Hello running nose and good night clear head. Even though you are not a formidable foe, you are annoying. So, what is a common cold? In short, it is a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). Mostly harmless. There are many types of viruses that can cause a common cold. Jim Kirk, a Star Trek Captain (aka 90-year old William Shatner), flies in space aboard Jeff Bezos’s space commercial rocket. Yet, we still don’t have a cure for the common cold.
Like many things in life, we can take different approaches to recovery. The how-to-step-by-step instructions are written inside each of us. Not to mention the Wizard of Oz – Her Majesty, Dr. Google. Perhaps, some days, we would prefer a painkiller (hopefully not an opioid), some relaxing time spent with a favorite pillow, and fluffy bunny sleepers. And, for other days, we might go for the head-on attack. In the worst-case scenario, we try and fail (too tiered and cranky or something like that) & we can always retaliate to my fluffy slippers. But, in the best case, we can feel in charge (even if it is an illusion), and we would start feeling better. And, don’t get me wrong, I take medications when I am not well (including antibiotics, etc.). But when there is an alternative approach that can actually heal, the recovery time goes down tenfold. Well, at least it feels like it. Of course, the best defense is a good offense. Lead a healthy lifestyle, and your body and mind will thank you during the tough times. Practice the SOFLY method daily, and your cold won’t last as long.
How to Recover from Common Cold in Six Easy Steps
During your morning hours, before breakfast, have some warm water with lemon. Next, do a few (20 to 50) full squats, just for 30 seconds; do one round of Neti Pot. Next, take a bath. Dry yourself clean, roll out, do another round of neti pot and another round of squats. Jumping is awesome as well. Always pause and check in with yourself. If you are not feeling good, stop. Have some plant-based veggie soup, indulge in delicious teas, take a walk, and don’t forget to laugh. That’s it – simple.
1) Neti Pot
I was about ten years old. My sinus infection was ridiculous. I was always sick. At some point, I had surgery where they poked my glands (or something like that). One thing I remember is going to an old Russian doctor with a bottle of Stolichnaya. And, he taught me science for cleaning the nose with saline water. So, the prescription was to get some saline water, jump and pour the water into the nose. As we sailed into the middle of some god-forsaken river in Tashkent, I poured the not-so-great or cleaned water into my nose. I jumped and almost choked. The experience was horrendous for 10-year old chubs. Like many before me, I opted in the quick pill and nasal spray method. Fast-forward a decade, I had endless allergies, and I forgot how to function without Afrin. Then I met Dr. Scott Gershin. And he reminded me of the old Russian doc (minus the vodka and dirty rivers). Ah…how life could’ve been different if I only listened? But better later than never! During my intense recovery from various serious illnesses, I used Neti pot daily with a combination of other Ayurvedic and Yogic practices. However, Neti pot, to me, is a medicine, and I only use it nowadays, no more than once a year or every other year if I feel congested.
Neti pot is a ceramic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and Aladdin’s magical lamp. Humans have been using Neti pot for centuries. The Neti pot was brought to us from the Ayurvedic & Kria Yoga medical tradition. Hair-like structures called cilia that line the inside of the nasal and sinus cavities. Cilia wave back and forth to push mucus either to the back of the throat where it can be swallowed or to the nose to be blown out. Neti pot saline solution helps by increasing the speed and improving coordination of the cilia to remove the sinus irritants more effectively. In my experience, when you pour the solution into your nose, the mucus comes out instantly.
Research has found that the Neti pot is generally safe. However, a small number of regular users experience mild side effects like nasal irritation and stinging. Nosebleeds can also occur, but they are rare. Reducing the amount of salt in the solution, adjusting the frequency of Neti pot use, and changing the water’s temperature may help reduce side effects.
To help prevent infection, always use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water. Also, it’s essential to care for your nasal irrigation device properly. Either wash the device thoroughly by hand or put it in the dishwasher if it’s dishwasher-safe. She is followed by drying the device entirely after each use.
