Colds and Mucus Elimination

Dr. Wolff - Colds and elimination of mucus

In November, colds are all around, which some of us are trying to fight, right now. (And for all others - it is a great stimulation for your lungs and breathing-related muscles).

If the upper air ways are blocked with secretions, our body is not supplied with oxygen as normally. To get rid of secretions, one can help the body by tapping one's rib cage with a cupped hand (see picture #1) - this will losen the mucus. You can do that a few times a day - conveniently before getting up or going to sleep. After mobilizing the mucus, one can assume some postures which help the body eliminate the mucus and to transport it upwards until one needs to cough (pic #2)

By stretching, the lung tissue can be ventilated better than if the thorax is compressed. Each of the positions depicted here (#3 and #4) you can hold for a 30 seconds to a few minutes - then change into the next position. While in the positions, you could continue tapping if you felt like it, or you could exhale through your closed lips (cheeks inflate by the lips resisting the air flow). That increases the pressure inside your airways and eases the clearing of mucus. Don't exhale that way for more than three breaths in a row - you could get dizzy (through the loss of carbondioxide).

It the cold is bad, you can wrap yourself in a warm (not quite hot) wet towel to increase circulation. Make sure you cover the wet towel with a dry one, so you don't get cold. Make sure to drink enough during the day - best is water or hot herbal infusions.

This is not meant as a treatment advice, but a relief aid. Make sure to see a doctor, if symptoms persist or get worse or if you have high fever.