Originally Published January 18, 2012
This won’t be another article about hand-washing. I think that one’s pretty obvious, not to mention given an abundance of print space elsewhere. 🙂
I hope to give you some extra tips you haven’t already heard that you can easily and swiftly apply yourselves at home. It is most important to jump on a cold quickly because colds are really easy to heal when you just start to feel it coming on, but are likely to require much more effort once they’ve gotten going.
First off, I strongly suggest thinking through a little bit about how and why you get colds. This will be different for different people. Often times, there is a connection between a stressful event happening in your life, lack of sleep for prolonged periods, lack of exercise or meditation, eating unhealthy food or too much sugar/junk food, going without fresh air for a long time, anger or other negative emotions coming up, and coming down with something. All these things lower our energy significantly. When this lowered energy persists, our defenses are down and our immune systems are weakened. There can be some delay between an unhappy event and a physical reaction in the body such as a cold of several days or a week, perhaps more, so we have to pay close attention and connect the dots.
It is important to realize difficult things happen in our lives that we brush off without realizing or admitting the impact they are having on us. We have to acknowledge that, yes, that experience really upset me. And there IS an energetic response to that that will affect your health. Stress and any negative emotion block, congest, and lower our energy or prana in the body. Without the right amount of energy flowing properly, our bodies cannot function normally. So these small and large upsets affect our health. When we realize this, we can start to understand how our lives, habits, emotions, and events affect us. This gives us the power to be one step ahead of the game and prevent small as well as big health challenges.
I know you are thinking of being exposed to another person who is sick as a primary reason for getting sick. I don’t feel this quite counts because we really are exposed to germs practically all the time. It is easy to blame it on the sick kids we were around or the airport we were in, but with a strong immune system and a high level of energy, this additional exposure does not make a big difference. I am now into my fourth winter at my other part-time job where at least three times a year, some bug goes around and at least half the staff gets it and has to call in sick. I have yet to catch anything from work. What causes us to catch them is our own immune systems and energy levels.
Aside from noticing and taking care of stress and negative emotions, we have to manage our day-to-day energy as well. I know people who don’t stop until there is nothing left. They have an admirable inner drive to work hard and help others, but we simply can’t help others or be at our best at work when we’re running on an empty tank. It also opens us right up for colds, flu, and worse. Don’t max yourself out. It’s kind of like how we know to “eat till your stomach is no more than 75% full.” You can keep eating, but it’s not good for you, and it’s gonna hurt. So go until your energy is 50% depleted, not 95%. Learn to “quit while you’re ahead” and not feel bad about it! This is a habit and takes practice.
I personally haven’t been sick for quite some time (knock on wood)–aside from right now! It can be fairly predictable for me. My own learning has inspired what I call the Triumvirate of Health (see previous blog) which includes:
2. Healthy Diet
When I do all these things consistently, I feel almost invincible. My mood is up, my physical energy is up, my sleep is high quality, and even unexpected situations are dealt with smoothly. When one or more of these fall to the wayside, there goes the quality sleep, there goes the good mood, and there goes the usually-endless energy. So that’s kind of what happened with me.
Another intriguing theory behind colds, fevers, and flu that I feel is worth mentioning is that they are actually just the body detoxing. You haven’t necessarily “caught” anything. If you have ever been on a detox such as a juice fast, you know that the symptoms, whether from reading about it or experiencing it, are cold- and flu-like in nature. I learned this idea from Matt Monarch, co-owner of www.therawfoodworld.com. He puts out a fantastic, educational newsletter.
It may be that rather than having a viral or bacterial infection, our bodies have decided now is the time to unload some extra toxins (or, energetically, flush out a bunch of dirty energy). The process of flushing something out means it leaves your tissues–or chakras–and circulates through the bloodstream or energy body before being expelled through the proper channels. These include the bowels, lungs, skin, etc. During this circulation process, the crud is moving through us and makes us feel yucky. This causes us to feel low-energy, fuzzy-headed, etc. We also eject toxins through mucus which in the form of a runny nose or cough.
While most of us run to the drug store for the nearest dose of relief, this greatly hampers the process your body is trying to undergo. Remember, the number one source of toxicity is prescription and non-prescription drugs. If you are stopping this flow of discharging toxins and dirty energy, your body will only hold onto it for later. You are increasing your chances of getting sick again, and missing a chance to get healthier than you were before.
