Tissue Anyone?

Tissue box by angelcaramelo
Tissue box, a photo by angelcaramelo on Flickr.

Take your pick- around this office you can currently choose: Influenza, Norovirus or sinus infection for the illness du jour. I hope your choices in this instance are fewer where ever you find yourself today.

All this reminded me of a question a patient asked in passing even before the cold season got into full swing: how can you tell the difference between a cold, the flu or an allergy? The following is a quick layout of the three for comparison.


You And Your Beautiful Thymus!

Glands by EvilChick
Glands, a photo by EvilChick on Flickr.

Rather than repeat this season’s usual blog entry extolling the magical, anti-cold benefits of hand washing and proper coughing techniques, let’s talk about the often-forgotten thymus gland and introduce the exciting, fun-filled, do-anywhere thymus thump.

Did you even know you had a thymus? You do! And it is a critical player in your adaptive immunity system that helps you avoid colds. Unfortunately, as we get older (starting after adolescence), our thymus becomes less active.

But, lucky us, a daily dose of the thymus thump can help keep the thymus active and you more healthy.

Where is it you ask? It sits in front of your heart but behind your sternum- a handy location for gentle thumping.

The idea here is not to thump so hard that you bruise yourself. You want just enough “thump” (really tapping) to increase blood flow to the area for it to feel warm. Remember how to do the Tarzan chest thump? Well, this is similar but instead of using fists to thump you use the tips of your fingers, excluding your thumbs, to tap. Gently eight-finger tap up and down your sternum until you get that warm feeling.

That’s all there is to it. A minute each day and it’s better than an apple a day to keep the doc away.

No More Colds!


Originally uploaded by .MARTINE.

It’s that time of year (again) to start being cold-conscious. The first of this season’s colds have already shown up at the practice. Every year we post something in the hope that everyone can avoid the sniffles-fever-chills-cough-body-aches blues.

Make sure to:

WASH YOUR HANDS!!! And not just for two seconds either! Sing the entire Happy Birthday song while briskly rubbing your hands and fingers together including scrubbing under your nails- even without soap this works. Yes, it may make your co-workers question your sanity but you’ll have the last laugh and without sniffles to boot!

Cough and sneeze properly. Check out last year’s funny blog entry about proper coughing and sneezing style.

Follow up effective hand washing and proper coughing/sneezing with-
DON’T TOUCH ANY WARM AND MOIST BODY AREAS WITH UNWASHED FINGERS. (Translation: don’t pick your nose or teeth or eyes  or…)

Get rest!

Sanitize any common high-traffic touch places at home or the office.  For example, thoroughly clean all door knobs, steering wheels, key boards, refrigerator handles etc.  This also includes special consideration for anyone who visits a gym. Did you know that more than half of all infectious diseases among athletes are caught through skin contact? Viruses and bacteria can survive for hours (and some fungi can stick it out for YEARS!) on the metal and the other common surfaces in a gym. You can reuse any alcohol wipe multiple times as long as it is still damp. Again, don’t worry if people give you the what’s-up-with-him look. Who knows- maybe love can blossom over sanitizing wipes!

Avoid anyone coughing or sneezing.

And lastly, visit your acupuncturist for some Yin Chiao and gua sha!

The “Emily Post” of Coughing

Everyone who’s anyone is coughing like this……..


Click on “Watch Video”