Western Medicine sees colds very differently to the way Chinese Medicine does. They believe that colds are solely to do with exposure to bacteria and viruses.
Whereas Chinese Medicine believes that if a bug is really virulent, many people may succumb to it and become infected. But in most cases for ordinary bugs that create common colds, the internal strength of the body, in particular the energy, is far more important to prevent them. If your energy is very strong you may even be able to avoid getting them altogether.
We are surrounded by bugs all the time. A study by a team at the University of Arizona, has shown that workers desktops have hundreds of times more bacteria on them than on office toilet seats. They found desktops had 21,000 germs per square inch, compared to a mere 49 germs per square inch of toilet seat. Office phones were even worse with 25,000 germs per square inch.
Another study by researchers at the University of Washington, found staph bacteria at nine out of ten public beaches it tested in the United States. Seven out of thirteen samples it tested were M.R.S.A.
And finally to further highlight the germs around us, a study by the London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine took samples from 409 people at bus and train stations at five major cities in England and Wales. To their surprise they found that more than one in four people had bacteria from feces present on their hands.
And yet people generally get colds in winter, not in summer. So why does this happen ? It is, as the Chinese claim, simply to do with the strength of your body’s energy, rather than exposure to bugs.
In the cold weather, your body gets drained of its energy. There is not enough of it to properly power up and run your immune system.
The immune system always has some white cells active in the body searching for intruders. When the white cells find some, alerts are sent back to the immune system which then goes into a massive production of more white cells. It creates an entire army full of them, which are formed to hunt and kill the invaders. So in summer, because of the heat, you naturally have plenty of energy and this army is easily made. But in winter, if you have been standing out in the cold, the wind or the rain, then your energy levels have been drained. Cold will literally steal the life force from your body, and your immune system will have no power to make any army to defend the body. The bugs will simply then walk in and set up camp inside of you.
Researchers at the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff University, conducted an interesting experiment. They took 180 volunteers and got half of them to put their bare feet in icy water for a mere twenty minutes. They found that 29 percent of the people exposed to the icy water developed a common cold within five days, compared to only 9 percent of those who had not put their feet into the water.
Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition, by researchers at Michigan State University, found that mice when put on a calorie restricted diet found it harder to beat infections than those eating normal amounts. More of the under fed mice were infected, displayed more symptoms and took longer to recover, than the other properly fed ones. Their lack of food caused a reduction in energy, which caused their immune systems to fail to produce enough killer cells to fight off an infection.
1) The best thing to avoid colds is daily practice of Qi Gong. It brings your energy to such higher levels that most people who practice it, will be invulnerable to colds and infections.
However, if you have not the time or patience to practice Qi Gong, then these other methods to keep your energy strong and protect you, are quite often successful …
2) Stay warm. When you are warm, you will have reasonable levels of energy in the body. When you get cold they get depleted.
In winter, always wrap up warm. Wear extra clothes; leggings, gloves, scarves and hats can all hold energy and heat in your body, vastly reducing your likelihood of colds.
4) Grief, disappointment and sadness can all have a detrimental effect on your lungs, collapsing them and drooping your shoulders. This reduces your ability to breathe and receive the energy you need from the air, leading to reduced power and ability in your immune system.
Learn how to master your emotions; and practice proper posture and breathing techniques to alleviate this.
5) Avoid phlegm producing foods, which can block up your body, wasting the precious energy it needs to run the immune system.
The phlegm itself can also create great breeding and feeding grounds to harbor bacteria in. If you give up dairy products, you will find a reduction in the number of colds you get each year. You will also find you get less mucus if you do get a cold. And it will also not last as long as it would have usually lasted.
6) Any foods that create heat and energy are useful in preventing and dealing with colds. But don’t overuse them, as this can lead to problems and illnesses from internal heat.
Studies on alcohol, spices and hot herbs like Ginseng, have shown the participants taking them get colds less frequently than those in the studies who did not consume them.
If you have been out in the cold and feel that it has gotten deep into your body, then a little drop of alcohol or a cup of hot coffee can heat you up quite quickly and restore your energy levels to power up your immune system.