As a mom to a rambunctious toddler, I don’t have the luxury of being sick with a cold for a week. Out of necessity, I came up with a reflexology protocol to get rid of a cold fast. As the seasons change from winter to spring, according to Chinese Medicine theory, this is exactly the time when people are most likely to get sick.
So, even though spring is just around the corner, I wanted to share with you the five Chinese Reflexology points that I’ve found to be most effective for recovering from a cold in record time. They really work! You can lie in bed and massage your feet, and it takes about 5 minutes of your time.
On Tuesday evening, a cold hit me like a ton of bricks. The next morning, my throat was so sore that I couldn’t speak. The lymph nodes in my neck were swollen so much that it hurt to turn my head. My chest felt really tight as did my upper back. I was exhausted, I had a killer headache and felt achy all over.
In the normal progression of my typical cold, I would have had the sore throat for 2 days, followed by a runny nose for 3 to 4 days and then a lingering cough for a week or two. Feeling like crap was not an option since my high energy little boy really wasn’t cool with Mommy lying on the couch whispering to him. I had to get over the cold fast.
Enter Chinese Reflexology. In an ideal world, I would massage the entire system of reflexology points on my feet, but I felt like crap and didn’t have the energy to do so. Instead, I rubbed a handful of reflexology points for less than five minutes. I’ll give detailed instructions below on how you can try this at home.
Immediately after the reflexology, the tightness in my chest was alleviated as was the headache and ache in my upper back. I repeated the reflexology three additional times during the day, again for about five minutes each time. By the end of the day, I didn’t feel amazing, but I also didn’t feel worse and some of my symptoms showed improvement. I had survived the day.
By the second day, I noticed an 80% improvement in my symptoms. The sore throat was gone, the muscle ache was reduced by 80%, my lymph glands were no longer swollen, the tightness in my chest was gone, and my energy levels were up by about 70%.
By Day 3, the only remaining cold symptoms were a very minor ache in my head and neck area and I had a slight cough where I coughed a total of 4 times during the entire day. I had completely bypassed the runny nose phase of a cold.
I did use a reflexology stick to massage the points on my feet, but there were a couple of times where I couldn’t use the stick because my son likes to confiscate it and play with it. A reflexology stick will lead to quicker results and it’s easier to use, but you can still feel improvement with a basic massage.
I’ve adapted the technique so that you can do it with just your fingers and knuckles and I’ve written up a very detailed description below. For the keeners, there’s also a training video available where I demonstrate the complete protocol on my own feet. Good thing I went for my first manicure a week ago, but that’s purely coincidental.
Holly’s Reflexology Protocol on How to Get Rid of a Cold Fast
First off, if you’re feeling so sick that you’re wondering whether you should go see a doctor, then you should go to the doctor. Chinese Reflexology is amazingly powerful, but you’re not going to see miracles in 5 minutes. Go see your doctor and then use the reflexology to assist your recovery as it’s complementary to almost any course of treatment.
As well, do not try this if you are pregnant.
Sore points on your feet correspond to areas in your body where your qi, or life force energy, is not flowing as it should. An imbalance of your energy field eventually leads to physical symptoms. Read my article on “What is Chinese Reflexology?” for more details. Therefore, since you have a cold, the points on your feet related to your cold are going to hurt, probably A LOT.
This is perfectly normal, especially the first time you rub them. If you don’t feel anything, you’re probably not pressing hard enough. Try to rub through the pain, but be sensible about it. As the energy flow returns to optimal form, the points will stop hurting. Chinese Reflexology is a lot like that cough syrup that tastes bad, but gets the job done. Chinese Reflexology hurts, but it works.
The whole process should take about 5 minutes, so you really don’t have an excuse for not doing it. Try to massage your points on an empty stomach or at least an hour before or after you eat. You want to prime up your energy flow when it’s not concentrated in your stomach.
Rub these points on BOTH of your feet 4 times a day at the following times:
- When you first wake up
- Either 1 hour before or after lunch
- At the end of the day (e.g., 5pm)
- Before going to sleep
Do this for at least two days in a row. As you start to feel better, you can cut down on the number of times you rub your feet. It’s tempting to stop as soon as you start feeling good, but continue for an extra couple of days to help your body fully bounce back from the cold.
You still need to rest, drink plenty of fluids and take it easy. Just because you’re feeling better, it’s not a reason to go out and push yourself. Trust me. If I didn’t have to look after my kid, I would have loved to just lie in bed in pajamas all day. Ooh, that’s a dream that might come true in about 3 years…
Chinese Reflexology Point #1: The Lungs
The most important reflexology point to rub is your lung point. In Chinese Medicine, there’s a direct relationship between the lung meridian (of energy) and the “invasion of external evil”, which is merely a quaint Chinese way of saying, “cold germs.”
The lung meridian is considered the first barrier to protect the body from “evil pathogens.” Normally, the reflexology area for my lung is completely painless, but I noticed tender spots while I was massaging it when I had the cold.
Here’s a diagram of the reflexology area for the lungs. It’s located on the ball of your foot, between the big toe and little toe. The location of the sore points on your feet will correlate to the soreness in your chest.
In my case, I felt tender areas around the base of the ball of my foot and indeed, I felt tightness in the solar plexus area of my lungs. In previous colds, the upper area of this point has been tender and that correlated with soreness in the bronchial area of my chest.
To massage this area, press deeply with your thumbs and when you feel a point that is tender to touch, press even deeper and massage using small circles. Massage the entire lung area, focusing on tender points for a total of one minute per foot. This will give your lung meridian an energy boost. Personally, I’ve noticed that regular massage of the lung point helps to prevent a cold from settling into my chest and lungs.
Want a Quick Reference Cheat Sheet showing you how to locate and massage the Key Chinese Reflexology Points for a Cold?
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