It’s that time of year when, instead of trading gifts, we pass around the common cold. You know that feeling when something is just not right: you have a scratchy throat or a little sniffle. Perhaps you feel a little chilled or a little warm – or both! You can just tell you are coming down with something unpleasant.
Did you know that shiatsu can help, and that there are a few massage points you can activate yourself to ease your symptoms? The tips below are most helpful when you first feel a cold coming on. Self-care at this time can help shorten the length of the cold and reduce your symptoms.
One quick tip to start things off: Remember to make time for extra sleep.
Coming down with something?
Shiatsu point TB15 (above the tip of the shoulder blade) can help with neck and shoulder stiffness, plus it will support your immune system to fight the virus. Use your left hand to reach this point on your right shoulder blade and vice versa. You can also use a tennis ball against a wall to put pressure on this point. Make small movements to soften this area and apply steady pressure if this point is tender. Breathe deeply. Once you feel some relief (which could take a few minutes) do the other side.
Another great point is GB20, at the base of the skull. This point will relieve an occipital (back of head) headache, help you resist the virus, and shorten the severity of the symptoms. Use your thumbs or a tennis ball. Make small movements for a few minutes to soften this area and apply steady pressure if this point is tender. Breathe deeply.
Use forefinger and thumb to gently squeeze at the base of your fingernails – hold for a minute, while you focus on your breath.
Soaking your feet in a hot foot bath while you are dressed warmly is an effective way to warm up. It’s also great before bed because it increases circulation and warms the entire body. It encourages restful sleep during which your body can heal itself. Charles wrote an article about this practice recently.
Another effective way to cut through the chill is to drink a warming tea: Cut a slice of fresh ginger, add hot water and allow it to steep for five minutes.
Take Care of Yourself!
When someone gives you the “gift” of the common cold, remember that shiatsu is a wonderful way to support your immune system, find relief, and get in balance. Wishing you a healthy 2017!