What to Do When You Have the Flu

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BY DR LYDIA THURTON 

The flu descended on my household and it took no prisoners. My loved ones were down and out. Exhausted, feverish, aching and cranky. It was a sorry sight to see. I’m going to tell you how I nursed my loves one back to health. You can do it too.

Disclaimer, I do keep Advil or Tylenol on hand for when temperatures soar past 40C or my loved one is in a lot of physical pain. By and large the flu needs rest and a few naturopathic tricks that can alleviate pain and suffering. Keep in mind influenza is a virus. Not a bacteria. Antibiotics won’t help you.

Juicing. Appetites are low when you are sick. Having a high temperature leaves you craving cool refreshing liquids. Time to dust off your juicer/vitamix/blender. I threw together mangoes, strawberries, coconut water, spinach and parsley to create a cool refreshing vitamin rich drink. In a small glass there was over a day’s worth of vitamin C, some fibre, antioxidants and nutrients to keep the body going. No large meals needed when you blend and juice. Even picky kids can’t turn down a fruit smoothie.

Pressure points. I do acupuncture but you can use acupressure at home. Its awesome to help heal people with only your bare hands. Massage the temples and push 2cm above the midpoint of the eyebrow to alleviate headaches behind the eyes. Pushing down on the vertex of the head, the very top point on the skull, helps clear heat and  help pulsing, splitting headaches.

Lie your family member on their back and slide your hands under their head. Put your finger tips where their neck meets their head. You will feel areas of tension here, gently massage.

For sore throats and head congestion push on the fleshy part between your thumb and first finger. This is a master point for all head and neck problems and is often tender. Ask your sick family member if the point feels sore. If it does, you’ve found the right spot. Push firmly.

Apply a cool cloth to the head and neck. I avoid using ice cold water and opt for cool. It’s less shocking and still does the trick. Leave the compress on until the body has naturally warmed the cloth. Repeat. A cool compress causes blood vessels to constrict, helping ease head pain and fever. Sitting in a room temperature bath can do the same.

Your family member should be fever free, without medication, for 24 hours before they return to work or school. Healthy people everywhere appreciate it when influenza infected people stay home!   

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