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Fevered Start to the New Year? Take a Deeper Breath.

During my training for my massage therapy license, I studied Pathology (aka everything that can possibly go wrong with body in just 3 10-week courses). Our instructor clarified that Redness, Swelling, and Heat are a sign not only of infection, but also that the body is appropriately responding with its immune system. I learned that some fever response to viral or bacterial infections is not only appropriate, but also necessary to the healing process.

We heal and rebuild during our sleep, so it has been my personal practice to use fever reducing over-the-counter medicines at night. But she caught my attention when she explained that supporting or creating a "false fever" when we are run down can hurry the process along. I've used this method several times for myself, and it's worked. Of course, it is wise to counsel with your own medical team for personal application.

The Healthy Home Economist website published "How to Take a Fever Bath for Faster Recovery." Sarah Pope includes research countering ibuprofen and acetaminophen use, and much of her article focuses on children, but at the end the focus is How-To instructions. This can work in a hot tub or spa, also. Here's Sundance's take on the practice.

Just like fire needs oxygen to survive, our lungs are the place where toxins are "burned" and released from the body. Whether you are feeling healthy or challenged in your breathing, deep diaphragmatic breathing is an excellent tool for tight back or ribcage muscles and recovery. Here is Wim Hof's breathing exercise routine. It takes me about 10 minutes to complete the 3 30-count rounds. It's also been helpful to combat and refocus in anxious situations.

Because both our lungs and our heart are attached to the spine, hospitals have had good results with "proning" their patients or rolling them to their stomachs for rest. My training includes practices that release the muscles of the ribs as well as engage the Parasympathetic body repair system for relaxation and deeper breathing. You are welcome back to my table to celebrate the beginning of this new year. Cheers! Rachel

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