Now that we’ve differentiated between viral infections and bacterial infections, I want to dive a little deeper into treatment and offer a few alternatives to over-the-counter remedies and antibiotics.
If you have a viral infection, like a cold or the flu; or a bacterial infection, like a sinus infection, ear infection, pneumonia, or mono – what are some alternative therapies you can use to feel better, that actually work?
Intravenous (IV) Therapy
This is one of my favorite ways to help patients heal and recover from viral and bacterial infections. Not only does IV therapy provide a way to replenish the body’s vitamins and minerals, but it also provides hydration.
You may not feel thirsty when you’re fighting a viral or bacterial infection, but the high production of mucus and increased body temperatures that occur when you’re sick can cause dehydration.
This cannot be remedied by drinking water alone.
In these instances, IV therapy is a great alternative therapy to use since it increases the volume of fluids in the body, thins out the mucus, and supports the liver and kidneys in flushing the infection out of the body.
We offer IV therapies in our clinic. If you’re not in the area, find a location near you that offers alternative therapies, like intravenous therapy, as it speeds up recovery from both viral and bacterial infections (and a host of other conditions as well).
Spending time in an infrared sauna helps to increase body temperature. Since viruses and bacteria do not like extreme environments, increasing your body temperature can help your body get rid of the infection faster.
If you don’t have access to a sauna, don’t worry! You can still take advantage of this alternative therapy by taking a hot Epsom salt bath – use 2 cups of Epsom salt for a standard sized bathtub filled with warm water.
Wet Sock Therapy
This simple hydrotherapy technique is especially effective for relieving nasal congestion and boosting your body’s natural healing ability. All you need are a pair of wool socks, cotton socks, and water.
When your feet go from being very warm to very cold, the body immediately rushes to warm them up and return to homeostasis. To do this, it increases circulation and blood flow, which in turn moves blood through all your systems, including your lymph system, which amplifies your immune. It also increases white blood cell production which is beneficial in eradicating infection from your body.
Here’s how it work…
- Before bed, put your feet in hot water for 3 minutes – the water should be as hot as you can handle without burning your skin.
- Wet a pair of thin cotton socks in cold water, wring them out well
- Take your feet out of the hot water and put on the cold socks
- Put a pair of heavy wool socks over the cotton socks
- Sleep with the socks on – they will be dry when you wake
I do this therapy as soon as I start to feel run down, and by the next morning, I’m feeling a lot better. Wet socks can be done nightly while sick, and is even safe for children.
The aches, pains, and fatigue that we experience when we have a viral or bacterial infection are signs that you need to slow down.
You feel tired when you’re sick because your immune system is waging war against the unwanted viruses and bacteria in your body.
This takes a lot of energy!
Instead of pushing yourself, honor the need to rest. This alternative therapy supports the immune system and can help you recover more quickly.
The final alternative therapy can be prepared in your own kitchen!
- Grate 1-2 carrots
- Place them in a cloth or paper towel that is wet with cool water
- Fold the cloth, tucking in the edges to create a pouch-like compress
- Place the compress on your neck while lying down
The carrot poultice will help to draw out toxins, soothe inflammation, and fight infection. It is particularly effective for sore throats and other throat infections, like strep throat, thyroiditis, and swollen lymph nodes.
A few other alternative therapies you can use when you come down with the cold, flu, or other infection:
- Eat hot soup and drink hot beverages, like this lemon ginger tea.
- Rest in a warm environment.
- Cover your throat with a scarf when you’re outside to protect yourself from the cold air and wind.
It’s normal to get sick once or twice a year.
This frequency can actually strengthen the immune system.
However, using by these alternative therapies and incorporating the immune boosting nutrients that I’ll share with you in next week’s blog – you will recover more quickly when you do get sick.