Well this is an interesting subject for a horse blog – but hey, if we’re THAT sick we can’t look after the ponies, who’s going to do it if we can’t? Anyway, my work of over twenty years now as an alternative health practitioner for both horses and people, has lead me into some very useful knowledge on a whole heap of different health subjects, so I decided to share some of those with you as they pop into my universe.
Let’s start talking about a cold by telling you what NOT do – or at least tell you about the consequences of some of the modern methods of dealing with a cold, so that you can make your own decision.
1. Cold and flu capsules are one of my pet hates. They contain paracetamol or something like it, to bring down the fever of the cold or flu – and yet it is the fever that is your body’s natural way of killing the virus. Yep, your body has it’s own built in defense system to kill viruses and your high temperature is it.
So what happens when we pull our temperature down artificially? You may have already guessed it – your cold or flu lasts for LONGER…
It IS possible however, for a person’s temperature to go too high, with all kinds of drastic consequences.
I have no intention of sticking my neck out here, so if you want to know how high you can allow you or your children’s temperature to go before you worry, then ask your own doctor what they think the cut off point is for intervention.
2. The other major ingredient in the common cold and flu capsule, is something to dry up the mucous, to dry up your runny nose. So what happens then? Have you ever paid attention to what is in your tissue after you’ve blown your nose? (Sorry to gross you out here, but it’s important. 🙂 ) Do you want that stuff, – do you want those toxins stuck INSIDE your body?
All that mucous coming out your nose is your body’s way of getting rid of stuff that it doesn’t want inside. So… if you take something to stop your body from getting rid of it that way, what happens next?
Do we even notice a couple of months or so later, when our body has worked it’s butt off finding a different way to get of these toxins and we have a bout of diarrhoea for example? And translate “when our body has worked its butt off” to “we rarely feel vibrantly healthy during time that our body is doing all this work harder than it had to”.
And then what do we do with the diarrhoea? Well in the very old days, I used to go to the chemist and buy something to stop that too.
So what else does our body need to do to get rid of these toxins – maybe it will come up with a skin rash? Who knows? Everyone is different but the one sure thing is that our body doesn’t want that stuff INSIDE, so it will fight like heck to get it out and the more we get in the way of that process by stopping it, the crappier we are going to feel as our body works harder and harder to be well.
So, what about the RIGHTNESS of a cold?
I am laughing to myself here. I can hear Corey in New Zealand groaning at me and many others of you as well I bet! 🙂
Yep, there is RIGHTNESS in a cold and it’s not just little old Pollyanna me. (Pollyanna was a little girl in an old fashioned book that my mother gave me to read when I was young. She always smiled and saw the best in everything and everybody.)
The first “rightness” is that every well managed cold, boosts and strengthens your immune system and a strengthened immune system will always serve us well in all kinds of emergencies.
The second and even bigger “rightness” comes from something I heard on our ABC Health Report one day when I was traveling. Someone else can do the research on the specific details of this please, I have a big week and if I do this research myself, you won’t get this blog for weeks.
On this radio report they were talking about a drug company that had discovered that a common cold virus cured a particular type of cancer. The drug company were extracting something from the cold virus, so that they could manufacture it and sell it to you.
Does anyone else see the irony in that? Couldn’t the doctors just keep a vial of these cold germs and give them to someone who needs a cold? Spread around the love? Am I being simplistic here?
The big picture here is, that our universe, both internally in our bodies and externally into our environment, is filled with miraculous and timely and RIGHT things when we step back and look at the big picture. And the more we get in the habit of noticing these “rightnesses”, the more we will feel at peace in our world.
OK, here are my favorite ways to get rid of a cold fast and to manage the mucous so we can sleep at night:
You can cook the virus faster and feel better pretty much straight away, with this recipe for a nice warm bath.
Run a bath, not too hot. Add 3 tablespoons of ground ginger into the bath water. Get in the bath with a hot drink of some sort of stock – either vegetable or meat stock is OK – with some cayenne pepper mixed into it. Don’t worry of you don’t like hot spices like cayenne, your taste buds are affected by the cold and you won’t hate it anywhere near like you normally would. I found it actually tasted OK to my half dead taste buds.
