HEAD COLDS AND RHINITIS (NASAL INFLAMMATION)
What could be more banal than the illness that affects what many consider the most noble organ of the body: the head? In reality, the medical terms describing head colds localize it more precisely as coryza or acute rhinitis, which both pertain to inflammation of the mucous membranes inside the nose.
Who is not familiar with the symptoms of a cold? A sudden onset announced by a burning sensation in the nose and throat, constant sneezing, nasal blockage followed by a stream of fluid that starts colorless but becomes green or yellow as it becomes more purulent. In addition, colds affect the neighboring organs. Often the eyes run, ears clog, and sometimes the cold goes down into the chest, which is to say it triggers an attack of bronchitis. But under normal circumstances, everything goes back to normal working order after eight to ten days.
FORMS AND DEVELOPMENT
What I described above, however, is the standard form, one you might say is benign. In a certain number of cases, things do not turn out to be so simple.
First, for nursing infants and very young children, whose lack of natural defenses, narrowness of nasal passages, and lying down position causes a flow of pus into the bronchial tubes, the digestive tract, and the ears especially, colds are a purveyor of countless childhood ear infections. (I have personally known a young child who had to undergo thirty-two paracentesis procedures, in other words, have his eardrums opened, in one winter.)
Next, colds among school-age children can amount to a veritable disability. Because they keep constantly coming down with colds their overall state of health can be adversely affected, and this can pose threats to their ongoing development, not to mention their ability to get a sound and well-rounded education.
Finally, rhinitis or nasal inflammation can become a chronic condition for some adults. Going from one cold to the next, the patient is a chronic “sniffler,” whose nasal passageways are always clogged and who always needs to blow his nose. This then becomes an illness that affects one’s entire life, by altering the sense of smell, causing constant headaches, and posing a permanent threat to the respiratory system, particularly the sinuses.
Did you know that acute or chronic colds may be the most expensive drain on the medical system and society as a whole--just for the work absences they cause?
The causes for colds are bacterial infections and viral infections (and these are legion in number!). Germs come quite quickly and additionally infect the nose and cause more suppuration of its fluids.
Many causes encourage these infections and contagions: a moist climate, pollution, tobacco smoke, and crowding (contagious diseases spread in places such as day care centers, schools, and offices) are the most frequent culprits.
But we need to add another cause to these: allergies, in other words the inherited or acquired sensitivity to a number of substances including dust, germs, and chemical products. Among these latter we have to highlight the danger posed by medicinal products in particular, especially nasal drops that are used far too often; reaching a point that constitutes abuse.
This establishes a vicious circle: infection-allergy-infection. The patient becomes the victim of a perpetual cold, and his permanently inflamed mucous membranes thicken as a result and thus become an obstruction in the respiratory tract.
The common head cold is the greatest shame and failure of contemporary medicine. Mankind knows how to fly to the moon, but we still do not know how to cure a cold! We are not even sure how to treat it. When you are using your grandmother’s recipes (protecting yourself against cold temperatures, rinsing the nose with salty water) you are at least not causing any great harm. But this is not true for vasoconstricting nasal drops; and it is certainly not true for antibiotics. Who has not known a child who is consuming antibiotics every day from October 11 to May 31 to the great distress of their digestive tract, their growth, and their teeth?
ACUPRESSURE'S PLACE IN TREATMENT
For the reasons noted above, the existence of a natural therapy that is so effective but poses no other health risks is more than welcome. Used at the very onset of a cold, stimulation of the points I’ve provided stops it “cold.” Used after the illness has become established, acupressure still relieves discomforts and is able, to a large extent, to arrest its development. For this reason, I recommend that acupressure be the technique you try first, in combination with other natural methods if desired.
TECHNIQUES TO USE
When the first sensations of an incoming cold make themselves felt, an intense stimulation (five or six minutes) of the principal points should be enough to stop it in its tracks.
Once a cold has established itself, and even more so in the case of chronic nasal inflammation, it is necessary to repeat this stimulation for two to three minutes, in the morning and the evening, in order to obtain relief from nasal discomfort.
The Principal Points
The first principal point is situated in the middle of the forehead just above the hairline (if you place the base of your index finger at the bridge of the nose, your fingertip should reach this point located in a small hollow on the brow).
The second principal point is located on either side of the nose, at the junction of the nostril and the upper lip.
The Secondary Points
The first of the secondary points is located in the nape of the neck over the spinal column just beneath the bulge of the first vertebra, which can be found by running your finger down the spinal column starting from the nape of the neck.
The second accessory point is above the bridge of the nose, just beneath the bony ridge that is located at this level (the glabella).