The Spinal Column - How to Fight a Cold
Q: What do you do when you’ve let your body get run down?Dr. Redmond: Sometimes we overbook our schedules, run ourselves ragged, and end up depleting our resources that help fend off microscopic invaders. That’s when we end up expressing outwardly the symptoms of an infection, such as a flu or cold. Our bodies keep these microbes in check every day, so these symptoms are simply the demonstration of our unbalanced lifestyle. Getting “sick” is the nervous system’s way of regaining homeostasis. Since we aren’t giving ourselves the rest we need, it puts us into a depleted state, forcing us to slow down and rejuvenate. I could happily ramble about the mechanisms involved in this process☺—the sympathetic nervous system in overdrive with its “fight or flight” response and the counteracting parasympathetic nervous system that we experience while sleeping, meditation and prayer, the neural link to why we create mucus and run fevers and ache and experience all the other unsightly symptoms of colds and flus but I doubt you want that much detail.
I, too, have been guilty of not giving my body the recovery time that it needs, and as a result, I have had to fighting something. So let me share what I do to help my body recover as quickly as possible, drug-free. It really is possible!
#1 Hydrate!Flush your system with as much water as possible. Sometimes, I will drink close to a gallon within 24 hours. Sometimes, doing only this enough to stop whatever bug is trying to get me.
#2 Sleep!Your body is trying to achieve balance again after going into overdrive, so resting quietly, in a dimly lit or dark room will help this happen faster. Resist the urge to turn on the TV since it is highly stimulative to the nervous system.
#3 Supplement!Taking large doses of vitamin D—around 4000IU/day—has been shown to stop respiratory infections in their tracks. I also like to mega-dose vitamin C, but I wouldn’t recommend doing this for more than a week, and if you experience burning during urination, stop taking it. It’s very hard to overdose on vitamin C since it is water soluble, but over-saturation can cause it to crystallize in your urine which can be awfully uncomfortable. Echinacea is a great herb to take at the first sign of symptoms and has been shown to shorten the duration of a cold by a few days if taken early on.
#4 Eliminate Dairy!Dairy products increase mucus production due to the low level of inflammation they cause in the body. If you are prone to colds and sinus issues, I would encourage you to eliminate dairy from your diet entirely. For now, let’s just focus on eliminating dairy until you’re feeling better.
#5 Homeopathy!There are a number of homeopathic remedies that can be used to help eliminate your symptoms altogether. I like using the Earth, Flu/Immune, and ER911 remedies that I use in my office. Sometimes, I don’t catch the symptoms in time and will call up my homeopath for something more specific. Homeopathy has allowed me to completely eliminate pharmaceuticals from my lifestyle so I am a huge fan. But please be aware: It is a tricky science and requires extensive knowledge of the remedies to find the right one so please make sure you seek out a qualified practitioner. The great thing about it is that there are no side effects so you can’t hurt yourself if you take the wrong thing. However, I’ve heard so many people say that homeopathy doesn’t work, simply because they had the wrong remedy.
Other helpful things are to avoid sugar, wheat (if sensitive to it), add some mild exercise like some gentle yoga or walking or meditate. Keep a positive attitude! Beware stating affirmations like, “I’m sick.” Stay strong! You’re fighting it!