Written by Natalie Zett
Ah, the sights and sounds of winter: the first blizzard, crunching snow, and the sneezing and wheezing colleague or classmate.
We can run, but we can’t escape the common cold. While there’s no cure, there are many local practitioners who provide alternative treatments for these pesky viruses.
Acupuncture is effective in treating the aches and pains, stuffy nose and dripping sinuses associated with colds and flu, according to Lauren Fehr, licensed acupuncturist at Lauderdale Wellness Center, 2443 W. Larpenteur Ave. Fehr encourages people to schedule an appointment at the first sign of the sniffles. “That’s the best time because the body is trying to fight off the cold and the treatment can help,” she said. Fehr also uses herbal remedies to help treat a cold.
If the thought of acupuncture makes you uncomfortable, Fehr offers assurance to needle weenies: “Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and solid,” Fehr said. “It’s nothing like a shot or having blood drawn. The sensation you usually get is one that’s a little bit tingly but seldom intense.”
Swapping acupuncture needles for colored lights sounds like the latest variety of snake oil, that is, until you speak with Esogetics practitioner SchaOn (pronounced “Shawn”) Blodgett. He uses what he calls “Colorpuncture.”
“It’s like acupuncture, except that colored lights, instead of needles, are used,” he said. Founded in Germany, Esogetic Colorpuncture is a newer therapy that draws from Chinese medicine.
Before dismissing this, Blodgett asks skeptics to consider McDonald’s brand colors, red and yellow. “They conducted expensive and extensive marketing research and found the color yellow helps to motivate employees,” Blodgett said. “It also increases the digestion rate, so when customers come in, they feel hungry. For employees, red will make them work faster. When customers arrive, red will make them want to get their food, eat and leave quickly.”
Esogetics applies a similar color-based theory to its treatments. “We have therapies for the cold and flu that encourage the lymphatic system to start moving, which strengthens your immune system,” Blodgett said.
“Much of the immune system is based in your intestines, so we want to flush out the toxins. To fight a cold, we have about 50 specific therapies that we can use just because each situation is different.” Blodgett, who sees clients at Shen-Men, a Healing Arts Collaborative, in the Baker Court Professional Building, 821 Raymond Ave., doesn’t have a problem treating clients who have colds. “Come on in. I see sick clients all the time,” he said.
When dealing with a cold, “the best defense is a good offense,” said Dr. William Skon, a St. Anthony Park resident who practices at Skon Chiropractic Clinic, 1567 Selby Ave.
“In chiropractic, we talk about innate intelligence—the body’s ability to heal itself,” Skon said. “The nervous system controls innate intelligence and the connection from the brain to the rest of the body comes through the spinal column. With colds and fevers, we adjust the upper cervical area, the upper neck—lots of stuff happens there.”
Skon recommends taking extra precautions this time of year: “The number one thing is to increase your water. When we get into winter, with heat running in the house, it gets drier—plus we’re in enclosed spaces, which makes it easier to catch the viruses. The virus invades the body and kills off the normal cells.”
If you succumb, however, you’re not out of luck. “Remember to increase water consumption and don’t [eat] dairy products, which create more congestion,” Skon said.
While it’s OK to eat fruit when you’re sick, Skon cautions against drinking juice. “There’s so much sugar in juice that it compromises the immune system.” He also encourages people to exercise four to five times a week, get enough sleep and decrease stress.
Although studies are inconclusive about the efficacy of many vitamins and supplements, Skon said, “It’s best if you get vitamins and minerals from foods, but that’s not always possible, so we’ll often recommend a daily supplement. Teas (black and green) can be helpful, and garlic is a natural antibiotic.”
Matt Caldwell, a chiropractor at Lauderdale Wellness Center, said a chiropractic adjustment helps reduce stress for pa-tients with colds or the flu. He also advises eating a balanced, plant-based diet and lowering sugar and alcohol in-take. “Increasing sleep also helps,” he said.
Kris Groth, a registered occupational therapist at Lauderdale Wellness Center who began doing CranioSacral therapy about 14 years ago, said CranioSacral therapy can give the body a jump-start. It involves the manipulation of the skull bones (the cranium) and the sacrum. “[It] treats the whole body,” Groth said, “helping it to balance out and boost the immune system. It helps clear sinus drainage and anything that got stuck.
“If [the body has] been wanting to kick that cold, a treatment will give it an extra boost.”
Chiropractor Carla Breunig uses homeopathic remedies in her practice at Roots WellCare, 570 Asbury St., Suite 102 (she is a certified classical homeopath by the Council for Homeopathic Certification). “With colds (upper respiratory infections), the clearer the symptoms, the more likely there will be a positive response with homeopathy,” she said.
“Colds are self-limiting, meaning that they often clear up on their own with time. However, if the cold develops into a deeper condition (for example, bronchitis) and persists and worsens rather than improves, consult your medical physician.”
Natalie Zett is an award-winning writer and frequent contributor to the Park Bugle.
SchaOn Blodgett – Minor Correction… |Dec 21 2010 05:07:20
My company is Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
(http://heal.psinergy.info). I rent space out of Shen-Men (they are separate
Shen-Men is owned by a fantastic Acupuncturist, Conradine Sanborn,
that also does Esogetics Colorpuncture, and about a dozen other therapies to
help people live a happy and healthy life.