We have seen a particularly unpleasant and persistent phlegmy cold that seems to hang around for over a month. It causes secondary infections in the lung, sinus and throat and leaves people suffering from it, exhausted. Here is a general guide to managing this.
1)This bug tends to lurk down in the digestive system. It seems to go with either nausea: or gas, bloating, poor digestion and loose stools. If you are experiencing these symptoms try eating very simply, with food you know you can digest well. Stay away from rich dairy and sugar.
Roasted garlic: individual cloves cooked under the grill and then peeled will boost the immune function and assist in clearing the gut. Cider vinegar and honey will similarly boost immune function.
2) Do not over do it. Rest and allow your body time and space to resist the pathogen. Stay well hydrated, eat well, abstain from sex. Work with the process of the illness, not against it.
Rub the area of the kidney with your hands. This is just under the ribs on your back although rubbing anywhere between the ribs and the bottom of the back will help. Do not allow your kidneys and feet to get cold. This will sap your body of energy.
Rub the spine at the top where your neck starts and at about the same height as your belly button on the back until it is warm. These are hot powerful points on the spine which will boost your energy level and immune system. If you are over thirty, get someone else to warm the area with a moxa stick.
3)Using a soft edged tool such as a Chinese spoon and some oil, Gua sha the areas around the back and the sides of the neck under the ear. Click the link for instructions on how to do this. Work along under the clavicle, which is the long bone at the top of your chest. and along into the dip below your shoulder. Someone else will have to do the area between the shoulder blades. Do not work on bone, especially vertebrae, do not worry about bruising, this is part of the process. If it hurts, that is ok and you want to work on areas that produce a lot of redness and bruising. Find fleshy areas on the areas described that hurt and bruise and really concentrate on them.
Stay away from the front of the neck and throat. If in doubt, don’t do it.
It may well bruise . If your throat is sore concentrate on the are below the clavicle on the chest and the sides, if the ear is blocked and painful then concentrate on the sides below the ear.
You may not get immediate relief, but it will ease up and bruise less easily each time you do it. As it bruises less easily the tissue is clearing. This may look alarming and painful, but it isn’t that bad.
Do not go out in the cold after you have opened up the skin pores with this technique. Wear a scarf.
4) Massage the area next to your nose on your face in small circles working out along the cheek bone towards the ear. Warm and loosen the tissue. Do it until the sinuses loosen up. Release of the sinuses allows the release of the pathogen out of the body. If the sinuses are very blocked work out along the eyebrow looking for areas of tightness.
5) Stretch and loosen the calves which will release the bowels. This again allows the release of pathogenic material from the body. Lengthen the calves and loosen them with self-massage.
6) If the sinuses are infected then rinse through with mildly salty warm water. If the throat is infected then gargle with warm salty water taking it as far down the throat as you can.
7) If you think you have a chest infection then go to your doctor, as this can become very serious very quickly. Green or Yellow phlegm are potential indicators. If in doubt, go.
8) Rub and warm the nail bed of the thumb, first third and fourth fingers, do the same on the toes on the first, third fourth and fifth. These are the beginning of the layers of the outer immune system according to Chinese medicine. The areas recommended to gua sha on the neck and chest begin here.
For acupuncturists reading this; this is a simple application of the sinew meridians or jing jin to address an invasion of wind cold damp into tai yang, shao yang yang ming and tai yin. I have seen one patient where the pathogen dropped into the heart and kidneys. this is a nasty bug. The basic recipe is open the orifices,both windows of the sky and doorways to earth, tonify yang, clear the zones and release the jing well point.
These are recommendations from Classical Chinese Medicine to handle a cough or cold. If in doubt seek western medical advice. Dragon will accept no responsibility for injury resulting from mis application of these suggestions. Use them carefully and wisely.