The dreaded cold and flu
For many of us cold and flu is just a part of Winter. We expect to get it at least once. For those of us with poorer immunity this can be much more often. Below are some ways you can try and avoid catching the cold and flu. If you do get it try some of the methods below in the acute phase to either rid yourself of it completely or lessen the duration of it.
Prevention is often better than a cure:
- wear a scarf. Start wearing a scarf from Autumn onwards. As soon as the winds rise and the temperature drops begin scarf wearing. Cease this when Spring arrives and the reverse occurs. Chinese medicine sees cold entering via the neck (as well as the skin and the nose), so try and protect it from the wind, cold and rain;
- get plenty of sleep. As stated earlier, sleep needs to be longer in Winter. 8-9 hours is ideal;
- manage your stress. Stress eats away at immunity, so try things like meditation, yoga and comedy to lighten your emotional and mental load;
- eat nourishing and easy to digest foods. Strengthening your body via foods is one of the easiest avenues open to you;
- avoid drafts, shut up your bedroom at night, and turn off all fans and airconditioners so that no miscellaneous drafts blow over during your sleep.
If you do catch a cold..:
*woman sneezing image courtesy of evah
- if caught in the rain and cold, as soon as you get home have a hot ginger bath. Tie a chunk of ginger in a tea towel and rubber band it to the bath tap. Let the hot water through it. Soak for about 5 minutes (or until you reach a surface sweat) then hop out. Immediately cover your skin and then try and rest - or go straight to bed. This can also be done if your feel the first tickle of a cold;
- drink lots and lots of warm fluids. Have brothy soups for meals with garlic, ginger and spring onions to try and push the pathogen back out;
- again sleep. Lots and lots and lots of sleep. The body's best recovery mode is during sleep.
- if you are unable to hit the cold or flu on the head then go see your Chinese medicine doctor as soon as possible. S/he can give you treatment to lessen the severity of it and help you recover from it quickly.