How a Runny Nose Keeps You From Your Destiny and What to Do About It began with one article I wrote about how to naturally get over a cold fast using a simple 5-minute Chinese Reflexology routine that I created out of necessity. When I wrote the article, I had a cold that had bypassed the runny nose phase and had gone straight to a cough.

The reflexology routine helped me recover fast so that I could get back to being a full-time, fully present mom to my toddler.  I also use this reflexology routine to prevent a cold. As soon as I start to feel under the weather, I simply rub my feet and I’m fine the next day.

I started getting cocky in my ability to pull myself back from the brink and I forgot the most important thing about cold prevention–respecting your body and spirit by not pushing yourself too hard.  It’s understandable.  There’s just so much I want to do, but I have so little time to do it all since my two year old son is my focus right now.

In order to accomplish what I want to do, including writing articles for this website, I stay up late.  About a month ago, I was preparing a teleseminar and I stayed up past 1am three nights in a row.

My body gave me the early warning signs that I was on the brink of catching a cold, but I ignored it.  I didn’t even rub my reflexology points.  I thought, “I can do this later.”

Guess what?  I got a cold.  And it wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill cold.  This one hit me like a typhoon.  I was so sick that I couldn’t get out of bed for three days.  My nose was running like a garden hose. I have never used so many tissues in my life.

When I did start rubbing my reflexology points for a cold, it seemed like they weren’t working as quickly as normal.  While the reflexology prevented me from getting worse, I didn’t notice any measurable improvement in my symptoms for two days.

And then, I had one lucid thought: “Transform phlegm”.  That’s a Traditional Chinese Medicine term to refer to clearing excess mucous in the body.  I added one additional point to my cold-busting routine and it did the trick.  I started getting better.

There was also one critical shift that I made to accelerate my recovery and I’m going to share both the additional reflexology point and the mind shift with you.  Even if you don’t have a runny nose, you can use this mind shift to help your body’s natural healing process for any situation.

The Chinese Reflexology Point for a Snotty Nose–aka How to Transform Phlegm With the Spleen Point

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Spleen is responsible for the “transformation and transportation of water”.  That’s one of those quirky TCM terms that basically says that a healthy functioning Spleen channel is needed to maintain the balance and flow of fluid in your body.

If you’ve got an excessively runny nose, then you’ve got excess phlgem (water) in your body and to clear this imbalance, you need to stimulate the Spleen point.

WARNING: If you are pregnant or have a heart condition, you should NOT try massaging your Spleen point.

Massaging the Heart point can increase the flow of qi and blood to the heart, so if you have a heart condition, you should check with your doctor first to see if it is okay for you to practice reflexology—just as you would if you were starting a new exercise routine.

If you are pregnant, do not try to massage your Spleen point because if you don’t locate it correctly, you could accidentally massage the acupressure point Kidney 1 which is sometimes used in acupuncture to induce labour.

Chinese Reflexology Point for SpleenLocation

The Chinese Reflexology point for the Spleen is located on the sole of the left foot.  If you draw a line horizontally across your foot at the midway point between the tip of the big toe and the base of your heel, and you divide your foot in half vertically, then the Spleen point is located in the top right quadrant just above the horizontal line. It’s about the size of your thumb pad.

Place your left thumb above the halfway line and in line under your “ring” toe (second last toe next to the baby toe).  That gives you a good guesstimate of where the Spleen point is located.

Massage Technique

Use the knuckle of your index finger to press into the Spleen point and rub in an up and down motion (from toe to heel) for about 30 seconds to a minute.

The Mind Shift for Wellness

Rubbing the Spleen point helped me get over my cold faster and clear my runny nose, but what really made the biggest difference was a shift I made in my thinking.

You know how when you’re feeling sick, your mind tends to fixate on things?  Well, I was fixated on the colour of my mucous.  In Chinese Medicine, the colour of your mucous is the key to diagnosing a cold.  I had a TCM professor who would become very concerned if someone had yellow mucous.  In her words, “Clear phlegm is okay. Yellow phlegm is very bad.  It means you have an infection.”

That’s what I fixated on.  I kept looking at the gobs and gobs of yellow mucous coming out of my nose and thinking, “I have an infection.”  Clearly (pun intended), this did not help  my recovery and I apologize for the TMI (too much information).

I knew that focusing on my mucous would not help me get better faster.  It made me feel worse because I judged my body for failing to clear the infection.  I felt like I had let myself down and all I could see was that I was sick, soooo sick.

