There is a nasty virus working its way around my fair city. Somehow it just feels too early — it hit 83 degrees (F) yesterday! Autumn is just barely here and already this killer cold is taking people down for 3-5 days. I’m talking about a fierce, take-to-your-bed-and-wish-you-were-dead cold.
Most unfortunately, my kids and I have definitely been exposed to it by several people who later became sick or were already ill. As someone with multiple sclerosis, I work very hard to minimize my contact with sick people as viral infections can trigger MS attacks, something I desperately want to avoid. To keep myself as healthy as possible, I’ve devised a multi-pronged strategy to zap colds at first appearance, and even to avoid getting them in the first place. I thought I’d share this with you over the next few postings.
The foundation of my “Kick-a-Cold” regimen is NeilMed’s Sinus Rinse Saline Nasal Rinse Kit.
I seriously depend on this product to maintain my health, and have even found myself running all over London looking for a saline, non-medicated nasal spray when I forgot my SinusRinse bottle and packets.
Before I discovered NeilMed’s Sinus Rinse Saline Nasal Rinse, I would simply dissolve some table salt in a cup of body temp water and snort it to flush out my sinuses and reduce the swelling of my nasal passages during a cold. Let me assure you, this is as unpleasant and not-fun as it sounds. The salt alone burns inside the nasal cavity, and snorting quanties of liquid gives you a wicked headache. And anyone nearby who happens to hear you will dissolve into laughter the next time they look at you. Quite embarrassing.
My girlfriend told me about NeilMed’s Sinus Rinse after it was prescribed to her by a doctor at National Jewish Hospital, a specialized respiratory hospital with a national reputation, to treat her allergies. The single-serving packets are mixed with body temp water in a special applicator bottle. The packets contained a pre-measured ratio of salt, to reduce the swelling of the nasal passages, and baking soda to counteract the harshness of the salt. These elements combine to make flushing your sinuses a pleasant and soothing experience rather than a traumatic one.
Here’s my theory as to why I believe in rinsing out your sinuses: if you flush away viruses before they have time to take up permanent residence, and make your nose a generally inhospitable environment for them, viral infections won’t take hold, or even if they do, won’t stick around as long or be as virulent. Basically, you stay healthier and recover more quickly.
Besides doing a nasal rinse when I’m already stuffed up to clear out my nose and offer some temporary relief, I do it after I’ve been in cramped and crowded conditions where I have likely been exposed to things I don’t want, such as at a concert or on an airplane or in a subway car. I’ll even do it after a trip to the grocery store during the winter months.
I do a flush before I am to publicly speak, as it clears out any frogs from my voice and gives me a cleaner tone. It gives relief to constantly runny noses, too.
And I rinse madly when I already feel my body exhibiting the first signs of a virul infection: sneezing or excessive nose-blowing, exhaustion, elevated body temp, sinus discomfort or headache, general malaise… Any one of these sends me running to rinse out my nose.
Does it sound like I do this all the time? Kinda, I guess. It takes less than 90 seconds to do, feels good and offers relief, and can be done in any bathroom or sink. I regularly rinse at night along with brushing my teeth and washing my face. In the winter, I often rinse in the morning as well. I always rinse twice a day when traveling. And I can use up to 6 rinses in one day when I’m already fighting a cold or allergies and am either stuffy or runny. Hayfever season sees a lot of rinsing at my house.
This is the basis of my natural strategy to Kick a Cold. Next I’ll talk about an easy tea with strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that never fails to make me feel better by the next day.