Thursday, October 25, 2007

Common Cold and Shiatsu Treatment

Common cold and Shiatsu Treatment


One of the most frequent illnesses is the common cold. Contrary to popular belief, cold weather does not actually appear to cause them. Studies with volunteers in the Arctic and those exposed to cold weather have not shown any increase in the number of colds. They tend to come in waves; in the U.S., the first outbreak is usually in the autumn a few weeks after schools have opened. The second wave occurs in midwinter and the third wave is in the spring.





Research has revealed that any one of over a hundred differ­ent viruses are present when someone has a cold. The illness itself is a viral infection of the upper respiratory passages.


The frequency of colds is staggering. Pre-school children have an average of six to twelve per year. Parents with small chil­dren get about six per year; other adults usually get only two to three. Half of all Americans will get a cold during the winter season.


Symptoms of colds vary with the individual. Usually there is the feeling of being ill along with sneezing and headache. This is followed by feeling chilled, a sore throat, and heavy nasal dis­charge. A thin, clear nasal discharge turns into a thick, yellow-green one with time. The cold can last from one to two weeks.



Because colds are so short-term and the immune system deals with them naturally, they are considered a non-medical problem. Home self-treatment is effective in lessening symptoms, as well as strengthening the body's defenses to minimize or prevent colds in the future. Having excessive mucus in the lungs and breathing pas­sages encourages the spread of the viruses that are present with colds. Dairy foods, beef and other fatty foods, sugar, and fruit juices create excessive mucus in the body. This serves as a breeding ground for the viruses to multiply and spread. It is the fight between your body's defenses and the virus that creates the fever and other symptoms that we associate with a cold. The goal of treatment is not only to eliminate symptoms, but to strengthen the defenses so as to avoid future colds.


Shiatsu


The full body treatment serves as a preventive measure for a colds. Once one is present emphasize treatment on the back and the neck/head area.




Have the receiver He face down. Standing astride the per­son, beginning at the level of the shoulder near the spine, lean your body weight into each point hold­ing for three to five seconds. Move your thumbs down the spine to­ward the waist about two inches at a time, Do shiatsu on the entire area from the shoulder down to the waist. This is the urinary bladder channel. Within this area are found the referral points to all the
internal organs. The area between the shoul­der blades may be sore, as this is the lung area. Work this area well to relieve conges­tion in the breathing passages and the lungs.


After completing the back, have the re­ceiver sit in a chair or sit up on the floor. The giver places one hand on the forehead and the other at the back of the neck, and, with the thumb, press the lines on the sides of the neck. Directly under the skull are two places (GB 20)—one on each side of the neck—that are very good for relieving the cold's symp­toms. In the Orient one does not catch a cold,
one "catches wind." It is said that the wind resides in GB 20, "the
wind pond." Stimulation of this point can disperse the wind or cold
from the body.





On the front of the face, press points around the eyes, nose, and
forehead. Hold each point with the thumb for several seconds mak­ing spiral motions. To clear the sinus, acu-point LI 21), "welcome fragrance," is good. Finally, manipulating the entire hand is good to increase circulation to the lungs and upper body. Especially press acupoint LI 4 for headaches.


Diet


The overconsumption of foods like cold drinks, fruit, ice cream, sugar, and fatty foods like beef, cheese etc., contribute to the symptoms of a cold. The standard macro­biotic diet will help to prevent frequent colds.






Warm foods are especially good when a cold is present. A daily cup or two of fresh miso soup (see appendix) with a small portion of seaweed helps to strengthen the blood and tastes delicious. If the appetite is not so strong, then eat only soup. However if you have an appetite, then include whole grains and cooked beans and vegetables.


Moxibustion

Moxa on leg point ST 36 stimulates the immune system. Warm each leg for ten minutes using the bird-pecking style.





Foot Bath

Soaking the feet in a hot ginger foot bath before bed increases circulation and warms the entire body. It encourages restful sleep during which your body can heal itself.