Last night I headed to bed and lay down beside my partner. He was asking if I needed anything - this cold I have is obvious now, complete with the kind of sad speech that comes from being unable to say your M's and N's (your EB's and ED's!). We were laughing about how pitiful I sounded: so thoroughly congested, purely stopped-up.
I have been burning the candle at both ends for weeks, and I could feel this coming on the moment I noticed a little break approaching in my schedule. What I SHOULD have done -- other than find time to rest, of course -- is take a few doses of Oscillococcinum or Immuplex (my go-to saviors when I feel run-down enough that something might get me; and they work like magic), vitamin c, zinc, elderberry, etc. But alas, I didn't. And sure enough, as soon as my single day off came around -- a day with only easy, enjoyable plans, if any -- I had the beginning inklings of a cold. Fast-forward to last night, lying there considering how I'm going to fall asleep while mouth-breathing great gulps of dry air, pressure building in my sinuses, and the niggling start of a cough... and realizing: I'm not. Not in this state.
So, I decided to call on old friend (well... he's more like family. You know, I don't necessarily LIKE him all the time, but I love him, I know he'll always be around, and I can count on him in times of need). His name? "Cold, Wet Socks."
This is going to sound ridiculous, or at least REALLY uncomfortable, but you can create a LYMPHATIC PUMP, pulling uncomfortable congestion and heat out of your head by wearing cold, wet socks on your feet. BUT HOLD UP! Please don't go walkin around with wet socks on and expect to feel better. You won't.
What you'll need:
1 pair cotton socks
1 pair thick wool socks
1) Wet the sole of the cotton socks with cold water, being sure to keep the ankle + sock top dry
2) Wring them out gently (not completely)
3) Once you're in bed*, put on the painfully cold, wet, cotton socks
4) Whine. Curse a bit. Start to question your judgment. And mine.
5) Pull the wool socks on over the top of that miserable mess.
6) Lie down and Relax
*Use this protocol only when you're going to be lying down. If you're going to be up and about, (even if only on-and-off) throughout your rest, avoid doing this whole cold wet socks thing. It is very effective when your body is relaxed and horizontal, but not otherwise.
Within a minute or two I was breathing fully and comfortably through my nose, which I noted, gratefully, and then... well I don't remember anything else. I slept well, and woke with warm, bone-dry feet and socks.
I won't sugercoat: the first few moments are very uncomfortable. Especially when you're actually putting the darn things on. But pretty quickly your body should warm that thin layer of water on those socks, and then the process has begun. My son, now 8, actually ASKS for "cold wet socks" when he's sick. It has always worked like a charm helping him fall asleep, breathe through a previously stopped-up nose, and has shown to be a reliable fever-reducer in his case as well.