We all see those adds in winter about it being the time for colds and flu. "Go have your jab to prevent it." they tell us. Have you ever noticed how many people get the flu after they have had their "jab?" They have never protected you against colds and they certainly won't stop you from getting the flu virus. In actual fact they give you the virus. If you didn't have that particular virus in your system before you had the jab...you sure do now! There is a distinct difference between a cold and the flu and many times people think they have the flu when in actual fact they have a cold and antibiotics will not do a thing. It may even make the situation worse as antibiotics work by "chilling" the digestive system etc. If you are already suffering from cold in the body you can guess where this is going to take you. Especially if you are prone to digestive issues in the first place.
Yes it is the time that we MAY be more likely to catch a cold but we don't have to. Do you know someone who says.."It has been years since I have had a cold!" or "I cannot even remember the last time I had a cold." That would apply to Paul and I. Yes we are more aware of how you can get a cold and that helps towards knowing how to prepare yourself for any situation where a cold may get into your body.
Colds are not passed on from one person to another. Viruses such as flu can be but not the common ordinary, everyday cold. They are literally cold getting into your body through your defences. So a pathogenic cold can only get a hold on your body if your defences are down in the first place. Being cold for an extended period of time will bring your natural defences down. I bet if you have a cold you can trace it back to where you got cold and were cold for some time. You may have been aware or not that the longer you stay cold the more likely you are to get a cold.
To start with the back of your neck in our medicine is the doorway to wind. Wind is what drives the cold into the body. Traditionally colds were never really experienced in summer because we were warm day and night. Now with exposure to fans and airconditioning at work and home especially whilst sleeping or resting an ideal opportunity for colds to thrive has been created.
Wei chi or your defensive energy is fast moving energy that surrounds your body and is responsible for opening and closing the pores of your skin at the appropriate times. Think of the pores in your skin as being windows that open to allow heat to escape and close to keep cold out. This is what protects your body from colds. When the wei chi is weak then it cannot protect your body efficiently.
The first sign of a true cold is runny nose, aching joints, stiff neck, chills and fever, sneezing and an aversion to wind. One or all of those. That is when you need to grab it. If you take action at this point it is fairly easy to stop it in its tracks.
Plenty of warm drinks. Add chili and ginger especially, Lemon and honey as well as garlic. Rug up warm and do not stop yourself from sweating as this is the body's way of eliminating the cold. As soon as you sweat you are winning and on the way to recovery.
If the cold goes deeper it will go into the chest and create a cough and clear mucus. If it stays there too long and you don't rest etc then you can easily head into more serious conditions such as lung infections...you will now be coughin up yellow phlegm and your condition will now be harder to treat as other pathogens may join the party.
Prevention is always better than cure. So what can you do to prevent colds?
1. Stay warm in winter: this means keeping your feet and the back of your neck covered and warm. If you touch your feet and they are cold...PUT SOCKS ON IMMEDIATELY!
2. Eat warming nourishing foods: Garlic and onions are good for lungs...Autumn is the time of the lungs. Each organ has its own different season. So if you know this you can prepare by eating for the season. Basically you begin to eat warm nourishing foods in autumn. Ginger can be added to your food as well.
3. Regular maintenance with Acupuncture is essential for health and well being and is a great way for you to keep track of where your health is and what you may need to correct to stay healthy.
4. Adequate rest is essential especially coming into winter or colder months as we are hard wired to rest during this season. Not only to rest but to restore our energy for spring and summer.
Yes our bodies do operate on seasonal cycles and well as monthly cycles. Humans have decided that for some reason we don't need to follow them any more and so our world is full of people out of balance and on the edge of sickness all the time instead of being right into fitness and health.
For more information you can contact us through our clinic: Mauri Natural Therapy.
More next week.
Yours in good health Paul Hoogendyk. Adv Dip Acupuncture. Graduate Dip Natural Sciences. Dip Clinical Hypnosis.