To use the neti pot, tilt your head sideways over the sink and place the Neti pot’s spout in one nostril. Then, breathing through your mouth, gently pour the saltwater solution into one nostril so that the liquid drains through the other nostril. It is a bit uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it. Next, repeat on the other side.
You can buy Neti pot in pharmacies, amazon, health food stores, and online. There are some other devices like squeeze bottles and pressurized canisters. But I haven’t tried it yet.
2) Contrast Showers
I absolutely love hydro-therapy: bath, spa, pool, heat, and cold-plunges.
A contrast shower alternates between hot and cold water for five and ten minutes. Contrast showers are a quick and easy at-home technique for cold. Basically, you are altering a blood flow. The hot water causes blood vessels to dilate, shunting the blood to the surface, and cold water causes blood vessels to constrict, causing the blood to go deeper into organs. By alternating between hot and cold, clear noise, and more energy. Unlike neti pot, this is much more pleasant.
I like to make my water boiling hot when I start my bath (at 116 degrees) and I don’t recommend it for you to start with. Instead, try about 110. Mix some Epsom Salt with a few drops of peppermint oil. Always distill your oils and make sure that you are not allergic by dropping a few drops on your wrist. Set the timer for 20 minutes, soak in, get up and get under the cold (30 seconds hot + 30 seconds cold). If there is no room or space for a bath, use a shower. Cold can bite for a second, but after a few gasps, feels natural, really good.
Breathing is so cheap, phenomenal, and can affect the human system on so many levels that we forget to use it. Start by observing your breath, inhaling on the count of four, and exhaling on the count of four, repeat 12 times. Check how it made you feel?
For cold, you can also add Kapalabhati or a breath of fire. It is a yogic breathing technique (pranayama) that cleanses, detoxifies, and invigorates. The word kapalabhati is derived from two Sanskrit words: kapāla – skull, and bhāti – shining.
- Sit in a comfortable posture with your spine upright.
- Inhale deeply through both nostrils expanding the chest.
- Breath out forcefully use the abdominal muscles (you can use alternate nasal breathing to exhale).
- Continue with forceful exhalation and passive inhalation for five to 1o rounds.
Some experts recommend a bed regime for cold. Of course, if you are feeling terrible, perhaps, stay in bed. However, I always try to push myself to get up and move. It might not be pleasant to start with but feels really good afterward. So, I would recommend trying. Help your nose and your lungs by getting up and moving. Exercise may help you feel better and open your nasal passages. You may consider reducing the intensity and length of your workout. Perhaps, instead of going for a run, take a walk. Instead of doing HIT, do some yoga, stretch, Pilates. Move around the house a bit if you can.
When I get sick, I get so seriously upset. I do everything right, I exercise, eat super-well, and I am oh so mighty healthy. But, mind you, cold doesn’t discriminate. Basically, shit happens. We get sick. As one of my favorite authors said, you will still die, no matter how many carrots you consume. So, my friend, don’t take your cold seriously and don’t take yourself seriously. Laugh with it and at it!
Get your daily dose of laughter to improve your cold. Psychologists believe laughter can bring pleasure, engagement, and meaning to happiness. Laughter sets off a chain reaction throughout the body that promotes physical and psychological health. Regular and frequent laughs can both prevent illness and help you get well. In addition, laughter may strengthen your immune system by increasing the production of antibodies in your saliva and in your bloodstream to stave off bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
So, find a good movie, read a good book, laugh with your cold!
I can’t live without walking. The only time in my life when I didn’t walk was when I busted my knee and had to use crutches. So, walking, to me, is the best medicine. I was especially getting out in the sun. So, take 10, 20, even 5 minutes walk if you can and see how you feel. Of course, don’t overexert yourself with walking or moving.
So basically, if you are practicing the SOFLY method or daily morning therapy, you can add a Neti pot and more intense breathing until you get better. Please share your thoughts and what worked for you in the comment field below. And, if you like some more, we got a brand-new 3-day reboot with SOFLY.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Anna Sheinman. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice. Instead, they are intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from my own research and experience. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.