Are you one of those people that seems to catch every cold or bug that comes around? Have you known the people who literally seem to NEVER get sick? As you have probably suspected, some people really are more susceptible in this way. From the Chinese medicine perspective, everyone has a pre-existing balance and state of immunity. We would say your defensive Qi was weakened and overcome by a pathogen (virus). If you go to an acupuncturist you will hear that you have a wind, heat or cold condition! There are things you can do to make yourself, your Qi, stronger and less prone to catching all those virus’s this winter.
You protect your body’s Qi by dressing warmly, protecting your feet, legs, low back, neck from the cold and wind. It requires a lot of your energy to keep warm, so help yourself out.
Get as much sleep and rest as you can. Go to bed by 10pm if possible. Your adrenal glands will thank you. Reduce stress if possible. Emotional stress is as damaging to qi as excessive physical stress! Do what you need to do, talk to someone, meditate, pray, spend time doing what you enjoy.
Optimize your diet for the season! You know how eating a salad or watermelon just isn’t as satisfying in the winter? You need warming foods at this time of year, cooked foods in general, not raw. Choose oatmeal over cold cereal, and things like stews and tea over things that hinder the smooth function of digestion like sugar, wheat products, excessive dairy, and cold beverages.
Of course visit your acupuncturist if your Qi is in a state that makes you a victim of sickness! Acupuncture and herbal therapies are effective in rebuilding the strength of your body’s processes.
So you caught a cold.
If you are coming down with something, here are a few tips to start treating it effectively from the start…
You feel that itchy throat, headache, and sniffle. A tried and true strategy to encourage your immune system is to SWEAT at the beginning of the attack. Make a tea or soup using green onions, ginger, and chicken if you like. Peppermint tea is best for sore throats with fever. Cinnamon for shivering and a bit of sweating. Have it hot and go to bed with tons of blankets, or have a soak in the tub. Our family loves Pho, a wonderful Vietnamese soup, for this purpose! Don’t forget to drink fluids to replace your sweating.
If you have a lot of phlegm avoid foods that encourage its formation… dairy, sugar, wheat products and fried foods. Ginger tea is a good choice.
ACUPUNCTURE! As a profession we have many ways to help you beat the cold at an early stage to prevent it getting worse and lodging in your chest or causing other upheaval with you health. Cupping, qua sha, tuina, herbs and acupuncture all help! Anti-viral herbs available at your appointment!
Massage the tender spots on either side of your nose and along the underside of your cheekbones to encourage your sinus cavities to empty.
With some self care you can have a much better winter this year!
Susan is an acupuncturist in Montclair, NJ. Please call for a complimentary consultation 973-454-8594.