living in such a quiet and blessed place, then just make sure you get deeply into nature somehow, 3 or 4 times a week.

Trees are healthy - emitting oxygen and their very own germ and pest repellents called phytoncides. These are special plant oils that not only smell good but improve the function of your immune system. And don't listen to podcasts or music as you walk; just "be" in nature with no distraction. Pay attention - in silence - to what the trees are telling you. I get lots of information from them: They are teaching me patience and tolerance and at the same time are giving me unconditional love. They are really quite loving sentient beings if you give them a chance.

Here I go, Harping on vitamin D Levels Again: I still can't figure out why western medicine doesn't think it's important to have adequate vitamin D levels. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get someone's MD to order a simple test for D levels. It's very important for your immunity now that we are in the colder weather. I read an article that said the number of Americans with low levels of vitamin D is on the rise. (Arch Internal Med 2009), and I don't want you to be one of them. Unless you know that your D blood levels are at least 60, then I think it's prudent to up your dose from 5,000 mgs per day to 10,000 mgs per day for the winter. Here are a couple of other reasons: Individuals with low D levels had a 32% greater risk of coronary artery disease (Am Coll of Cardiology, 2014) and higher levels of vitamin D are connected to lower blood glucose in women. (Menopause, 2019)

You should probably start reading right before bed: It's just a way of priming your body for sleep, and after awhile, your body will say "OK, she's reading, I have to go to sleep now." And over time, it's like a behavior pattern. Reading something on paper will also keep you from wifi hell just before bed, which is certainly not good for sleep. Choose something benign (and maybe boring?) to read, not the latest Jack Reacher (out on October 29th).

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