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The Cold, Flu and You

The Cold, Flu and You

Winter is officially here! It’s time to be careful because it’s the beginning of cold and flu season.

A study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that the virus forms a special outer coating in cold weather that helps it fly through the air and into another person. Flu is an airborne illness that can be transmitted to another person from as far as six feet, according to the NIH. This cold-weather coating simply helps along this process. Cooler air and lower humidity promote the transmission of the influenza virus from one person to another. In the summer, the wet, humid air pulls the virus to the ground, so it’s less likely to be inhaled by someone else. In the tropics, there is not much flu at all.

It's important to know the difference between flu and cold symptoms. A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel quite ill for a few days to weeks. The flu can also result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and hospitalizations.

There are no known cures for colds and flu, so a proactive approach to warding off colds and flu is apt to make your whole life healthier. In my 15 years practicing in my field I have tried many different techniques for my clients to protect themselves from colds and flus. These are the most successful and I am sure they will work for you. There are several useful ways to prevent colds.

Ginger tea and Mint tea

In Traditional Chinese Medicine there are two mains types of cold and flu; hot and cold. If you have the hot type of flu, you may have a sore throat and have yellow mucus. Sometimes you may also feel headache or hot inside. For this you would choose a mint tea to cool the heat. It’s easy to buy some mint teabags from the shop, or you can also put the fresh mint leaves into the boiled water. Drink the mint tea 3-4 times a day until you find the throat pain is dissipating.

For those with a cold type of cold or flu, you may feel cold and tired, as well as having a running nose and headache and sometimes even a temperature. The reasons of the flu usually are being caught in high winds or rain or even not being warm enough. Ginger tea is a good choice to treat this. Simply use a pot, then put 3 slices of ginger and 5 tea spoons of brown sugar into the water, and slow cooked 10 minutes on the stove. Drink the ginger tea 3-4 times a day until you are beginning to feel better.

Foot Spa and Foot Massage

As a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor I believe that your feet are the roots of your body. Having a foot spa and foot massage every night before bed can enhance your immune system. And it’s something you can do yourself! With warm water (ideally the temperature would be between 40 and 50 degrees) place your feet in your tub while you are sitting on the sofa watching your favourite television show or at the dining table eating your dinner. If you are feeling particularly cold, you may put 2 slice of ginger into the water. Enjoy your foot spa for at least 15-20 minutes for the full benefits. Pat your feet dry with a towel and begin to massage your feet by pressing the acupoints in your feet that can relive your fatigue and reduce your stress, which can help you have a good sleep as well.

The most important point under the foot is called YongQuan, and the position is one third of the way down your foot from your toes. Pressure should be gentle to relax yourself. It may feel tender while you are pressing the acupoint but this can just mean your body is tired and stressed. One session is 9 presses, and each press is 5 seconds. After that you need take a short break, then you can start the second session. Researches show that rubbing YongQuan point can improve the physique and immunity function.

These are two easy but useful ways to help you avoid or shorten the length of your flu. Sometimes though we become run down and we need extra help to protect ourselves and boost our immune systems.

If you feel like you need extra support please make an appointment with me by calling 1300 214 425 and together we will get you back on your feet.

Jessie Zhu

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