Traditional Chinese medicine holds that the common cold is caused by changes in the climate or a physical weakness, asthenia of pulmonary qi and invasions of pathogenic factors.
The common cold is the most commonly encountered disease, an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract caused by a virus or bacterial infection. A cold can occur in any season, but especially in winter and spring or when people become weak and overworked. Colds can strike people of all ages and both sexes.
Symptoms of the Common Cold
The usual manifestations are a sudden onset with a dry and scratchy throat, stuffy nose, runny nose and sneezing -- followed by sore throat, hoarseness, cough, headache, chills, low-grade fever and aching.
Application of Self-Massage Along Meridians and Acupoints
1. Pressing and Kneading the Fengchi Point (GB 20)
① Performance: Sitting position. The tips of the thumbs of both hands are put on Fengchi on both sides of the occipital tuberosity. The rest of the fingers hold the occipital bone. Then both thumbs press and knead at the same time till local aching and distending sensation is felt. Then circular pressing and kneading is done from the inner to the outer side for about one minute (see Fig. 2).
② Effect: This method can help expel wind, refresh the brain and restore sleep. It can be applied to treat the common cold caused by exogenous wind-cold and exogenous
2. Stroking the Yingxiang Point (L120)
Performance: Sitting or supine position. The thumbs of both hands are slightly bent while the rest of the fingers are folded into empty fists. The knuckles of the bent thumbs are placed against the Yingxiang located on the nasolabial groove (between the nose and the mouth) and stroke upward to the base of the nose and downward to the sides of the nostrils for two minutes (see Fig. 1).
Effect: Self-massage along meridians and acupoints can improve blood circulation in the nasal region, increase tolerance to cold, strengthen the body's resistance, and treat and prevent common cold.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the lung governs qi,controls respiration and the superficies and opens into the nose. The functions of the lung are closely related to the conditions of the lung. In the chapter of "Vessel Measurement" in Ling Shu (Miraculous Pivot), it is said: "The nose is sited in the middle of the face and is connected with blood circulation all over the body. The nostrils are related to the lung. Qi from the nose flows into the brain above and the lung below. So when the pulmonary qi is pure and when both qi and blood are circulating smoothly, no disease will be present. But when the pulmonary qi becomes
predominant, it may lead to various diseases if it becomes stagnate."
3. Pushing and Pressing the Scalp
① Performance: Sitting position. The fingers of both hands are slightly bent and forked. The finger pads are put on the hairline on either side of the head to push and press toward the crown until local aching and a distending sensation is felt. Then the fingers continue to push forward about two fingers-width at a time until the vertex or top of the head is reached. This manipulation is done repeatedly for about two minutes (see Fig. 3).
② Effect: It can stimulate the scalp and promote blood circulation in the head, helping to regulate the functions of the cerebral cortex.
4. Squeezing and Lifting the Nape
① Performance: Sitting position. Both hands are rubbed warm and put at the back of the occipital bone with the fingers crossed. Then the base of the palms are used to grip the back sides of the nape, squeezing from outside to inside and then lifting up. This massage is continued for one minute until the area feels warm and comfortable (see Fig. 4).
② Effect: This method can help relieve spasms and pain as it dredges meridians and energizes the blood.
5. Pressing the Zusanli Point (ST 36)
① Performance: Sitting position with the knees bent. The thumbs of both hands press Zusanli located three cun below lateral Xiyan (ST 35) and one transverse finger lateral to the tibia. The pressing is done until the area aches and feels numb with a distending sensation (see Fig. 5).
② Effect: Zusanli is an acupoint used for healthcare. The pressing of this acupoint helps regulate the spleen and stomach, transform qi and blood as well as boost immunity.
6. Pressing and Kneading the Hegu Point (LI 4)
① Performance: Sitting or standing position. The thumbs are used alternatively to press and knead Hegu located in the middle of the dorsa of the metacarpus between the thumb and the index finger. The fight thumb is used to rotate Hegu on the left hand and the left thumb is used to knead Hegu on the fight hand for about one minute, respectively (see Fig. 6).
② Effect: Hegu is a key acupoint used to relieve pain and induce tranquility. This massage helps relieve superficial pathogenic factors, abate fever, regulate qi to stop pain, activate blood and regulate the stomach and intestines.
7. Pricking and Kneading the Zhaohai Point (KI 6)
① Performance: Sitting position. The fight thumb makes small stabs at and kneads Zhaohai located one cun below the inside tip of the left ankle in the hollow below the border of the ankle for one minute (see Fig. 7) until the area feels aching and distending (see Fig. 8). Then the massage is applied to the right side.
② Effect: Zhaohai is located on the kidney meridian that flows along the throat to the tongue. So piercing and kneading Zhaohai can reinforce kidney yin and ease the throat.
1. Self-massage along meridians and acupoints should be applied until mild sweating occurs and a comfortable sensation is felt. For treatment of common cold at the early stages, the massage can be done in the morning and evening every day for about three-five days.
2. During the course of a cold, the patient should drink lots of hot water, wear more clothes and take more rest to prevent a recurrence.
3. If the pathological conditions linger and a fever does not go down and complications appear, the patient should be sent to the hospital.
4. Daily application of the massage techniques mentioned above helps improve resistance to cold, reinforces the body's constitution and acts to prevent the common cold.
5. Vinegar: To avoid catching a cold that is going around, take 40 ml of vinegar added with 80 ml of water and heat on a stove for 30 minutes every day or every other day. The vinegar fumes are effective in preventing the common cold