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Colds, Mild Swine Flu and Regular Flu Got You Down?
Alternative Methods to Feel Better, Faster


Cold and flu season is upon us, which means you may be getting fed up with runny noses, coughs, sore throats, aches and pains and other cold and flu symptoms making the rounds in your family. Plus, even now in the 21st century, there is still no cure for colds and the flu.

Even the H1N1 swine flu, which has not even come close to being the catastrophic pandemic illness the U.S. government and media have hyped, has been causing the same unpleasant symptoms as the seasonal flu.

If you’re healthy, you typically do not need to go to a doctor if you’re fighting off a cold or even the flu.

However, this doesn’t mean you have no choice but to crawl into bed and wait it out (even though getting plenty of rest is important if you’re suffering from a cold or the flu). You also don’t have to contribute to the millions of dollars cold and flu sufferers spend on prescription antibiotics every year, which have absolutely no effect on viral infections like these.

You can even decide to keep your share of the $3.6 billion Americans spent on over-the-counter cold, cough and flu remedies in 2009, according to projections from market research firm Mintel International, and instead choose effective, and inexpensive, natural remedies to help you feel better, faster.

Natural Methods to Fire Back at Colds and the Flu

Assuming you’re healthy, most people do not need to visit their doctor for a cold or the flu (signs that you may be developing an infection and should get in to see your doctor include a fever that lasts more than three days, a cough that produces phlegm, chest pain or difficulty breathing).

Instead, you can help your body to recover by supporting your healing capacities, naturally using the following methods.

1. Chicken Soup

A steaming bowl of chicken soup has long been touted as the cure for the common cold, and with good reason: it really does work!

Dr. Stephen Rennard, MD at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, thought his family's chicken soup really did work, too, but as a scientist, he wanted proof. Dr. Rennard tested his theory and added his wife's homemade chicken soup to white blood cells, called neutrophils. To his surprise, the soup did slow the neutrophils. In fact, he claims that chemicals in the broth-based elixir clears a stuffy nose by inhibiting inflammation of the cells in the nasal passages.

Dr. Rennard did admit that there needed to be more studies conducted, but believes his findings are one more piece to complete the puzzle of why chicken soup got its healing reputation.

Since Dr. Rennard's findings in the early 1990s, several studies have since agreed with his results, and show chicken soup as a "relief" for the common cold. All research agrees that the soup helps break up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions. In addition, many say it also inhibits the white blood cells that trigger the inflammatory response (causing sore throats and the production of phlegm).

shea vaughn sheanetics2. Yoga and Other Mind/Body Exercises

Yoga is said to invigorate your immune system and internal organs, helping to keep you well. Not only does it help to relieve stress, which is taxing on your immune system, but specific poses may have a beneficial effect on cold and flu symptoms.

For instance, the “plow” pose, which involve inverting your body with your feet over your head, is said to help drain your lymph nodes. The “lion” pose can also help, as it brings fresh blood to your throat, thereby “chasing” away germs.

If you like yoga, and are looking for an ideal mind-body fitness program you can do right from your own home, you will love SheaNetics from Each nearly one-hour workout is a new blend of the-best-of-the-best from Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Martial Arts, Gyro-Kinesis, Dance and MORE -- guiding you through unique sequences of movements that strengthen, sculpt, build core and increase flexibility!

The program is unlike any other fitness program in that it offers a source of strength and inspiration to support your health journey.

We encourage you to check out renowned Professional Trainer of Movie Stars and Professional Athletes Shea Vaughn's new 6-Disc DVD/CD workout set to get started on your pathway to health and well-being!

reiki3. Reiki

Reiki is an ancient form of energy healing based on the idea that we all have an invisible "life force energy" (or Ki) that flows through our bodies and causes us to be alive. This energy, however, is often disrupted by our own negative thoughts and feelings (both conscious and unconscious ones). If your Ki becomes too low, you are at an increased risk of becoming stressed out, sick, tired and unhappy.

This is a gentle, hands-on technique in which a practitioner channels the healing energy through their hands and into the client.

The energy naturally flows where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached, thereby clearing any blockages and restoring a normal flow of energy. In other words, Reiki clears and heals the clouded energy pathways and allows the life force to flow through again.

