2011-02-25 / Columnists

Health and Harmony

Ah-Choo-ey!
By Dr. Nancy Gahles


DR. NANCY GAHLES DR. NANCY GAHLES We are in the home stretch! Spring is just around the corner. The cold winds are blowing however, and they bring with them colds, and blowing noses.

The most important thing to remember during this time is to cover your head when you go outside. Cold wind on the head and in the ears causes those who are susceptible to become sick. Those whose ears are their weak point must cover their ears as well. I recommend that one who tends to get sore throats wear a turtleneck and/or scarf when walking around outside. Those folks who are susceptible to upper respiratory issues and coughs ought to cover their mouths with a scarf while walking in the cold air.

Common sense prevails here. This is not rocket science. Generally, one knows her or his weak areas. The catch is to pay attention to it and to PREVENT a situation from occurring. All too often I see parents walking with their children in the blowing cold wind and the child has no hat on. I dream about the earaches, sore throats and croupy coughs that will stem from this. Sometimes I restrain myself from yelling out the window, “Put a hat on that child!” Sometimes, I don’t restrain myself.

Likewise, are the women who never wear a hat because they don’t want “hat head.” God forbid, your hair is flat or sticking out on the ends with static. Fashion was created to enslave women. They will shiver with their heads buried into their coats while walking in the cold wind and risk taking cold in the name of looking good. Funny about that. Sad, really.

So, that takes me to priorities. What is important to you? Looking good or feeling good? Taking up the battle with the child who pulls his hat off or staying up night-watching the croupy cough? Decision makers are those who put their welfare and the welfare of their children first. It’s elementary, really.

IF, you have taken all precautions and you still come down with the sniffles and cough OR, if you have been remiss and come down with a cold, you can still be proactive.

Taking charge of a situation that is at the very beginning is the easiest. That means do not go into denial, donothing and-it-will-go-away stance. When you have been exposed to the blustery cold wind, have a hot tea as soon as you get inside. Raw, organic honey will boost your immunity and combat a sore throat. Add lemon and you will alkalize your system to prevent bacteria growth. Add ginger root and you will warm up from the inside, that is, raise the body temperature to resist bacterial and viral growth. Tea with honey, lemon and ginger. Mmmmm!

Take 1,000 mg. of Vitamin C. Eat an orange or grapefruit. Take a zinc lozenge. These are available in most CVS and Duane Reade type stores. Zinc cuts a viral syndrome time in half at an approximately 30 mg. dose. While you are in Duane Reade or the like, pick up a tube of Oscillococcinum. This is the most difficult name to pronounce so I call it “Oscillo.” It is a homeopathic remedy that is indicated at the first sign of runny nose, or scratchy throat OR if you feel you have been exposed to a situation that might cause you to become sick. Oscillo is also very effective at preventing the flu. It is made by Boiron and you can check out the research about this remedy by Googling their website.

Eat good, nutrient dense whole, organic foods to increase immunity and enhance your energy reserves. Homemade soups rich with several vegetables and herbs is ideal.

Keep the nasal passages moist with a saline nasal spray that you use several times a day especially if you work or live in a dry, overheated space.

My final recommendation is my favorite. Rest. And relaxation. They are different remedies with the same action. That is to nurture and restore your system after it has been exposed to environmental assault. Rest can be anything that involves you removing yourself from stressful thoughts, people, places or things. Quiet the mind. Soothe the emotions. Still your heart. Create space. Then breathe and allow your body, mind, emotion, spirit to balance.

Relaxation means that you choose activities and people that inspire you to laugh, feel good about yourself, exchange empowering ideas and bask in supportive, nurturing relationships.

It is as easy as that! When you hear the first..Aaahhhh-choo! God bless you.

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