A classmate sat down next to me the other day and said she had been battling a cold but went to clinic and got rid of it easily with a treatment, however her friend who also caught the bug was still sick - she had not gone to clinic because she was afraid of needles. There is often no need for needles for something so superficial and acute! The pathogen is still right there on the surface so cupping, guasha and herbs work fine. It might be better to receive a full treatment to address any underlying deficiencies or imbalance but there are easier ways to help yourself this winter.
Start with prevention- drink plenty of water as in warm herbal tea - no need to discuss what kind here, just hydrate. Adequate hydration means your first line of defense, the mucus membranes will be ready to defend against invaders. Get enough rest - go to bed earlier and get up later, it's not summer anymore it's time to take it easier. Laugh a lot, put away the thrillers of summer and take up comedies. Wear a scarf if it's windy and cold or damp. The nape of the neck is a doorway to pathogenic influence so keep it protected.
If you feel you are coming down with a cold, you know the feeling - achey, headache beginning, a little stuffy or runny nose and cough coming on, then make a scallion and ginger root tea to mildly sweat it out. Grate an inch of fresh ginger and chop fine the white bulbs of a few scallions into a couple cups of water and simmer a few minutes, then drink. The mild warming helps escort the pathogen out and away.
Guasha is an ancient, sensible and easy technique to bring the Blood and Qi to the surface to expel and release a new onset cold. No need for special tools, just two or three credit-type cards held together for stiffness, or a quarter/fifty cent piece, or the edge of a spoon will do. Put a light layer of coconut or other oil on the skin at the base of the neck. Just a few drops. Spread this around with the edge of your tool. Briskly and gently flick or whisk the edge of your improvised tool on the surface of the skin over the back of the neck and shoulders until reddened. Keep that covered and dry for the next 6-8 hours.
Licensed Acupuncturist, RN, Former Buddhist monk
"The pursuit of health is invariably a spiritual quest."