How to Get Over a Lingering Persistent Cough and a Post-Nasal Drip Cough

COVID-19 UPDATE: Please note this article was written BEFORE coronavirus. The persistent cough referred to in this article is not the same as the dry cough that is common with coronavirus. Contact your doctor if you have a persistent cough or are feeling unwell.

Have you ever had a persistent cough that lasted for weeks after catching a cold? Here’s a simple and natural way to get rid of your nagging cough in just a few days. It also works like a charm for post-nasal drip coughs that persist after a cold and it’s safe and effective for children too.

reflexology for persistent cough, lingering cough and post-nasal drip

Before we begin, I have to point out that you can avoid getting a persistent cough that lingers after a cold if you practice my five-minute Chinese Reflexology cold remedy routine at the first sign of a cold. This reflexology routine can help you recover from a cold faster and also avoid the “coughing for weeks” phase of a cold.

If you missed the window of opportunity on that one and now you’re stuck with a persistent cough, I do have a two-step Chinese Reflexology routine to take care of that nagging cough fast.

You’ll no longer have to worry about coughing uncontrollably during a meeting or while you’re singing bedtime songs to lull your kid to sleep. You’ll also be able to rest easier at night because you won’t feel that post-nasal drip trickling down your throat and triggering a coughing fit just before you’re about to fall asleep. I speak from personal experience on that one!

Last summer, we were getting the yard ready to build a patio. We live in a townhouse in Silicon Valley where land is scarce and extremely expensive. As a result, builders get really creative in making houses fit into tiny weird spaces. Hence, we have a yard, but don’t have a gate to the yard. The only way to get to the yard is to go up two stories, through the front door, out a back door and down a spiral staircase.

As a result, we could not find a contractor to build the patio for us. We had to haul everything in by ourselves. My husband and his friend passed the patio bricks over the neighbour’s fence. Ironically, our neighbour has a gate, but he doesn’t really have a yard. My neighbour describes his yard as a “little hole.”

Each round grey pile represents a 20-pound bucket of foolhardiness.
Each round grey pile represents a 15-pound bucket of foolhardiness. The cutie at the top is my son 🙂

Call me a freak, but I really liked the whole DIY aspect, so I elected to haul the gravel. I hauled a few buckets each day for three weeks, carrying one bucket-load at a time up the stairs, through the front door, out the back door and down the spiral staircase, while shooing my cat out of the way each time I opened a door with one hand while hoisting a very heavy Home Depot bucket with the other.

I got a bit careless with wearing the dust mask. Did I mention it was summer? Oh yeah, it was HOT. The mask was itchy and sweaty, so I didn’t wear it the entire time. Well, I guess truth be told, it was me who was itchy and sweaty, not the mask. Anyhow…

The consequence of my foolhardiness (I’ll let you determine whether I’m talking about not using the mask properly or about hauling a couple of cubic yards of gravel by myself) was that I ended up with a persistent cough that lasted for several weeks.

I felt fine 99.9% of the time, even when exercising, so I was a bit lazy about massaging my feet regularly. It was summer after all :). But finally after dozing off to sleep for the nth time and being woken up by that icky drippy throat-tickling feeling triggering a coughing fit, I decided to take action.

Of course, it being summer and me feeling lazy, and since I didn’t have a cold, I focused on the points to deal specifically with the coughing. And thus, the two-step routine for persistent cough was born. After weeks of no change, I practiced this routine consistently for a few days and kicked the cough to the curb. No more coughing and I now have a healthy respect for dust masks.

The good news is that you don’t need to have inhaled multiple breaths of gravel dust for this routine to be effective. It works for persistent nagging coughs after a cold too. The moms I know are raving fans of this routine because it’s helped them help their kids get over weeks-long coughs in a matter of days too.

So, if you’d like to get better faster, then practice this simple two-step Chinese Reflexology routine. When practiced as directed, it should help you shake off that cough you’ve so that you’re feeling better in a few days.

Please note that this routine is for acute coughs caused by a cold or minor irritation to the mucous membranes. If you have a chronic cough or more serious issue, you can certainly practice these points, but you should go see your doctor.

What Causes Post-Nasal Drip Cough

Let’s talk about post-nasal drip coughs first. If this doesn’t apply to you, then you can skip to the next section. But only skip if you’ve NEVER had a post-nasal drip cough. Oh, I see you’re still reading!

Harvard Medical School describes it well:

“Although the nose is a guardian of the more delicate lungs, it is subject to problems of its own. Viruses, allergies, sinusitis, dust particles, and airborne chemicals can all irritate the nasal membranes. The membranes respond to injury by producing more mucus — and unlike normal mucus, it’s thin, watery, and runny.

All that mucus has to go somewhere. When it drips out the nose, it’s a nuisance. But when it drips down the throat, it tickles the nerves of the nasopharynx, triggering a cough. In some cases, the nose itself is to blame (rhinitis), but in others, a prolonged postnasal drip lingers after a viral upper respiratory infection; some call this variety a post-infectious cough.”

So, as you can see from this explanation, you have to address not just the lungs, but also the nasal passages and nasopharynx region for a post-nasal drip cough. And, I’ve got just the right reflexology points for you!

Two-Step Reflexology Routine for a Nagging Persistent Cough or Post-nasal Drip Cough

This routine helps to clear a post-nasal drip cough as well as a nagging cough that’s left over from a cold. The key to maximizing the effectiveness of this routine is to practice it consistently EVERY TIME you cough. That’s the only rule.

