Just last week I had caught a chill. I started way back the week before- where I did not feel well after downing a strong cup of Starbucks latte at night. Then the day after, which was a Sunday, I got caught in the light rain. I had felt tired and tried to sweat it out by going for 2 hours classes. On Monday, I thought I was tired and so I went to the gym again after work.
By the time I woke up on Tuesday morning, I was beginning to feel not right. It is as if some heat was stuck within my body, and I developed flu like symptoms and I felt very cold and afraid of the rain (the sky was cloudy). I knew it was likely I had caught a chill and have slight fever through sitting quietly in short meditation. I went straight to work and ask my boss if I can take one day leave to rest- as I am going to see the Chinese physician instead of a Western doctor, I told an off day instead of medical leave.
Having a similar experience way back in 2009, where I had suffered for almost a week before being cured by taking Chinese medication, I went and consulted the Chinese physician. This elderly man took one look at me and confirmed my suspicion. He then felt the tips of my fingers (it corresponds to energy levels of different organs and meridians within the body), followed by my pulse. He confirmed that I had already developed a slight fever and told me and would prescribe the Chinese medicine, consisting of herbs for me to take back, mix with some sliced ginger and to be boiled. He asked me to take a rest after taking the boiled medicine.
Above is how the Chinese medicine looked like. There are 2 of the similar packets to be taken twice. He charged about RM30 plus for both, including consultation.
The medicine has to be boiled for about 2 hours or more- at first with 4 or 5 cups of water- first in high fire, then as the water boils, to bring down to a slow boil till there is about 1 bowl of water left as seen below:
The medicine looks bitter- and has to be drunk as hot as possible- if it is already lukewarm it is less effective. After lunch, I waited for about an hour and a half before downing down the bitter concoction. Then I tried to get some rest to let the effect of the herbs to kick in.
In less than 2 hours, the yucky internal feeling of an oncoming chill went off almost totally. I felt my temperature had returned to almost normal. The second packet was being boiled in which I took the next day (Chinese medicine is best taken before sunset- so I asked my boss for early release).
A colleague of mine also caught the chill around the same time as me. She could not come in for a few days, then looked so tired the next day- she told me she had not recovered and had taken Western medication- the antibiotics and flu medication made her felt weak. The next day also she did not come in.
For me, the fever and flu was gone but the cough had somehow remained. The cough had kept me up at night- before sleep and the wee hours of the morning. But during the day was manageable. For cough, I find bisolvent or Difflam to be effective. It basically works to dissolve the phlegm that causes irritation.
The Difflam is an anti inflammatory lozenges that contained benzydamine hydrochoride 3mg. I don’t take a lot but usually once at night when I start to cough non stop when I am going to sleep and got woken up at 3am by the cough. It is not available at grocery stalls- but only from clinics. After about almost a week, felt some improvement.
Emotions behind cough
I seldom (touch wood) get cough but lately I have been feeling a little sad over something. Compounded with stress could have weaken my lung energy, and further aggravated by night bathing (after gym visits) and the final straw of getting caught in the light drizzle set my cough off.
In Chinese energy system, sadness and grief are emotions that are said to weaken the lungs energy. That is why if we develop a persistent cough that does not get better with any medication, we may want to identify any factors that may be bringing you down and learn to let it go and lighten up. It has helped me reduce the intensity of my cough.