I have a cold. I am feeling rough having endured a couple of days sore throat and now reaching for tissues because my nose is streaming. My head throbs and I feel wobbly. Still I think this is good news.
We need to go back a bit to understand why I can find joy in this without being a Pollyanna. I used to suffer and to a degree still suffer from an irritated and inflamed gut and a host of autoimmune symptoms, the worst of them being severe eczema. By balancing the microbiome in my gut, I have achieved better health. I am no more in pain because of weeping raw skin. I can eat foods I could not eat for a couple of years ago. Admittedly I am still watchful of what I am eating, but I can have a freedom of joining in at celebrations and having a sneaky treat. And there are just straight forward delights like being able to eat strawberries! And boy, did I eat them this summer…
This Cold Is Happy News
See, when I suffered from a low-grade inflammation in my gut/body my immune system was all the time at high alert. This meant that it had a host of (auto)immune reactions, which were not nice. It also meant that any common cold had hard time to get to me. I have worked part time in an office for last twenty months and have not had a single cold. The people around me have been coughing and spluttering through two winters, yet nothing touched me. In addition, I have been exposed to all the viruses carried home from the school by my son. And throw in the ones my husband brings into our household as well…
Having a common cold is a happy milestone for me. It means that in addition to clearly having lessened the inflammation in my gut and skin I have an immune system which seems to have a more normal level of activity. It is obviously not great if you catch every cold going around, but a cold or two in a year is normal.
What to do?
In my experience you should drop everything and prostate yourself on the sofa with hot drinks and just rest. This will return you to full productivity faster and not spread the virus around you. Alas, this is not how the most employers think as yet, so here are some tips how you can help your body to shift the cold a bit quicker when you cannot have a flop down.
As much as you can. Do not go on doing heavy exercise, gentle walk will do. Sleep as much as possible.
Vitamin D is what you will be needing to combat a cold infection. If you don’t take supplements already, this is the time to hit the bottle, vitamin bottle that is. You could add zinc and omega 3 oil on the list.
This is an effective, old and safe way to relieve sinus pressure and congestion accompanying a cold. Pour steaming water in a bowl, sit with your head covered with a towel getting a steam bath. Do not place your face too close to the steaming basing that scolds! You can even add few drops of essential oils of eucalyptus, tea tree and/or peppermint in the water.
Gently massage the points to relieve the cold symptoms.
The ones under your cheek bones you will find having a little indentation on the bone. The same goes with the two locations on the brows. They might feel tender, so do not press too hard! This is something you can do even at your desk at work where steaming would not be practical.
Back to the hot drinks now…