Cold season is here in Minnesota! The common cold is something everybody deals with and there are a thousand different suggestions on how to avoid catching a cold. Everything from megadoses of vitamin C to increasing your sleep time. Some people have stronger immune systems than others and this plays into how often they get sick. Also, there are many environmental factors to account for. And while nothing is going to work every time for every person, there are still ways you can prepare for cold season.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for nearly 3,000 years and it utilizes many different tools to help people stay healthy. According to TCM theories, there are six causes of disease: wind, cold, summer heat, dryness, dampness and fire. The human body has to adapt to changes in these elements in order to remain healthy. The main cause of the common cold is wind and it is often associated with sudden or abnormal changes in the weather. Wind frequently combines with other forces to cause different types of illnesses. The most common are wind cold and wind heat.
Wind cold invasions cause the types of colds that manifest aversion to cold, shivering, sneezing, runny nose, either no fever or slight fever, and neck stiffness. Wind heat invasions causes cough, fever, slight sweating, sore throat thirst and shivering,
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been very successful in treating people who suffer from frequent colds. Every person has an immune system that usually fights off invasions of bacteria and viruses. But sometimes, when a person is under a lot of stress or doesn’t sleep well or doesn’t eat right, then their immune system can become compromised and a cold may develop. TCM emphasizes prevention through the use of acupuncture, herbal formulas and diet.
Regular acupuncture treatments can increase your immunity, making it easier to fight off any foreign invaders. At our Edina acupuncture clinic Chinese herbs are also frequently prescribed to rid the body of viruses and to reduce the severity of cold symptoms while strengthening the immune system.
There are other things that can be done to prevent the common cold. For instance, covering the back of your neck is very beneficial. The nape of the neck is an entry point for many viruses. There are acupuncture points located there that can be vulnerable to wind. Therefore, keeping this area covered up especially when it is windy, can help keep you from getting sick. Also, it is recommended to eat according to the season. So as the weather gets colder, one should eat more warm and cooked foods.
One last thing that may be very beneficial in the prevention of colds is exercise. To keep energy flowing throughout your body, it is necessary to move. This is where incorporating a daily practice of tai chi, qi gong, or yoga is helpful. Both tai chi and qi gong are very easy to learn and the practices are low impact. Tai chi is even being used around the globe in senior homes to help the residents regain balance and keep them healthy, both mentally and physically. Exercise should be done as a prevention when you’re not sick. But when you’re sick get as much rest as possible!
Consider adding Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine to your toolbox when a cold comes on. Our licensed acupuncturist and herbalist can be very beneficial to your health and well-being. Call us at 952-831-8080 or reach us at our contact page. To your health!