By Martha O’Regan
It’s that time for sore throats, sinus or chest congestion, sneezing, and coughing, usually without fever and not really bad enough to stay home, but enough to bring discomfort and a wonder about what we are “coming down with.” We call it a cold but more often than not, it is merely a “seasonal cleanse,” a natural cleansing process in response to change of seasons — moving from the expansive season of summer to a contractive season of fall.
Understanding that everything in creation follows predictable seasonal cycles allows us to support certain changes in our body rather than immediately suppressing them. These expected rhythms come naturally through the foods we eat, the thoughts we think and the activities we enjoy. As summer turns to fall, we begin adding layers of clothing and enjoying foods that warm us up; leaves shrivel up and drop, and animals, following their innate wisdom, finish their preparations for winter. We experience the variation of temperatures in our environments as we move from warm homes or offices to cold cars or spend hours at a football game without enough layers. This ultimately forces the trillion cells in our body to go through a contractive or squeezing process, resulting in a detoxifying or cleansing process, which we often feel through our mucous membranes as a runny nose, sore throat and watery eyes. Our individual lifestyles and the amount of toxins our body is attempting to rid itself may make some of us feel worse than others as our body cleanses.
As soon as you begin to notice your body going through a seasonal cleanse, recognize that the symptoms you are feeling are actually good (not always pleasant) and a natural occurrence based on basic laws of nature. Be grateful that your body is getting rid of the “gunk” and support the process by drinking plenty of water and herbal teas, allowing yourself to get adequate rest, utilizing essential oils, and flushing your sinuses with a neti pot or a simple saline spray. It is important to prevent the gunk from getting stuck, and becoming an “itis,” which merely stands for inflammation. When the gunk gets “stuck” in the sinuses, and causes the tissues to get inflamed, it becomes sinusitis, and getting stuck in the bronchioles in the lungs becomes bronchitis. Support by using contrast therapy (hot/cold) on your sinuses or your chest using ice packs and hot baths or showers.
One good trick for sinuses is to stand at the kitchen sink with two bowls — one with ice cubes and one with a warm compress, preferably with a few drops of eucalyptus, thyme or lavender essential oils. Alternate holding the warm compress on your face over your sinus areas (above and below the eyebrow just at the bridge of the nose and along the bottom of the cheek bone), breathing deeply (until compress cools) then rubbing the same areas with the ice cubes. Keep the cubes moving, staying in each of the six locations for several seconds. Repeating at least three times finishing up with the ice will bring relief as you keep the gunk moving — let it flow, let it flow, let it flow!
Remember that your body is always communicating with you so as you enjoy the change of seasons, become aware of how your body responds to it. When you take the time to listen and support its natural processes, you can learn to live in your body with much more ease and vitality. Live Well … Have Fun!
Martha O’Regan of Therapeutic Solutions offers a unique approach to your active health care needs using a variety of healing modalities, nutritional and wellness coaching to empower you to a new state of health and well-being. 73 Sams Point Road, 524-2554.