AN INSIDERS LOOK AT HOW HOLISTIC PRACTITIONERS HANDLE THE COMMON COLD
Welp, it happened. I caught a cold over the Thanksgiving holiday. How did this happen? Two words: Wind. Points.
Wind Points are the points on your neck and shoulders that leave you vulnerable to catching cold according to Chinese medicine, and if you don't cover them up we always warn - you gonna get it! Honestly this whole topic deserves its own post to explain it, but I will save that for another time. For now, let's just focus on what happened.
I locked myself out of my house without my coat and had to walk to a friends with all my wind points exposed. I should have known what would happen. Laying in bed that night I had a tickle in my throat and started sneezing up a storm. Thinking it was just allergies I took my Pe Min Kan Wan, grabbed a big glass of water by the bed, and went to sleep. When I woke up, things were more or less the same, so I took more herbs and went to Thanksgiving.
Day 1 - Unfortunately, things were not more or less the same. I started to get a headache and had trouble regulating my temperature. I skipped out early, and spent the rest of the day resting and watching movies - taking more herbs, still trying to convince myself it was just allergies. It was not.
Day 2 - Friday morning it became clear that I was not okay as I was starting to develop a mild cough. This was my first indication that things were getting worse, but honestly that tickle in my throat the night before should have been the first warning. Why oh why don't I listen to myself?! Doctors make the worst patients. For real though.
Ok, time to buckle down and fight this thing. Luckily I had taken off for the holiday and wouldn't have any patient until Monday. I had three days to knock this cold out. My symptoms were hot flashing and sweating, cough with sputum, congestion, and fatigue. I wasn't having chills or nausea and vomiting, so feels like its something I can handle. Game plan:
Day 3 - Saturday morning I wake up. Things are both better and worse. No more congestion or sneezing, but things have moved down into my chest. The cough isn't that bad, but when I do cough, dark green crud comes out. Better out than in, though, and I spit it up all day long. I repeat steps 1-4, taking my herbs, my vitamins, drinking my herbal tea and water, loading up on soup, staying in bed and not exerting myself. Being the holidays, the sweet people in my life keep dropping by with soup and tacos, so I am well fed :) By the end of the day I feel pretty good. Black Pumas are playing tonight and I really want to go. I can totally do it. BUUUUUUUT. I don't. I send my ticket off and curl up to binge Watchmen. Le sigh.
Day 4 - Sunday. I feel pretty damn okay. Still coughing up green sh*t but it's not as much and my throat isn't as sore. I ease up on vitamins and herbs, only taking a few doses throughout the day. I still rest and stay inside. Tomorrow is a work day and got patients to treat!
Today is Day 5, Monday. And here I am at work. Still have the tiniest of coughs, but I feel great other than that. Took the dog on a long walk this morning to make sure I was up for the day. Everything is A-OK!
Moral of the story, cover your head and neck when you're outside! I hope this insight into how I handle a cold helps y'all if and when you face the same situation. I was super lucky it happened over the holiday, and not during a busy week of patients! Comment your tips below on how you either avoid a cold or knock it out as fast as possible!
Stay healthy, friends!
what's the best option for you?
In terms of tools you can use to treat your own pain through massage, not all things are created equal. Having worked in this field a long time, I've been lucky enough to find some of the ones that work best. Here's my top favorites:
The wooden back Roller
Classic design, rebranded and sold by a lot of different companies - a wooden back roller is one the best things you can do for you back. One of the original designs - The MA Roller - has a great "how to" guide. And our friend, colleague, and esteemed practitioner Robert Gardner has some incredible tutorials on using it as well. Highly recommend grabbing this baby if you're struggling with any type of back pain. The one linked in the picture above is especially good because the rubber on the ends helps prevent it from sliding around on you.
The Best Foam Roller
Ok, with literally dozens of options and many more much cheaper, why this one you ask? Well quite frankly it's got the heft that some of the other ones lack. It doesn't give when you put a fair amount of weight on it, but it's solid structure also means that it tends to last longer and not start to fall apart on ya when you're running it through the ringer so to speak. Plus the grooves offer some good trigger point options if you're into that.
The original worm
This thing is incredible! It works wonders, especially when trying to roll around tendons and ligaments in weird areas like the knee. It's also great for the neck, hamstrings, and lower legs. This is the one that works best on the shin if you're struggling with shin splints. Basically if you've ever used a lacrosse ball and loved, this is one on steroids and you'll love it!
Stay healthy, friends!
~The Red Raven
How self care and acupuncture can treat and prevent your plantar fasciitis:
I didn't ever expect to specialize in foot pain and plantar fasciitis, but in hindsight it's been a long time coming. As a dancer and former martial artist, I was on my feet a lot, and punished them pretty constantly. I ended up with my own plantar fasciitis and this blog post is based on my experience. I was able to get rid of the pain and get back to doing the things I love, so have hope dear reader! Over the years I've been lucky enough to have more than a few people come in with foot pain, and my personal journey with it has helped me become pretty good at treating it. They sent me more people with foot pain, and through all the experience I was able to figure out some of the best ways to treat foot pain fast! So without further ado, here are my experiences boiled down into my top seven ways to treat foot pain and plantar fasciitis with holistic and Chinese medicine:
If you are particularly tight and struggle with a pose like this, you can simply try to walk your legs up the wall and bring your tailbone as close to wall as possible while extending the legs straight up. You will definitely feel the stretch in the hamstrings, only go as far as you can while being able to take nice long, deep breathes. It should feel good if you take it slow. Listen to your body, move lightly but intentionally.
This is my favorite foam roller for stretching out the lower legs:
So there you go, my top 7 ways to treat plantar fasciitis naturally at home and using acupuncture. Have some personal experience with it? Share your own tips for plantar fasciitis relief in the comments below!
Stay healthy, friends!
~The Red Raven
Bret Kyle Rogers, L.Ac.
Texas based acupuncturist, qigong teacher, and herbalist demystifying Chinese medicine. The author frequently links to Amazon.com for specific products. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and appreciate your business!