I think, in general, everyone enjoys a good massage. They are well-known for helping to relieve stress and tension in the muscles, but one of their best super powers is the ability to shorten the length of your colds and speed along healing processes.
What brought on this post? The not-so-sudden emergence of a nasty little cold that has filled my entire head with phlegm, made my joints achy, my skin more sensitive, and my body hot with fever. I am not shooting in the dark when I explain how this works, but just know that I will leave out all of the medical terminology and technical mumbo jumbo.
Alright. The skin is the body’s largest organ and, as it is on the outside, it is the most accessible to us mere mortals without medical degrees. If you can think of the skin as a large body sack instead of thin, fleshy paper that covers the body, then you can better picture what I’m going to explain to you. If the skin is a sack, then anything that comes into your body can be pictured as an object with three dimensions contained inside this sack. Using this metaphor, imagine that you were able to touch the items on the inside of this sack and move them around. This is what massaging the skin does. It is a form of detox that can be helped along by stimulating the skin. This helps move along any contaminants contained within the blood vessels, including germs associated with colds. Your blood vessels, and other nutrient carrying systems are like little carrier pigeons, so sometimes, they need a little extra push and incentive to get their jobs done.
Though everyone’s body is born with the ability to fight off colds and disease, man has created medicines to support the body’s immune system.
Have you ever attempted to rub your stomach when you ate too much in order to help speed along the digestive process? This is the same idea. Massaging your body from the outside helps support the skin’s natural detoxification by giving it some extra stimulation. (Also, I’m not sure that rubbing your stomach actually speeds along the digestive process, but that has not stopped me from trying!)
The giving and receiving of a massage during this time of healing can be a very intimate experience between friends or lovers (as I have given massages to platonic friends, also, as there is nothing inherently sexual about the massage). This is a prime opportunity to do a good deed for a loved one, but only if you feel comfortable.
After receiving my own massages, about an hour passes before I begin to cough up a fistful of phlegm. Sounds nasty, I know, but this is one of the body’s ways of getting rid of bad stuff. Staying hydrated is also important as your urine stream will give your body another way to get rid of toxins.
For most people who are plagued with fever, you might have skin that is overly sensitive, everything might tickle or irritate your body. You can help prepare for your massage by taking a shower or bath. I recommend a hot one, as the sweating will jump start your detoxing, but a cold shower might be more soothing to your skin (this is a person by person situation as we do not all respond to fevers and colds in the same way). The action of cleaning yourself will be a lighter form of stimulation to the skin and will help most people rid themselves of some of the skin-sensitivity associated with fevers.
As with any massage, a warm oil or body butter will smooth the way. I also sometimes find it more relaxing to watch a TV show or movie that both parties will enjoy, as listening to familiar speech can sometimes be more relaxing for me (and maybe for you too).
Good luck with getting over your cold and please let me know your results in the comments. 🙂