We’ve all heard it before: ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ or ‘offence is the best defense’. When it comes to cold and flu season these words are even more true.

So how can you keep the cold and flu bugs at bay this year? We all know to wash our hands, cover our mouths and noses when we cough or sneeze, and to stay home if you do get sick. But did you know keeping your neck covered and warm is old Chinese medicine advice that really truly works? It’s true. There are certain acupuncture points at the back our head, neck and shoulders where our ‘defensive qi’ (another way of saying immune system) is a bit weak. These points are susceptible to the elements (wind, cold, dampness, etc) so need to be protected when you are out in the elements.

Have you ever spent a day outside in the cold, started feeling a sore stiff neck, and then fallen ill with a cold or flu? That sore stiff neck feeling is the first sign that a cold or flu starting to enter your body. Keeping your neck (and head) covered is your first line of defense, and essential to staying healthy this winter.


Ottawa has so many great outdoor activities to enjoy in the winter. The next time you’re heading out to enjoy some cold weather fun wrap a scarf around your neck, throw on a hat and you’ll be good to go!