This holiday season, many of my friends complained that they did not enjoy their holiday because they caught a cold. This made me think that there must be more people that I don’t know who couldn’t enjoy their holiday because of the cold also.
In fact, having a cold is not a big deal. But it can prevent you from doing many fun activities with your family, and affect your work too. So how should we deal with cold if you get it by pure bad luck?
Based on TCM theory, any factor can clog the meridian flow, weaken our body defense system, or make things outside your body attack it. These factors include COLDNESS, which can clog the Qi & Blood flow because of low temperature, HEAT, which dries out the liquid of the flowing system, and DAMPNESS, which is sticky and paralyses the flow.
Other things that can weaken our body system include WIND, DRYNESS, etc. These can make our body feel even worse, adding on to the effect of the original outer body dangers.
Different factors cause different type of cold sickness symptoms. In this season, the major attacking factor is COLDNESS, sometimes with Dampness as well. When Coldness attacks, it normally has several stages:
You will sneeze, and have a running nose. But if you pay attention, you will realize that the mucus is not yellow. Sometimes this will also give y ou a cough, make you feel colder than usual, or both.
In this stage, using medicine is not necessary. Some simple tricks can cure you, but this stage is really short, making most people miss this best healing time.
Anything that can make your body warm up is good for this stage. For example, drinking ginger tea with brown sugar, using heating pad on C7 (7th Cervical Vertebra) on your neck, soaking your feet in hot water, etc.
There are some Chinese herbs you can take to help drive the cold out of your body. The key point is this stage is really short, usually less than a day. If you do not heal by this stage, it will get to the next one.
Stage #2: Outside cold, inside hot
Most people will go into the second stage before they realized it. In Stage #2, you will sneeze, have a running nose (some people will have yellow mucus), sore throat, little fever, tired, muscle ache, and deeper cough.
Even at this point, TCM have herb combinations that can be used to drive the cold out, and to evacuate the heat inside your body. If the throat hurts, eating some daikon radish soap or even raw slice daikon radish can help.
Stage #3: Heat burst inside and out
In this stage the patient will have high fever, a very sore throat, a lot of yellow mucus, and a deep cough into the chest. This means that you did not successfully defense yourself from the coldness attack, which can cause upper respiratory tract infection, even pneumonia. Doctors help is necessary now. You should not deal with it by yourself any more.
Stage #4: Back to Cold
In this stage your fever will be gone, but you still won’t be fully recovered. You might have a little stuffed nose still, a chill once after a while, or a sneeze here or there, but most uncomfortable symptoms should be all gone. Many people think they are fine, so stop taking care of themselves. This can cause people to develop Sinusitis and other problems just because of ignorance.
Some herbs such as JingJie, ChenPi, JieGeng, QianHu, XinYi, and BaiZhi, can help the recovery.
Stage #5: Weak digestion system
In TCM theory, the reason you catch a cold in the first place is because your body isn’t strong enough to resist the disease. Most energy you absorbed into your body was through your digestion system. So after a battle fighting the sickness, the body energy is low, and we need to nourish and boost up the digestion system.
Yam is well known in Chinese culture for strengthening the digestion system. Also eating porridge with multi-grains is always easy on your stomach after a sickness. Grains are also seeds, which have concentrated energy.
Many TCM treatment methods can help to speed up the recovery, such as acupuncture, cupping, TuiNa massage, and Guasha etc, but nothing is as good as taking care of your body by yourself before you get sick!
I hope all the loving people of the world have a healthy 2017!