This bath recipe works sooo… well in breaking the fever working WITH your body, that it’s worth a little unusual drink in the bath. What you’re doing with this recipe is cooking yourself from the outside with the ginger in the bath (the skin is an amazing organ that soaks things up) and from the inside with the cayenne pepper.
You lay in the bath drinking your drink for 20 minutes. No longer please, we don’t want that bath to go cold because that might give you a chill.
Then wrap yourself up like an Egyptian mummy in something warm and washable (cos’ you’re going to sweat heaps) and climb back into bed for an hour or so. Protect the bed from the sweat with towels or some such, you do not want wet bedding to give you a chill. Deliberately and consciously enjoy that feeling of working WITH your body’s natural ways of killing a virus.
Set an alarm for an hour, to get up after the cold or flu has “broken” and shower off the sweat, throw all the wet stuff into the laundry and go back to bed with the virus killed, the fever broken because it’s no longer needed and the biggest misery part of the cold or flu is over.
The next biggest part of a cold is managing the mucous so that you can sleep and thank God for the Buteyko breathing people! You’ll have to google a youtube on it, because the link I had here doesn’t work any more. They have breathing exercise that will enable you to clear your nose without drugs, enabling you to sleep comfortably. I clear my nose with this Buteyko exercise and then gently allow the Reverse Breathing to keep my airways open while I sleep, although I am sure that you can do the job with just the Buteyko work. I put that Reverse Breathing up on our students forum in Extra Lessons From Jenny.
I was dumb enough to catch a chill on top of a cold by being out with the horses for too long and not warm enough (yeech should have known better!) and the cough that I ended up with was abysmal. Holding my breath for the mucous clearing exercise was holding my breath for waayyy too long and I needed to revert to the other breathing exercise for a cough which you will find below.
You tend to get infected sinuses?
I haven’t done this next one personally, but my working student Kristina used to get a lot of infected sinuses and swears that by irrigating the sinuses with salty water brings instant relief. If sinus infections have been a problem for you in the past, tuck this tip into your mental first aid kit – you’ll find a simple version at the bottom of the page on that Buteyko breathing link above.
Can’t stop coughing?
The following video is labelled for an asthma attack, but the technique is the same for a cough and he adds some excellent tips about how to manage coughing towards the end of the video. It’s also a slightly different technique than the mucous clearing exercise above.
Don’t even TRY and stay in bed. Laying down can make it sooo… much worse. So get up and keep doing this different Buteyko breathing exercise if you need to.
Lay back in a comfortable armchair with your feet up and do the small breath holds shown in the video above. You can also do a Quiet Mind like we do with the horses and allow yourself to drift off to sleep in this position. A meditation like this can be even more relaxing than a sleep in your bed when you have been coughing.
Errr how dumb was I?
There are a few dumb things that you can do around getting or managing a cold. You know that slightly damp feeling that you get when you’re hot and sweaty? Well when you’re outside with your horses, make sure that you don’t allow yourself to get cold when you’re in that state – that’s why our grandmothers told us to ADD a jumper after we finished playing sport on a cold day and it’s the same thing if you’re sweaty from a bit of a fever. Rug up well! Even a scarf across your nose can warm your breath up and reduce the coughing.
Take it from me that catching a chill is a crappy thing to do and to catch a chill on top of a cold – hmmm… that is seriously crappy and the repercussions of that, were responsible for triggering me into a major hissy fit, full on tantrum, melt down in the middle of the night.
I should have got up and done the right Buteyko stuff – and I am doing it now…
So see? With all these techniques, we don’t need to risk all the possible side effects of suppressing our bodies natural healing processes with drugs to treat a cold or flu. Maybe you know even more ways to beat a cold or flu by working WITH your body instead of against it?
Tell me your favorite family recipes in the comment section below.
Not a horsey person?
If you’re not a horse person and you’ve found your way here, since everything happens for a reason, it may be worth knowing about a non horse program that I am trialing right now. Maybe you or someone you know may need my Arthritis Program, which is getting incredible results in a very short time, completely drug free.