How Your Feet Can Provide Relief For The Cold & Flu - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

How Your Feet Can Provide Relief For The Cold & Flu

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Patch.com: Some non-scientific home remedies can be purchased at local grocery stores

The survey results are in for your favorite grocery store: in Narberth and Lower Merion, it's Narberth American Family Market.

So what are some "home remedies" for cold and flu symptoms that can be found right there in your favorite store (even if it didn't make the winner's circle)?  This week we'll look at a few remedies that involve your feet.  Your feet?  Yes, your feet. 

Vinegar Soaked Socks to Reduce a Fever 

After looking long and hard for a clinical study to prove or disprove this ‘old wife's tale', all I found were blogs where people consistently hailed its power.  

The claim is that soaking socks in white vinegar then placing them on a fevered person's feet, will bring down the fever fairly quickly (within minutes to a half hour, so the fever must be monitored so as not to go too low). 

Why does it work?  Honestly, looked and looked for an answer, but could not find one. But, when we are concerned about a fever, this method can be considered as an alternative to pharmaceuticals like Tylenol. 

To sooth a cough before bed, slather soles of feet with Vics and cover with socks.

Googling this remedy will reveal a lively debate. Since there has been no clinical trial done to prove or disprove this, people try it, swear by it, and self-report their success on the internet. Then skeptics point out how niaeve the believers are for buying into such silliness. Personally, I've tried it on every member of my family at one time or another (including myself) and it works (though for children under two, Vics is discouraged because of the camphor content). It has either eliminated or greatly relieved the cough and enabled the sufferer to get a better sleep - which is essential for recovery of any ailment.

As for the issue about clinical studies: if a clinical was formally conducted, it would find people with the correct condition, give them a batch of Vics or a Placebo, and ask them to perform the aforementioned remedy and self report on the results. Basically, all the chat on the internet is like an informal study. I've yet to find people who've tried it and not had it work. Instead, there is consistent reporting about its effectiveness. Some of this may be placebo. But, it is a godsend to find something that works for that agrivating cough that keeps you up all night, even if it is placebo. 

And, there seems to be none of the 'side effects' that can be associated with certain chemicals found in common cough syrups.   

Reflexology & Acupuncture 

I have written about Reflexology before. In short, according to Reflexology, nerves for every part of the body can be found in the feet. Just like the circulatory system has mapable pathways, and the nerves that come through the spinal column are the same in every human (unless there is a defect), so also the nerve endings in the feet and hands can be mapped. 

You can look at a reflexology map of the feet and see where nerves end related to sinuses, eyes, kidneys, liver, etc.

A very elementary explanation of how refloxology can help fight a cold or flu is that when a part of the body is fighting an ailment or experiencing disease, the corresponding nerves on hands and feet will experience inflammation.

Think of a stream where a tree has fallen and debris has accumulated. This debris slows water flow and soon flooding can occur – especially after a heavy rain. Then that area may experience flooding or even become a bit of a pond due to the clogged stream. Clearing out the debris allows the water flow to be restored, and the stream will right itself. 

Similar is the body. Inflammation is like a traffic jam in the body. A virus is like a heavy rain. Both Acupuncture and Reflexology address these jams in the body's energy flows (blood, lymphatic, nervous systems).  In tending to these traffic  David Shimman at Roxborough Acupuncture assist the body in clearing the jam (through reflexology or acupuncture) so proper flow can return. This helps the body in its healing process.

*Please note: I am not a Medical Doctor. I am a personal counselor with years of previous experience in the personal training and massage fields.  I know how to research, and have done so extensively in the areas of health and fitness. Advice in this column is not intended to circumvent or replace that of your physician.

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