In Chinese medicine we consider colds and flu to be an invasion by an external pathogen and give those pathogens names such as Wind-Cold, Wind-Heat, Wind-dry, etc. Your acupuncturist will often be able to feel an external invasion in its early stages and can recommend just the right formula for you in tandem with acupuncture. In fact, the very first acupuncture point prescriptions we learn in school are those for colds and flu.
In addition to acupuncture and herbal medicine, here are a few things you can do at home to make yourself or your family members more comfortable while your cold runs its course.
Grab it whenever you can. Forgo that late night TV show and go to bed early. Your body will be able to fight off your cold more efficiently if you give it some downtime.
SORE THROAT If you have a sore throat, feel thirsty for cold drinks, and/or feel feverish you likely have a Wind-Heat invasion. Pick up some fresh mint at the grocery store and steep a handful of the chopped, crushed leaves in hot water to soothe your sore throat and help keep you hydrated.
- Go to sleep early and on a regular schedule.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Eat a variety of fresh seasonal foods. Avoid cold foods like ice cream and iced drinks when the weatherʼs cold. Avoid sugar as much as possible (more on how to do that in a future blog).
- Come see us at Blue Sky Acupuncture Studio for nutritional counseling -- we can help you figure out how to eat to maximize your immune system.
- Keep the back of your neck covered when you go outside. In Chinese medicine, this is the place where pathogens can easily enter the body and wreak havoc. Also, after bathing or swimming, dry yourself quickly and keep covered with a towel or robe, especially on the back of your neck.