Fighting a Cold

I was home-bound for a couple of days this week fighting a cold. I learned a neat trick in massage school that I’ll share with you. This is a strategy I sometimes use when fighting a cold, especially during the phase when I feel it lurking in my throat. It’s based on an activity we did that was geared towards the whole body. Read the story below.

hard to find a wool scarf in So Cal

Here’s what you’ll need for the targeted neck-only version:

  • 2 thin dish towels
  • bowl of ice water
  • 2 wool scarves (or warm thick scarves of another material)

1. Soak 2 thin dish towels in ice water until they are very cold.

2. Wring out excess water and quickly wrap the 2 towels around your neck.

3. Quickly wrap 2 wool scarves around your neck covering the wet towels.

4. Sit with neck wrapped for at least 15 minutes. Repeat 1-2 times if desired.

The idea behind this protocol is that the body feels the cold on the neck and starts sending extra blood to the area to warm it up. Of course the neck is where the throat is and the throat is where the germs are. More blood means more white blood cells, the kind that attack germs. This first step of the body’s response generates some heat. The heat is then trapped in the area by the layers of wool scarves, keeping the area heated for about 15 minutes until everything starts to return to a normal temperature. The extra white blood cells brought to the area by this process can devote their attention to fighting any bad-guy germs that may be setting up shop in your throat.

Back to the full-body version of this double cold sheet wrap. It was crazy! We basically got ourselves really hot by running around and doing calisthenics in full winter gear: coats, boots, hats and scarves. Then we disrobed to just the basics, wrapped ourselves in 2 bed sheets that had been soaking in ice water. We then wrapped up in 2-3 layers of wool blankets, donned hats and laid down for a couple hours. Our body heat soared in response to the cold layers next to our skin. The outer layers kept all that generated heat trapped in our little cocoons. At the end of the 2 hours, we unwrapped from our cocoons and had a huge bucket of ice water dumped over us.  The process is supposed to draw out toxins from the body and really marshall the body’s response system to meet this hydrotherapy challenge.

Lots of caveats here for blog world. Don’t try this at home without some research. We did this in a very carefully supervised environment. A profile of general health is an absolute must for this kind of adventure. And, just for the record, I’m not advising you do this, am not a doctor, and am simply telling a story here.


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