A Story of the Cold

It was two Thursday’s ago I was in the middle of seeing patients and suddenly my sinuses felt as if they had instantly filled with a fluid. The pressure behind my eyes felt like it was going to burst. 

Knowing what this sudden pressure shift meant I quickly called my remaining patients for the day and had to reschedule. I didn’t want to expose anyone to the cold I had seen other people get the week prior. Shortly after I went home and the sore throat and fever started followed by a light dry cough. In Chinese Medicine we talk about this as the Wei Qi (the defensive qi) battling with an external pathogen. 

Luckily I wasn’t sick enough yet so I could prepare for it. First was to get some soup on the stove. Then I made a batch of herbs and called my Teacher Daniel Altschuler and scheduled in for an evening acupuncture appointment at the school I went to. He was able to squeeze me into their schedule for the night. After my acupuncture session I went home bundled up and drank the remainder of my herbs. I hardly slept as my body battled with the pathogen pushing me into a fever and sweats. I knew that although this was uncomfortable it was exactly what my body needed to push the pathogen out. 

I took the next day off of work and snuggled up to some netflix to rest. By Saturday I was right as rain and by Sunday I was out hiking to collect the last of the Chanterelles for the season. 

So its that time of year when noses start to sniffle. Coughs creep in and at the worst people are getting the life affirming sweats and body aches. 

One of the classics of Chinese Medicine is known as the Shang Han Lun (or the Theory of Cold Damage.) Which lays out clearly what happens to the body when it is attacked by cold and the effects of a cold on the body afterwards. As well as the treatments for the different kinds of colds one might get. 

The fastest way to get rid of a cold is to see an acupuncturist/herbalist and get proper differential diagnosis based on your symptoms. From there an East Asian Medicine Provider can administer a treatment to kick the cold out of your system and get you back to what you love doing.


When you are sick 

  • Take a day off of work if you can
  • If you can’t make a soup get some pho 
  • call your acupuncturist and get an appointment ( the faster you get in the faster it can leave your system)
  • Take your herbs 
  • And Rest , Rest, Rest ( I know it is hard but really give your body the time it needs to heal so the pathogen doesn’t lodge itself deeper into your channels)