What can rapidly accelerate this process instead is something Matt Monarch is openly an enormous fan of, and that is colon hydrotherapy or an enema. Our bowels are, of course, a main place for elimination of waste and toxins. Virtually all of us have a clogged colon. This is caused by over-eating, not chewing our food properly, consuming pasteurized dairy, consuming meat, not consuming enough fiber, and not consuming enough raw foods which have live digestive enzymes in them, helping to better digest our food. By cleaning the colon, you immediately allow your body to rapidly get rid of significantly more waste, and this has been shown anecdotally to clear up fevers and minor illnesses in MINUTES. Pretty amazing.
Other ways to facilitate rather than hamper your body’s natural detoxification process is to eat very lightly (most of us have decreased appetite when we are sick, and I believe this one reason why). Fresh juices, salad, light soup, and smoothies are great. Go easy on bread, dairy, and meat or cut them out until you feel better. Say no to sweets for the time being. Of course, drink lots of water.
So I feel those are the two main causes of colds
1. Lowered defense system from lack of healthy habits, stress, and over-working
2. Toxic buildup the body is trying to get rid of.
When you know what lowers your body’s defense systems and tends to allow infection in, you can act preemptively against illness before you get it! Let’s say that a really busy week at work tends to allow a cold to come in. When you know such a week is coming up, or even when one sneaks up on you, take extra good care of yourself. Eat super-healthy, get as much sleep as you possibly can, and implement a relaxation routine in the evenings after you get home such as a warm bath and soothing music. Meditation can be a life-safer in these situations as well. As always, I recommend Master Choa’s Meditation on Twin Hearts because of it’s powerful cleansing and energizing effects. Doing this regularly would be an extremely powerful tool to use against getting sick, no matter what time of year. Yes, some of these things take time and effort, but getting sick eats up your time quite a bit more, and it’s not half as fun as some pampering!
When a stressful interaction happens between you and another person, take the time to process it and acknowledge it. Do what it takes to feel better whether it’s talking to a friend, having a counseling session, doing some meditation, or writing about it. Take care of your feelings sooner rather than later, or they can come back to bite you in the form of a nasty cold–or much worse. More illness, disease, and pain than you can ever imagine is caused by negative emotional buildup over years and years, and simply letting it out is more powerful than any amount of hand-washing one can do–in my humble opinion!
Energetically, there are a few things you can do to greatly assist healing as well. First, take a salt bath. This has to be regular table salt to have the energy effect you want. Salt water draws out dirty energy from your body and breaks it down. Soak in this water for 20-25 minutes, not longer. You will need 2-4 pounds of salt, so stock up at Costco with one of their 24-pound bags. Daily is best.
Next, a short visualization exercise has worked for me several times. I actually read this in a book by Eckhart Tolle. It’s very simple. Sit or lay down and imagine a powerful waterfall of white, sparkling light pouring over the top of your head and into your entire body, down to your feet. Make it as vivid as you can, and try to imagine this for 3-5 minutes. Picture every cell bathed in white light. This literally does bring additional prana into your body which you need in times of low energy or sickness. If it seems like the energy is stuck or dark in some places, imagine the dark spots coming out and being flushed and filled with the fresh, clean prana.
Please, get enough sleep. I can’t emphasize this enough. It’s very hard to convince people to do this. It’s very hard to convince people that they might need more sleep than they think they do. Our bodies get trained by alarm clocks very quickly, and just because you wake up on Saturdays at 6am feeling alert does not mean you got all the sleep you needed. It means your body has been trained. It takes un-training to be able to sleep in again after so many years of alarm clocks. Take a nap, for heaven’s sake. When you get home from work, just lay down even if you don’t think you’re tired (heck, even if you’re not sick!). Chances are, you’ll doze off and feel great when you wake up. We are a culture of chronically sleep-deprived people, and we cannot expect our immune systems to function properly under such conditions.
Get outside and get some fresh air into your house. We are taught to be afraid of cold air and cold weather, but we are warm-blooded animals, and our bodies keep our optimal temperature very well in colder conditions. I feel that part of the reason we get sick in the winter more is not from lower temperatures but because we are indoors so much, in stagnant air that has not moved and has had the opportunity to house bacteria and germs. In the summer with windows open, our indoor air is exchanged for fresh air on a constant basis. So open your windows for an hour or two at a time whenever possible, and get outside and get fresh air and fresh air prana into your lungs. It will do wonders.
Here’s to a healthy 2012!