The Ordinary Cold
( Originally Published 1954 )
(Considered from the Osteopathic and Nutritional Aspects)
A cold—known medically as coryza—is one of the simplest of the acute diseases. This disease is characterized by congestion of the nose, eyes and other structures of the head.
A simple "head cold" affects the tissues up to the neck. A cold sometimes extends to the throat and chest. Sore throat and coughing, as well as discharges, are symptoms arising in the inflamed structures. The discharges may be watery or mucoid. The color of the heavier discharges will depend on the type of bacteria colonizing in the in-flamed mucous membranes.
A cold, at times, also extends into the middle ears and mastoids. This happens when treatment is not properly carried out. The inflammatory process extends by continuity of structure to deeper areas and often causes serious diseases.
A cold is, generally speaking, understood to be caused primarily by germs. According to the osteopathic concept, a cold is primarily caused by impaired circulation of the blood in the head structures and other related structures.
Impaired circulation of the blood may be caused by a sudden chill. Even in midsummer a sudden chill may cause a severe cold when a person is very tired and comes in contact with a cold medium. Bathing when one is tired may cause a chill, followed by a cold or polio, in those who are susceptible to the disease because of low vitality. A child may sit down on a cold cement step when his body is overfatigued from too much play.
This type of sudden chill may traumatize the entire spinal cord and the related nerve structures which affect the circulation of the blood through the head and chest structures. This osteopathic concept is a very valid basis for approaching the most constructive treatment of a cold.
Correct treatment also implies prevention as well as cure. Normally healthy children and adults receiving osteopathic treatments regularly once or twice a week will get fewer colds than those who do not get this constructive manipulative hygienic care.
A general osteopathic treatment consists of manipulation of the soft tissues, muscles and ligaments of the neck and spine. It also inludes correction of impaired mobility in joints that may be restricted in normal motion because of muscular tensions or actual bone subluxations. There is really no substitute for an osteopathic treatment among the various therapies used in the practice of medicinel
From time to time, "wonder drugs" are announced that are supposed to cure whatever ails the body. I happen to be a drug nihilist. I know of other medical practitioners who are, and some who were, drug nihilists. The very eminent medical author, Sir William Osler, was a drug nihilist. The following statement is attributed to that great man: "We prescribe drugs, the actions of which we do not know, for diseases we do not understand."
Another great American physician and author, Dr. Oliver Wen-dell Holmes, made a similar statement: "All the drugs should be dumped into the ocean. It would be better for mankind, though not good for the fishes, for they would poison them."
As a progressive physician I have tried to know my drugs, in order that, if I must use any of them, I may be able to use this highly potent therapy in the same way as a constructive person uses fire: not to burn the house but to warm it up. The simple cold can be treated and cured very quickly without any drugs. Even the latest "wonder drugs" have proven useless—else why would the drug companies bring out new drugs every so often? Disease in general, and this disease in particular, runs its course for good or ill depending on the ability of the body to fight it, and depending on the intelligence used in the care of the sick.
Here is the way a simple cold can be treated and cured within a matter of a few days.
Do not feed a cold. Even a young child who shows signs of a cold should be put to bed at once. An enema must be given to cleanse waste from the colon and lower bowel. This is the body's sewer or cesspool. It must be cleansed in order to prevent absorption of its fluid wastes into the blood through its walls. This is fundamental physiological knowledge. There are many people still around who do not know how to take an enema. Such individuals must learn how, just as they must know how to brush their teeth.
Purges and laxatives may be effective in cleansing wastes from the alimentary tract. The enema works within a matter of ten minutes. A purge or a laxative may take ten hours to evacuate wastes from the bowels. In ten hours much absorption can take place into the blood of fecal moisture which can do damage to an individual who has symptoms of congestion, chilliness, stiff neck, running nose, burning and itching eyes, sore throat, cough, sneezing, mild or moderate or high fever.
The enema should be followed with a heat application from one or two electric pads, to warm up parts that are chilled. Cold feet and cold hands are often found in people who have a "head cold." These must be warmed up quickly. Warming up cold limbs removes excessive amounts of blood from congested head structures and chest structures. The electric pad may also be applied to the upper back and neck for fifteen to twenty minutes. Such self-treatment will prevent the development of serious diseases such as pneumonia and rheumatic heart infections.
At this stage it would be good to give the patient some fruit juice with water—the juice of half a grapefruit in half a glass of cold water, or the juice of half a lemon in half a glass of cold or hot water, unsweetened. Sick people do not need any tea or milk or eggs or other such items of a so-called light diet) The body in disease cannot properly digest or assimilate food and at the same time have the strength or vitality to combat an infectious inflammatory process. Only fruit juice and water is required as the food intake, until the nose has ceased to discharge any watery or thick material.
No other food is needed to cure a cold quickly. One to three days on lemon juice and grapefruit juice and water is quite safe. It is not starvation; it is fasting for health.
During a cold it is advisable to give the patient osteopathic treatments twice a day. These treatments accelerate the body's ability to fight an acute sickness and therefore speed recovery from it.
A person sick with a cold should lie in bed and keep quiet. When headache is also present, a cold moist towel or an icebag should be put on the forehead or on top of the head. Headache may be caused by congestion and nerve strain. It will clear up quickly with-out any medicines if a person is allowed to rest in bed quietly, even if he cannot sleep.
Convalescence from a cold requires a period of a week to two weeks to build up enough strength to avoid a future cold. Diet during convalescence will have to depend on the appetite of the patient and also on his weight. It is always safe to use a raw-fruit diet for several days. Fresh raw fruits for breakfast, dinner and supper, in addition to lemonade sweetened with honey, make up a very good initial diet.
After three days on a fruit diet, the noon meal and evening meal may include steamed vegetables and a small raw salad with one egg, or a handful of fresh almonds or pecans, or a baked potato. Children may be given a glass of milk with their fruit for breakfast, and again in the afternoon between the noon and evening meals. Adults do not require any milk for breakfast. Raw fruit and fruit juice is enough.
At this stage the bowels should be moving naturally. Normal meals after a reduced diet are a physiological stimulus to moving the bowels naturally.
The treatment outlined above will cure a cold and prevent complications. It must not be mixed up with medicines that are easy to reach for in the medicine chest. Commonly taken medicines are not required during a cold when this treatment is used.
Nature is the best physician and helps to cure a cold quicker than the newly developed "wonder drugs."