Three Steps to Warding off a Cold, by Kathy Bryant

Kathy Reiki Master crystal bowl therapy SedonaTime to stock up on that zinc and a tree! Wait, WHAT? Cold season is just around the corner whether we want it or not and, according to Dr. Oz, larch can help in the prevention of them. “A new study found that larch can help reduce the number of colds by 23%,” he writes. A separate study by the National Institute of Health backed up the findings. And, while the manner in which you take it wasn’t explicit, the fact that taking it reduces your chances, was.

There are a number of other steps one can take to strengthen your immunity. Some of those include the use of nettle, meditation and regular Reiki sessions. Why Stinging Nettle? Nettle and nettle seeds and their properties are curative acting as a tonic, astringent and antiseptic among other benefits. Its seeds, when soaked in wine overnight (see recipe below), can reduce fever and flus, and tone and strengthen capillary tissues to name a few rewards. It also helps support the adrenals, reduces hypertension and helps prevent the common cold. A simple recipe of nettle tea, infused for approximately 10-15 minutes will assist you on your way to health and healing.

Once you’ve settled down with a hot cup of nettle tea, try some meditation. Om’ing your way into blissfulness has been proven to reduce stress, which helps to strengthen your immune system. But you don’t need to sit on a pillow with crossed legs to meditate. Simply finding a quiet place and listening to white noise or, meditation music will help boost antibodies. “A recent study,” Deepak Chopra, M.D., writes, “…confirmed that, after being given weekly meditation training for 8 weeks, 48 biotech workers had significantly higher levels of antibodies than the control group (coworkers who didn’t meditate) as well as higher levels than before the study.”

You can also try a walking meditation: Head out on your favorite trail; walk in cadence with the chant: “Sa-ta-na-ma” as you swing your arms and touch your thumbs on both hands to each of the four fingers (you can chant silently if there are people around. Or not!) This multiple activity may balance out the brain allowing one to take the focus off of Self and find an inner connection with something greater. 

Meditation also stimulates immune functions within the brain. When you meditate, your brain “lights up” in the prefrontal cortex, the right hippocampus and, the right anterior insula. All three of these areas directly correlate to the command center for your immune system allowing it function more effectively.

Adding Reiki treatments, whether on yourself or receiving from another person, can only assist in further strengthening your body’s immune system functions. Reiki gets to the “root” of physical illnesses by clearing out energetic blockages created within the body. These areas, if unchecked overtime, begin to build-up, which in turn creates physical warning signs: a sore neck, an irritated throat, twitching in the foot. The state of relaxation one can attain while receiving Reiki is similar to that of mediation. While in this state, the practitioner can then work on those areas of the body that contain this stuck energy. This allows those energy blocks to loosen and release.

Overtime, your whole body begins to function like the well-oiled machine it is supposed to be – keeping you healthy and free from illnesses.  As with any type of bodywork, drinking plenty of water before and after will assist in the release of toxins and blockages. These suggestions, along with advice from your doctor and a regular exercise routine, can bring a body back into tip-top health.  So, drink, zen and Reiki your way back to health before cold season sets in!

Nettle Wine

From Wise Woman Herbal by Susun Weed.

1 Tablespoon/15mil nettle seeds

1 glass wine

Soak seeds in the wine overnight. Strain seeds then warm and sweeten if desired and sip throughout the day. Note: If you are taking any medications, please check with your doctor first before taking herbal remedies or drinking alcohol as these can interfere with medications effectiveness.

Kathy Bryant owns and operates White Lotus Healing, a Reiki centered wholistic healing business based in Madison. She ensures whole-body focus as part of her practice and incorporates herbology and acupressure into the client sessions as appropriate or, upon request. To set up a session go to her website at  or, contact her through Renu Massage, Energy and Bodywork at .



Weed, Susun. Wise Woman Herbal: Healing Wise. 1989. Ash Tree Publishing. Woodstock, NY

Oz, Ahmet. Dr. Oz’s 14 Natural Immunity Boosters. Oct. 2013. 

Riede. L., et al. Larch arabinogalactan effects on reducing incidence of upper respiratory infections. Epub Jan 2013.  National Institute of Health; US National Library of Medicine. 

Sarich, Christina. 29 Nettle Tea Benefits: Sipping On Nettle Tea For Better Health.  July 29, 2013.