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  • Writer's pictureDebra Lapiers

Get Ready for Cold & Flu Season

As we head into fall, it is the perfect time to get your immune system ready for the upcoming cold and flu season. Many things can weaken your immune system including stress and the changing weather.

A couple of natural ways to prepare that will take care of both stress and immunity is acupuncture and getting a good night sleep. If you're having problems sleeping, acupuncture can help with that as well.

Through acquired immunity acupuncture reinforces natural killers cells that play a vital role in killing the virus in infected cells. It also modulates TH1/TH2 cell responses. Acupuncture rebalances these cell responses, which help to fight disease. Acupuncture helps restore the TH1 and TH2 balance to normalcy. Another way acupuncture works is through neural-immune communication. Acupuncture activates the hypothalamus regulating the activity of the autonomic nervous system. (1) See below for some great articles.

Another great way to boost immunity is chicken soup. Below is my recipe for my favorite chicken soup. Known in South Korea as samgaetang.

Deb’s Chicken Soup

This is an adaptation of a Chinese chicken soup known as Sam Gae Tang. The secret to this soup is the use of a pressure cooker. Fresh herbs are preferred, but dried herbs may be substituted.

1 Whole chicken


6 Cloves of garlic


1 jujube or Chinese date aka da zao

2 Cups of rice soaked for 30 mintues

Sea salt to taste

  1. Rinse the chicken and remove the organs if present.

  2. Place one half of the ginger, garlic and ginseng into the cavity of the chicken with the Chinese date. Fill the chicken cavity with rice.

  3. Holding the legs closed, place the chicken into a 6 quart pressure cooker, breast side down.

  4. Fill the pressure cooker half full with water.

  5. Place the remaining ginger, garlic and ginseng in the water, around the outside of the chicken.

  6. On high heat, bring the cooker up to pressure.

  7. Lower the heat, but maintain pressure, and cook for one hour (if it’s a large chicken, cook for 1 ½ hours). Use these times for an Instant Pot as well.

  8. Let the pressure release naturally, or if the pressure is quick released, rest the chicken for 10 minutes.

  9. Serve with Sea Salt. Optional: Sliced garlic in plum sauce. Makes 4 large servings of soup.

Acupuncture Sleep & Immunity in the Elderly

These are 2 articles that open as PDFs:

How Acupuncture Can Help Improve Immunity and Sleep (1)

University of Tennessee Effects of individualized acupuncture on sleep quality in HIV disease

The photo is not mine. It is for another style of samgaetang. The recipe can be found here:

Chinese Medicine and Health

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