5 ways to keep the flu away

1. Breath work. Ideally, practice this breathing before sleeping. In a quiet place that is neither too hot nor cold, sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor in the half-lotus posture, straighten your back and relax your body. Once comfortable, focus on your breathing. Through your nose, inhale up to 80 percent of your capacity until you fill your abdomen. Hold your breath in your lower abdomen for a while. Exhale through your nose. Repeat this exercise until you begin to sweat. Afterwards, take a hot shower and rest.

2. Lung meridian clearing. To prevent and release energy blockages, stimulate the two acupressure points that mark the start of the lung meridian. These points are just below the collarbone in the hollows on both side of your chest. Make a fist with your right hand, with your thumb folded in, and gently tap the point on the left side by your shoulder. Do this for one to three minutes, and then switch sides. If this is too painful or feels blocked, rub these points with the pads of your fingers. Breathe naturally for one to two minutes. Switch sides.

3. Chest expanding. To enhance and strengthen circulation in the lungs, breath to expand your chest. This helps with coughs, bronchitis, emphysema, breathing difficulty and phlegm elimination. Sit in a large chair or on the floor, and lock your fingers behind your back. With your spine lengthened, but not rigid, gently bend your upper body forward from the trunk, while lifting both arms up toward the back of your head. Exhale while slowly returning to locking your fingers behind your back. Repeat three times.

4. Head turning. This exercise helps energy flow smoothly through your neck to enable the release of cold energy from the acupressure point at the base of your neck. Sit with your legs folded, with your hands on your knees. Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel resistance. Then slowly turn to the left, breathing comfortably. Do this 30 times while concentrating on releasing blocked energy from the base of your neck.

5. Nose rubbing. To help clear nasal congestion, do this exercise in the morning when waking up. As you inhale, rub your hands together to create heat energy, concentrating on your middle fingers. Breathe naturally while you place your fingers on either side of your nose. Press and gently massage your nose with your fingers for five minutes.

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