Health Hacks: Beating the common cold

Dr. Erica Kubanek, ND

‘Tis the season. The season for stuffy noses, achy fatigue and coughing in your elbow (not on your neighbor). Its also the season for cold and flu remedies to fly off the shelf as we seek relief from bothersome symptoms. Do you wait for the cold to catch you? Do you run to buy Vitamin C or Echinacea? What else can you do for prevention?
Here are some simple yet effective health hacks for beating the seasonal illnesses. Each of these can be used as needed or on a daily basis incorporated into your wellness routine. Are you brave enough to try out these classic naturopathic cures?

MAGIC SOCKS
I learned early on in my practice not to call these ‘cold and wet socks’. No one likes cold and wet socks… but Magic socks?! Way better.

What you need
Short cotton socks, big wool socks, cold water, a freezer, warm feet, warm bed

How to execute
Wet the cotton socks. Wring out as much water as possible and stick them in the freezer. In about 10 minutes slip the cotton socks on then put the wool ones on top. Go straight to bed. Immediately your feet will be cool but soon after will become quite hot. As you sleep the socks will dry while the wool ones wick away the moisture. You may wake in the middle of the night and kick them off once they are dry.

What are Magic Socks good for?
Warming up an overall cold constitution. Draining congestion from sinuses. Preventing and recovering from the common cold, bronchitis and the flu. Calming a cough, especially at night.

CONSTITUTIONAL HYDROTHERAPY
Also known as a cold shower. Tough at first but you’ll get used to it. I promise!

What you need
Shower, cold water, dry towels.

How to execute
Take a warm shower. End your shower on a cold blast. Start as cold as you can make it for a few seconds. Once you have tried it a few times increase the length of the cold blast up to 1 minute. You will leave the shower feeling a rush of warmth as your body reacts to the shock. If you don’t feel that rush then vigorously dry yourself off with a towel.

What is it good for?
Waking up from a rest. Overcoming that run-down feeling. Improving skin texture and tone.

DRY SKIN BRUSHING
This one is great for the skin.

What you need
Dry body, natural fibre bristle brush, a shower

How to execute
Before hopping into the shower for your constitutional hydrotherapy, gently brush your skin in short strokes toward your heart. Start on your hands and feet and move toward your shoulders and hips. On your abdomen and torso continue using short gentle strokes until you have covered your whole body. This shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes.

What is it good for?
Any skin condition (don’t brush directly over the problem area). Increasing your vitality. Preventing allergies and catching the cold.
Don’t believe me? You’re not the only I’ve had to convince. Give these a try and you’ll be amazed at the results. You too will become a believer!