Monday, November 7, 2011
Cold catching and releasing
A really nasty cold virus is making the rounds here in Washington DC - an excellent excuse to post my spiel. Everyone has ideas about how to deal with a cold, yes? I've heard so many different approaches, haven't you? When you start sniffling, people begin offering their suggestions, unbidden mostly. Chew raw garlic, drink a hot toddy, take some over-the-counter cold remedy, or dose yourself with Zinc. Etc. etc. etc. I could go on and on, right?
My ex housemate used to outrun his colds - a novel approach. He would drink tons of water, then work harder, move around faster, drive fast down the freeway for awhile. I believe he thought, at some level, he could outrun the virus. Very funny.
No matter what you do, your cold will resolve itself within 4-7 days, which begs the question of whether or not any approach is actually effective. Hmmm. Probably not, hey?
I think the "common cold" can never be cured because it is a healthy, normal way in which the body cleanses and detoxes. The immune system takes on a virus in order to strengthen itself. In the process of going through the internal battle between virus and immune system, we're given a chance to clean out and refresh, if we're willing to go with the flow, that is. There is no such thing as beating a cold, no matter what people tell you. I say take advantage of these opportunities to rest and detox. If you can't beat a cold, go with it!
My approach includes everything that will keep the flow going. Decongestants stop the sinuses from draining, allow the bacteria to ferment and develop into full blown infections. I avoid that stuff, always. If you just blow your nose, you can get rid of the bacteria and defeated virus. Mucus serves a purpose. It's sticky; it absorbs a lot of crap that can be expelled. I buy a big ole box of kleenex, then let 'er rip. To all the toxins gathered up and expelled during a cold, I say Hasta la vista, baby.
Dress warmly, drink only warm liquids, eat only warm food. No salads or cold drinks, please! Soupy, stewy food will not overwork the digestive system so the body can devote more energy to defeating the virus. Starve a cold? Yes. Don't starve, but don't overeat, don't eat super rich foods that ordinarily don't even sound good in the midst of a cold.
Sleep long and hard. Ask a neighbor to walk your dog. Take it easy - you're detoxing, remember? Read magazines or watch stupid movies. If you're really sick, just look at catalogs. Give even your mind a rest; that, too is cleansing. Lie around your house, let your hair get rumpled, let it all go, people! That's what a cold makes possible.
If you're still feverish and completely stuffed up after 5 or 6 days, then you have to go see the doctor. That means your body is not up to fighting off the virus and you need help. But give your body a chance first, if at all possible, please?
My two cents. I bet you all have your own cold remedy ideas. I would love to hear them.
Be well, or if you have a cold, gesundheit! Take good care, please? Thanks and shalom.