It's cold and flu season and no matter how well you care for yourself, that sneaky, ever-changing virus can hold your body hostage with its irritating symptoms of runny or stuffy nose, cough, congestion, sore throat, headache and muscle weakness. If you have children, it seems that pesky virus can sneak back in just when you think you are improving. Although there is still no cure for the common cold and without getting too scientific, chicken soup remains a wonderful option for temporarily alleviating cold and flu symptoms. There are various recipes for chicken soup, but most contain specific ingredients that in combination create a powerful impact on your health and healing.
If you are interested, here is a link to Dr. Stephen Rennard's research study at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. http://www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/article.htm
When we take the time to care for ourselves and those we love, there is a strong energetic current that connects us. Our hands can offer comfort, compassion and tenderness through healing touch. There are many benefits to gentle touch. It is calming, relaxing and helps to balance your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You have the power to provide healing touch on yourself, others or seek out a certified healing touch practitioner. http://www.healingtouchinternational.org
Children are very responsive to healing touch. Congested babies and toddlers are miserable, and as a parent if you are sick too, it is double misery. Hot, steamy, showers can help encourage congestion out of the body. A couple drops of essential oils into a shower or bath offer an alternative therapy to decrease inflammation. If you are interested in learning about research directed toward fighting some of the toughest bugs with the use of essential oils, here is a link to Dr. Sue Chao's study at Weber State University in Utah. http://www.youngliving.com/MRSA_article.pdf
Nasal irrigation with a netti pot or nosefrida for little ones is very helpful as well. Getting the mucous out of the chest eases congestion. nasal irrigation is a wonderful way to do this. As your children get older, teaching them how to blow their nose, and cough up phlegm is a good habit. http://www.fridababy.com
Follow this with lots of cuddling, snuggling, gentle massage of backs and bellies, and hug therapy can promote rest and healing for all. According to Kathleen Keating author of "The Hug Therapy Book", touch is the primary way we contact and connect with each other. Our skin is the antennae that feels, touches and meets the world outside of ourselves. With touch we meet, bond, and belong. http://www.bykathleenkeating.com
As a mother of two children with asthma, I know all too well how quickly cold congestion from a virus can spread into a nightmare of respiratory distress. Both my sons have had one too many emergency room visits, and overnight hospital admissions. When sickness invades my home and affects my children, I fight it with all I've got. Knowledge and experience can lessen the stress of sickness, but sleep deprivation doesn't help with coping or healing. Leaning on your support systems and finding balance to care for yourself while caring for others is most important. My younger son has his first ear infection and developed croup from his recent cold. My husband is astute and noticed his cough quickly, another trip to the pediatrician, and we are armed with more fighting power.
One of the most important things you can do is rest and hydrate yourself and your child. Water is essential to help balance homeostasis while fighting off a virus or bacteria. The body's natural immune defense can cause low to high fevers in children. Hydration is key in helping the body fight illness. Frequent hand washing is also essential, consider wiping down counters, doors, door knobs, refrigerators and bathroom fixtures often to decrease the spread of illness within your home and to your family. Another key tip is to wash bed linens and switch out your toothbrush after an illness, so as not to reinfect yourself.
Here is my chicken soup recipe and other small offerings for rejuvenating your immune system.