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Disclaimer: The author of this post is not a licensed health care provider, so he does not profess to be able to cure, treat, diagnose or prevent any health issues. If you have a medical question or concern, you should speak with a licensed practitioner. Now enjoy this post! 🙂
Okay, again, good to get that out of the way. So in this post: preventing cold sores and fever blisters before they ever get started. Which of course, prevents any need to treat them if they ain’t ever coming up.
Like I mentioned in the previous post, there are some supplements that help the immune system (Vitamin C, Zinc, Lysine, etc). [Speak to your doctor or a licensed dietician before changing your diet and / or supplement intake.] But again, those are just supplements, it would be ideal if we can practice self-care on a regular basis such that we don’t need many supplements. So how can we prevent cold sores from forming? By practicing self-care. So what is self-care?
There are several layers of self-care in my opinion: physical, energetic, emotional / psychological / mental, spiritual.
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Depending on where we are on our individual (spiritual) paths, each of these levels may be slightly more or slightly less important than the others. And sorry to do this so abruptly, but I just realized that it might take many words to elaborate on these various self-care subjects, so look forward to further posts. In the rest of this post, I will continue on the topic at hand (fever blister prevention).
What is the fastest way to get a cold sore? To allow the immune system to get run down and then have a trigger occur. What does trigger mean in this case? Different triggers are: getting a lot of extra sun (sun burns can do it), having a cold or flu, being shocked by a new situation or circumstance, in other words, stress can do it too. For example, one trigger can be eating extra sugar (cheesecake / cookies / ice cream) – because sugar wears down the immune system, so if we are already taxed or stressed, and we go to a get-together and indulge in the many lovely desserts… well don’t be surprised if, the next morning, there is a little visitor on your lip. Then you want to see my previous post 🙂
How are other ways that we get run down? And this will tie in to my next posts on self-care by the way. One of the fastest ways to run down our immune system is to not listen to messages from our body. In other words, by doing an activity which is depleting, and then continuing in that activity long after it was healthy to do so, will sap the immune system. If we are tired, we should try to rest as soon as possible. Even just a five to ten minute power “nap” can help to restore tissue tonicity and optimal function.
What are some ways that we deplete ourselves? Being on the computer for too many hours – I’m pretty sure (don’t quote me or take my word for it) that being on the computer for many hours on end causes the body to become more acidic (Ph issues). Being more alkaline is healthier, where as being more acidic allows viruses and other “baddies” to grow and thrive. [See my next post on physical self-care techniques] What if we can’t help it? Well break up the computer time – go for a walk once or twice a day in the healthy sunshine, take a short yoga or stretching break, take a five minute pause to sit and just rest the eyes and the body.
Are there other ways that we deplete our selves? Drinking alcohol on occasion can be good for us (apparently). However, drinking on a regular basis depletes the system – the liver (and kidneys) never has time to rest and restore itself if it is constantly stressed by needing to clear toxins from the blood. Another way that we deplete ourselves, if we are in a male body, is by too frequent ejaculation. The definition of “too frequent” here is very subjective and it has to do with age, diet, constitution, etc, but there are definitely times when the body says, “Hey man, we need to rest these gonads!” Ejaculation lowers the kidney jing (that would be the subtle energy of the kidneys from a Chinese medicine perspective). [Again see my next post on physical self-care techniques] So it would be good to determine a healthy balance here, or figure out how to enjoy sex without ejaculating. See books by David Deida or books on Taoist sex secrets, etc for more on this complex and it-will-take-some-effort-and-diligence subject.
We can also deplete ourselves by sticking with a toxic relationship. Yes, there are some people we must be around occasionally – whether at work, in our family, housemates, etc. But take time to establish appropriate boundaries and speak your truth and your needs (psychological self-care). We don’t want to allow ourselves to be sapped. And don’t try to blame the other person either as this just continues the chains of suffering – rather, figure out how we are judging them, or how are we letting them get to us, or how we can relax just a little bit more in their presence, such that they no longer tax us. This can take years, so do be gentle (spiritual / psychological self-care).
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And of course, there are many many ways in which we allow ourselves to become depleted. And yes, there are circumstances where cannot help it. That is okay! If we are stuck in a toxic job or a long-term situation that is very stressful, then we are stuck! No use spending lots of time wishing things were different when they can’t be. But how can we work to find equanimity even in the midst of stress? Where can we lighten up just a little bit more? How can we introduce more playfulness and humor into our lives?
So, back to the title of this post, how do we prevent cold sores? By attempting to take good care of ourselves. How do we start this process? By determining where in our lives we need to relieve some pressure – where in our life are we allowing ourselves to become depleted? First work to “fix” the grossest levels of self-care violation, and then slowly slowly work to ease in new techniques for all-round self-care.
If I have time, I will elaborate on further levels of self-care. Stay tuned. Thank you for reading.