Sunday, 11 November 2007

Got the Sniffles?

A particularly virulent cold is ravaging my family. It started with my wife. She probably caught it from the kids in her primary school (she is a teacher). The cold has now - predictably enough - spread to my Daughter and I.  So while this cold has forced us indoors, I would like to share my thoughts on the common cold. 

The common cold is one of the cleverest things on the planet. It will never be eradicated, because as soon as we learn to fight off one strain, a new one evolves. This is the key to it's success - evolution. If nothing else, while you are fighting the symptoms, you can accept that you are playing host to one of nature's true survivors.

I also have a theory. We need colds. Just like an early morning jog, or a great aerobics session, the common cold is a regular workout for your lymph glands and immune system. I wonder how weak our defenses would be without regular colds to keep their response times up. 

If you are feeling the effects of a cold, try changing your approach. You can do all the usual things (plenty of water, throat sweets etc.), but remember that your internal energies are focusing on fighting the cold. So don't expend yourself physically. Use the cold time to relax and turn your focus inward. A cold tends to blur your senses, so go with it. Let it wrap you up for a while. Enjoy the slight buzz it gives you. And use it as an excuse to put off some of the jobs you hate to do. 




chris bennett said...

Agree. I'm just getting through a cold now and restarted my Tai Chi training yesterday. Needed to rest to recover. It gives you time to reflect and your body a chance to catch up.

Joy said...

You've seen War of the Worlds, right. (or read it?). Invading aliens were killed by our diseases. Definitely thought provoking. Would you believe I made through the entire winter without catching a cold?? Last year we caught them all!

taijipedia said...

Well said! Pushing yourself when you're ill is just a recipe for total exhaustion, when your body get caught in a spiral of constantly trying to get some energy back before it can actually heal itself.