~ Each season brings with it unique health challenges. These past couple weeks especially, patients and their families have been dealing with the invasion of cold and flu bugs. Here are some tips I find myself sharing a lot lately, a short survival guide for the season from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine:
1. Sweat it out!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) our pores and sweat have a direct connection with how our body fights off invading pathogens. In the beginning stages of a cold or flu, inducing a mild sweat can in some cases prevent the pathogen from taking hold or reduce the severity of the illness. If you start to feel a cold coming on - often presenting as fever, chills, scratchy throat, stiff neck and/or nasal congestion:
Tip: Peppermint herbal tea bags are great to have on hand during cold season. Peppermint leaf is used in Chinese herbal medicine to ease sore throats from the common cold. Make a cup when you start to feel a tickle in your throat.
* Use herbs with caution. If you are on medications or are pregnant or breastfeeding please seek the advice of a trained herbalist.
2. Acupressure & Self-Massage
Tip: When locating acupuncture points, they often feel different then the surrounding area, sometimes sore, like a bruise, or better with pressure. Often you'll feel a dull ache when the point is 'activated'.
Remember your grandmother telling you to cover your neck or you'd catch a cold? Well she was right! From TCM perspective, wind entering the pores around our neck and shoulders can weaken and block the defensive energies in our bodies, making us more susceptible to invading pathogens.
Tip: Scarves, higher collars and hats are key to making it through cold season!
Often it's when we're stressed out, worried and overworked that colds take hold. Taking a moment to relax and ease the mind can do wonders for our immune system and life in general.
And of course, acupuncture, cupping and herbal medicine are excellent options for the prevention and treatment of colds. Contact me if you're wondering if TCM is right for you.
In health & happiness,
* Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. If you have any questions about the ideas presented, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Hawboldt is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Victoria, BC. She's passionate about Women's health, mental health and digestive health. Acupuncture, food therapy and herbal medicine play a key role in her practice.