Reiki is most commonly used as a tool for stress reduction and relaxation, but it is also said to promote better sleep (useful for recovering from colds and flu) and support the immune system.

If you are interested in giving it a try, check out this directory of Reiki practitioners. You can also do a "Google" search online to find others.

4. Nasal Cleansing Using a Neti Pot

Nasal cleansing, also known as nasal irrigation, involves using a neti pot to pour a lukewarm saline solution (pure water mixed with natural salt inside one side of your nostril while tilting your head sideways so the water runs out of your other nostril.

This helps to clear your sinuses and flush out irritants. A study by University of Michigan researchers, published in the journal Archives of Otolaryngology, found that people with chronic nasal and sinus conditions were much less stuffy and congested after using nasal cleansing, as opposed to using a nasal spray.

Clear Your Nasal Passages and Breathe Freely!

Regular nasal irrigation cleansing can help keep your sinuses clear of irritants, and modern studies show they are as effective at drugs for preventing sinus infections.

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Lead researcher Melissa A. Pynnonen, a clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Health System, told The Los Angeles Times, “It probably works by thinning mucus, decreasing swelling in the nasal passages and removing debris, bacteria, allergens and inflammatory substances from the nose.”

A study in the January 2009 issue of Laryngoscope also found 200 patients reported some relief of symptoms from twice daily nasal cleansings.

Regular neti pot users often report that nasal cleansing relieves sinus symptoms even better than over-the-counter medications.

There are many neti pots on the market, however highly recommends Ancient Secrets Nasal Cleansing Pot. It is made from sturdy, lead-free ceramic and coated with a food-grade sealant. Its unique design also makes it very easy and effective to use, plus it’s dishwasher safe.

Ancient Secrets Neti Pot has a truly advanced design with easy-grip handle and better nozzle seal. It’s also balanced for ease of use with a concave grip for more assured control, and a better water chamber for less mess and easier cleaning.

Ancient Secrets Neti Pot is also available in a plastic travel model crafted from sturdy food-grade HDPE lead-free plastic. We highly recommend using the ceramic Neti pot at home and taking the plastic version along with you when you travel.

5. Massage

Research has shown that massage can increase the immune system's cytotoxic capacity, or the activity level of the body's natural "killer cells," while decreasing the number of T-cells. The result is an improvement in the body's immune system function.

If you're interested in taking advantage of some of the benefits massage has to offer, but don't know where to find a massage therapist near you, the American Massage Therapy Association has a national locator service that includes all 50 states as well as Canada.

stomache6. Probiotics

Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria whose name literally means “for life,’ are emerging as a support system for much more than just your digestive health. In fact, new research published in the journal Pediatrics has shown that probiotics may be useful for preventing cold and flu viruses.

Your key defense against viruses like colds and flu is your immune system -- and 70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system. This means that if your gut is overrun with bad bacteria, there’s a good chance your immune system will not be functioning at its best.

Because of this, many natural health experts believe it is important to take a probiotic supplement if you have recently finished a round of antibiotics, while others believe most people can benefit from taking a probiotic supplement every day.

In choosing a probiotic supplement for yourself, highly recommends AbsorbAid Probiotic from -- a superlative probiotic supplement that provides clinical activities supporting systemic health and wellness through immune-system protection, allergy reduction and effective and enhanced nutrient absorption.

AbsorbAid Probiotic has 30 billion organisms per capsule, with two clinically effective and dominant genera Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus: L. acidophilus  and L. salivarius in a 2:1 ratio and B. lactis and B. breve, also in a 2:1 ratio.  Each bacterial genus-species has its own specific metabolic activities, which lead to their effective inter-species synergism.

Further, this proprietary probiotic blend contains a strain that survives with or without oxygen, unlike others -- one that doubles its population every 20 minutes so you need less of it, and one that binds to the intestinal mucosa to help reduce pathogenic bacteria.

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Recommended Reading

A Secret Weapon for Fighting Off Cold and Flu Viruses

How to Keep Your Asthma Under Control This Flu Season

Sources January 2, 2010 November 14, 2009 October 12, 2007

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