What you do in the early stage of a cold can make a big difference between a rapid and complete recovery, or a drawn out process with weeks of coughing and congestion. Here are 5 things we are constantly advising our patients not to do during winter:
TCM Concept – A wet head makes you vulnerable to an invasion of damp, cold and/or wind. Just as fluids of sweat cool your body when overheated, wetness of hair creates a cold environment for your head and neck. This disrupts the Yang energy needed there to keep your immunity strong. While this may not happen for everyone, it's not uncommon that sleeping with wet hair can cause a headache, crick in the neck, flu or cold onset, and sometimes facial paralysis (this is rare, don't worry).
TCM Concept – The contact of your bare soles to the coldness of bare tile can transfer cold energy internally, weakening Yang energy needed to support a strong immune system. Keep your feet warm and off tile flooring to keep your immunity strong and able to fight illness. On the flip side, you can also help fight a cold by bringing heat to your feet with warm socks, a foot soak, or your Lanshin Massager by Acera.
TCM Concept – The back if the head and neck are key areas to protect, and keep warm through winter. Many acupoints live there that strengthen immunity and treat symptoms of cold & flu. Keeping your neck covered not only protects the warmth, or Yang energy circulating there, it also prevents cold, brisk wind from penetrating into your muscles. This weakens your immune strength and makes you more vulnerable to catching colds, congestion, headaches and neck pain.
The pandemic has taught us this lesson quite well. Before Covid however, it was not uncommon for people to power through colds at work right at the moment when the body actually needs to rest and recover energy. I see my patients making this error all the time.
Another common recovery error is going back to work too soon. When you're not 100% but feeling better, it's still not the time to attend to work pressure and demands. Wait until you're 125% better. You might be itching to get back to your deadlines, but you risk prolonging the cold or making it worse, which may disrupt your productivity even more.
At the moment your body starts the descent into illness, what it needs most is to recover energy - not use energy. A strenuous workout is great when you're healthy, but when your immune system is dipping your body will appreciate more rest by staying in bed longer, taking naps, or switching to a light workout.
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