Colds and flu are making a comeback. It is not that there are more cases this winter. It’s partly that the label “covid” has been applied to virtually all colds and flu in the last few years. It’s also that we have learned so much about them. Back five years ago, there was no cure for the common cold. Now we know that vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, and a host of other things reduce severity and duration.
Back before I started CHI Institute, I spent a month in China in damp, freezing weather. I caught a miserable cold. They prepared a broth of onion roots, fermented black beans, and ginger. It tasted rather like French onion soup. They then rolled me up in thick blankets. After a couple of hours of profuse perspiration and feeling trapped in blankets, my chills, fever, and runny nose were gone.
This tribal wisdom about “cold” is being slowly erased from our collective memory by the insistent propaganda of modern medicine. We have come to believe that colds, flu, and the laboratory-inserted “prion factor” are all just a single disease, a pandemic.
There’s one more factor, intention or willpower. Our office manager, Byron, seems to be bulletproof to all the cold and flu stuff. He might sneeze or blow his nose a time or two, but hasn’t missed a day of work from cold or flu in the years he’s been with us. He’s a stubborn guy and claims his secret is that, at the earliest signs of flu symptoms, he tells himself, “I’m not getting sick,” and he doesn’t. I’ve noticed that many of the qigong masters I have known and others who cultivate their vitality and willpower regularly don’t get sick much either.
The modern medical wisdom is, of course, that there’s no cure and your only protection is masks and vaccines. Byron never wore masks and hasn’t gotten vaccinated in decades. This is generally true for the vitality cultivators I have known as well. We have been taught that the only thing you can do for the flu is to repress symptoms, and there are plenty of pills on the market for that. I have found, through trial and error, that at the beginning of a head cold, my thinking is fuzzy. However, toward the end of the cold my brain is clear and sharp and I do some of my best thinking. I can’t help but think that the magic pills that repress fever and discharge are contributing to chronic brain fog by leaving metabolic waste in our brains and bodies.
Before I conclude, I would like to draw your attention to two articles I wrote in early 2020, Cozy Therapy, and Thermo Therapy, included below in this newsletter. They explore the value of keeping warm, and of getting extra warm, not just to treat colds and flu but for a wide variety of chronic ailments.