Natural ways to boost your immune system - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Tukee Talk

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Natural ways to boost your immune system

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Allison Hurtado is the news reporter at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Contact her at (480) 898-7914 or

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Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 8:00 am

Being pregnant and having a cold or the flu is miserable.

I've been lucky enough to avoid morning sickness for the most part in my own pregnancy, but once I caught whatever was going around the office it completely knocked me out. The usual cough syrups or pills I would run to in the past, I suddenly had to question.

Luckily with lots of Jamba Juice and chicken soup I was able to get over it quickly, but it got me wondering what natural remedies are out there for those who may not be able to take traditional medications?

Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, a naturopathic doctor at the Phoenix Anti-Aging Clinic in Ahwatukee Foothills, had a few suggestions for those looking to boost their immune system naturally.

He first suggested more vitamins and minerals. At the clinic he supplies patients with injection therapies, or something called a Myer's Intravenous Cocktail.

"It was actually created by a doctor named Myers for migraines and asthma, but what he found as he did more research was it was helpful for a number of other problems including chronic fatigue and boosting the immune system," Cavaiola said. "What's found in a Myer's Cocktail is high doses of B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are very important for pretty much every physiological and biological function in the body. Those are really beneficial for not only people who are sick, but just the average Joe looking to feel better and have more energy."

Cavaiola also suggests acupuncture for someone who may be feeling a bit under the weather. Cavaiola said acupuncture helps realign channels of energy that flow through the body. For someone with an acute cold or flu, it could be a natural way to help get rid of it quicker.

Of course the best way to avoid a cold or flu naturally is to take care of your body all the time. Cavaiola said one of the things he looks at with a new patient is their diet or how much stress they may be taking on.

Some recent studies are also showing how regular chiropractic care or massages can help keep a healthy immune system.

A study out of Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences reports that people who undergo massage experience measurable changes in their body's immune response.

Janet Schwab of Elements Massage said the health benefits of massage are the whole reason she became interested in starting her own massage business.

"Because of the circulation, the lymphatic system and the blood cells, massage keeps it all healthy and is an alternative way for pain relief," Schwab said. "Being on the right table with the right person can make all the difference."

Schwab recommends getting a massage once a month for regular maintenance to help support a healthy immune system.

Chiropractic adjustments are also good to get once a month or at least once a year, according to Dr. Jazmin Torres of Mountainside Wellness Center.

"We renew the vertebral subluxations which cause pain, interference, and pressure onto the nervous system," Torrez said. "The nervous system includes your body's whole function. If you relieve all that pressure it allows your immune system to work at a higher level, which is very effective in fighting off any disease your body comes across."

Torres said in her home, because both her and her husband are chiropractors, they'll often do an adjustment before they reach for any medicine. Current techniques make chiropractic care safe for all ages.

The good news for me? All of the remedies I found are safe, even during pregnancy, when done by a professional.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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