Every year in the Fall, I’ve noticed since I was young a conflict between my body and my culture. My body slows down and wants to be less busy and my culture speeds up with holiday activities often involving consuming stimulants of sugar, alcohol and recreational drugs.

As a child I caught colds in the fall and winter and it seemed to be normal for everyone. As an adult I continued this pattern until I listened to an astrologer who told me that my job this lifetime is to learn to take care of my equipment, meaning my body. Full of curiosity, I went back to school for a degree in chiropractic medicine.

Why did I choose chiropractic? Because as a chiropractor I learned that every plant and animal has the innate ability to heal itself and stay healthy. Medical doctors and dentists don’t tend to teach their patients simple activities to maximize your innate healing abilities. Instead they apply their skills after you’ve misused your body and fallen on times of illness.

I knew that to be well one needs a strong immune system. By choosing to learn how to take care of my equipment, I found myself in seminars on preventing and treating allergies. I learned, for instance, that wearing a scarf starting in the fall would help prevent colds. The mechanism for this inexpensive remedy is to raise the temperature of the thyroid, where some of the hormone T4 is converted to the active form of T3. Turns out this process of conversion is dependent on a heat sensitive enzyme. Okay, wear a scarf.

Also sugar, recreational drugs and alcohol lower the function of the immune system. Such stimulants are prevalent in winter holiday celebrations. What else happens in this season? As the days get shorter with less sunshine and winds bring the cold, we tend to stay up late and go to parties with other people whose immune systems are also struggling. Bears have the right idea. They hibernate for months during the cold season. And their prize in the Spring is the sugar of a few berries, not ice cream and cake year-round. Okay, hibernate.

Each December I choose two night-time parties to attend to celebrate Winter Solstice and New Year’s Eve. At neither event do I consume stimulants nor stay up late. I count this as my December hibernation and in the new year I limit my nighttime activities as well. I healed myself of depression one year by going to bed and getting up with the sun for the month of January, thereby resetting my circadian rhythm as per Lights Out by T.S. Wiley. Okay, there’s the thyroid again, an endocrine gland.

What is the immune system? The thymus gland under the breast bone, the spleen under the left lower ribs and the lymph system located parallel to the blood vessels in ducts along which are nodes containing specialized white blood cells. For the lymph to flow, carrying flu bugs and other pathogens out of our flesh, it needs to be warm and needs Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. What else? Lymph doesn’t flow on its own. It needs muscular activity, especially in this season where we may spend more time indoors and move less than in other seasons. Okay, take 3-5000 IU/day of Vitamin D and use an exercise ball or a rebounder, or most inexpensively, bounce on your toes while keeping balance by holding to something sturdy such as a counter or door frame.

All right, all right. To stay well in this modern culture we all need some education and activities that will guard our immunity, keep it strong so we may thrive into old age. It’s not only about drinking Echinacea tea or buying homeopathic remedies when feeling a cold or flu coming on. Females among those reading my blog may benefit from a women’s health support group, and we’ve got one. It’s the first Saturday of every month. Join us to learn more on how to become and stay healthy. Or call my new office goddess, Joy Jennings, to schedule an appointment with me for individualized attention to your health project.

Music helps you stay healthy too.