It’s also beneficial to reduce or eliminate dairy from your diet if you have a lingering cough. The Traditional Chinese Medicine view is that milk and dairy products stimulate the production of mucus and phlegm in your body. If you’ve got a lot of mucus, lighten up on the dairy until your body gets back into balance.

So, without further adieu, here are the two steps:

  1. Massage the Chinese Reflexology point for the lungs
  2. Massage your Chinese Reflexology point for the sinuses

Remember, you’ve got to do this EVERY TIME you cough!!!

Step One: Massage the Chinese Reflexology Point for the Lungs

Chinese Reflexology point for the lungsThe Chinese Reflexology point for the lungs is super easy to locate. You’ll find it on the balls of both of your feet. The left foot corresponds to the left lung and the right foot to the right lung.

This point is actually a rectangular-shaped area on the ball of the foot beneath the three middle toes. To massage this area, press deeply with your thumb pads and massage in small circles.

Massage the entire lung area, focusing on tender points for about 15 to 30 seconds per foot. This will help clear energy blocks in your lung and increase qi (energy) and blood flow to the area to promote healing. Remember, you have to do this every time you cough.

BTW, if you feel a coughing fit coming on, press your lung points right away and it can help stop the coughing.

Step Two: Massage Your Sinus Reflexology Point

Chinese Reflexology point for the sinusThere are actually 10 points for the sinus, but the main point is located on the tips of both of your big toes on the underside of the toes. The left toe for the right side of the sinus cavity and the right toe is for the left side.

To massage this point, use your thumb and forefinger to pinch and rub your big toe. Press your thumb pad against the pad of the toe and rub side to side. Do this for about 15 to 30 seconds every time you cough.

If you practice consistently (every time you cough), you should start to notice your cough dissipating within a few days. As you get better, keep practicing the two-step routine until your cough is completely gone.

Stay warm, stay covered up, and stay healthy!

P.S. The patio is still not built yet. Maybe this spring…


23 thoughts on “How to Get Over a Lingering Persistent Cough and a Post-Nasal Drip Cough”

  1. I think a lot of people are living with a persistent cold right now. At least in my neck of the woods!

    I have a question though. My husband has a cold and I’ve been doing his sinus areas. His big toe doesn’t hurt but, on his right foot, his middle toe is very tender. That’s the only point that really hurts as far as his sinus points go.

    Why is it that not all 10 sinus points hurt?

    1. Hi Kari,

      This sounds like it could be specific to the toe such as a structural issue. Has he ever injured that toe or has he recently stubbed it, but forgotten about it? The right toes are for the left sinus cavities. Does he have a specific issue (e.g. past surgery) with the left side of his nasal cavities? Otherwise, I would expect the big toe to be sensitive too if it is related to his cold. Perhaps you can try pressing harder on this toe. If the difference in sensitivity is still there after the cold, I’d be curious to know. Thanks!

      1. Thanks for the response. That’s very interesting.

        No injury, but he does have Multiple Sclerosis, and the left side of his face under his eye is being affected by it right now (numbness and tingling). So, I’m wondering if the issue lies more with his MS than it does with the cold.

        1. I should say that his big toe on the inside – the hypothalamus area I believe – is very sore and has been for months with only a few days break. Along with it he’s been dealing with some MS symptoms. So obviously something is happening right now. I just assumed the top of the middle toe was his sinus area.

          1. You were right. I wasn’t pressing hard enough. Today I used a pencil on the big toe and voila – it was very tender. I must have weak hands!

          2. The inside is a different point, it’s for the temporal area. You are correct about the sinus being the tip. Did you sign up for my free Chinese Reflexology charts. they show the points on the soles of the feet. It is different from the Western system.

  2. 2.6 yr old son has cold. Shall I go ahead with these points for him? He wd not b cooperative… So how much time per point shd b enough?

    1. If children do not want to cooperate, you’ll have to do just a few seconds. It will not be enough time, but you can gradually help your child become accustomed to having his feet rubbed. Then, when he does catch a cold again, he will be much more cooperative.

  3. your reflexology is amazing. I hv pain on my left leg side of knee when i walk all it increases. Is there a point u can suggest. Please help

  4. Holly, I so appreciate all your work and I love your website! Thank you so much for taking the time, energy, and efforts to share all your great information!

  5. Hi.

    I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and from the depth of my spasming lungs.

    I have an underlying, though well treated, asthma which normally doesn’t cause me much trouble at all.

    This february I was visiting the states and caught a virus and the nastiest case of phlegm buildup deep within my lungs. I thought it was dry cough at first but, as it turned out, the mucus was stuck in there like cement and it took two prescription decongestants and a cortisone regime to even get it to start loosening up.

    After the majority of the buildup was cleared my lungs kept spasming as if they still had that buildup to work with and my asthma got really bad so sometimes it was really difficult to get a deep breath in and I couldn’t get more than a few hours uneasy sleep/night for four days.

    Massaging the pressure point helped calm things down a bit so I could get a chance to catch my breath a little so, again, thank you for posting this.

  6. Sherry L Solomon

    Well wishes and positive vibes to you and your family! Im most impressed with these foot reflexology charts and the abundance of information and personal time you devote to all of us people out there with out a clue! Thankyou for giving out knowledge to heal oneself for free. Organically. Your definately my hero!

  7. This absolutely worked for my husband when nothing else would! He gets a winter cough every year and tries everything to make it through the winter months w/o getting bronchitis. This year after massaging these pts for a few mins morning and night for a week, his cough was gone! Just in time for our cruise! Thank you so much!

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