What I did to start thinking more positively was to remember a Hoʻoponopono mantra, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you”.  Every time I wallowed in how miserable I was feeling, I would remember this mantra and say it to myself and my body.

I’m sorry (I pushed my body so hard). Please forgive me.  I love you (directed to my body).  Thank you (to my body).  I must have repeated the mantra at least 100 times the first day, but it did the trick.  I started to get better fast.

On Monday, I was so sick, I couldn’t get out of bed and was awake for just two hours the entire day.  On Saturday, I was going to a concert.

OK, So What’s Destiny Got to Do With It?

I really believe that when there’s something major (aka illness/injury) going on, your body is trying to tell you something that your mind is doing a good job of ignoring or avoiding.  In my case, I hadn’t been sick in ages, so I knew I had to take a look at what was going on in the rest of my life.

Why did I push myself so hard?  What was I avoiding?

You may have noticed that I didn’t send out a Point of the Month for April.  I feel bad about it and have to remind myself: I’m sorry. I forgive you. I love you and I thank you.

I tell myself that I had good reasons for not sending out a newsletter–I was sick, we were away for two weeks visiting family in Canada, etc.  But the truth is, I had ample time to write my newsletter.  I was avoiding it and the cold was a physical manifestation of my avoidance.

If I look deeper and am truly honest with myself, the reason I was procrastinating is because I was scared.  I feel like I’m on the cusp of living my destiny.  I am destined to be a great teacher and healer and to reach millions of people.

Yeah, that scares me and that is why I got sick.  I am avoiding my own destiny because it scares me.  If I let go of this resistance and allow myself to be who I am, I know I will stay healthy and thrive.

If your body is sending you signals, I invite you to dig deeper to reveal what is going on at an emotional and spiritual level.  Ask yourself:

  • What emotions am I feeling right now?
  • Is there something I need or want to do, but that I’m not doing?
  • What can I do to move in the direction that my body is telling me to go?

13 thoughts on “How a Runny Nose Keeps You From Your Destiny and What to Do About It”

  1. Hi Holly,
    gee it’s great to hear a similar story. I too can work magic on a cold. I have 3 kids that at the first sneeze know they are in for a foot rub before bed. Works like a charm. Sometimes though I don’t get to them in time and find that it can take up to 3 days to conquer their symptoms. My single goal is to beat it before it goes to a cough. I appreciate the tip on utilizing the spleen point. I never thought of that. I will have to try it if I don’t catch the little “sneezers” in time. I have a question though. No matter how hard I try to convince people of my “foot rub” treatment for a cold (you would think living proof would work) they just don’t get it. I tell them that if they will do this method and take NO MEDICINE it will work, only to find out they take something to help them sleep and then it doesn’t work and there they are, sick for over a week. Do you find that if you “mix” reflexology and medications that the medicine negates any effect the reflexology would have on the person? Just wanted to know if I was in left field on this one.

    1. Hi Liz,

      Good for you! Your kids are really lucky to have you as a mom! With regards to convincing people, I simply don’t bother. I offer the information if they’re interested and if not and they want to suffer through their cold, they’re welcome to do so. Not everyone is open to alternative healing and some people are actually very attached to their illnesses/injuries. With a cold, people give themselves permission to rest when they’ve been pushing themselves too hard. Hence, some people might not want to get over their cold quickly!

      We don’t usually use medicine. My view is that the reflexology supports the body in minimizing the negative effects of the medicine. E.g. reflexology of digestive points when taking antibiotics. I don’t usually view it the other way around because sometimes you do need to take medications.

  2. This article is so timely because I am getting over a cold RIGHT NOW! And yes, I have been pushing my body too hard. I have already massaged my spleen and I am going to repeat the manta all day long.

    The Universe always sends exactly what we need, thank you for being the messenger <3

  3. Hi Holly Liz Stacey and Abdul. Great page thanks for sharing.So good to hear others are bringing up their children to take control of their own health. I have a question that’s worrying me. My sister who is 48 had her spleen removed about 20 years ago. What happens when I work her spleen point? Does the rest of her lymphatic system take over when this crucial organ is gone? She is always suffering from A very runny nose and gets regular colds. She doesn’t take regular antibiotics as her doctor ordered. What is the best way for me to help her other than taking garlic medicinally. Many thanks Julie

    1. The energy meridian still passes through the spleen even though the organ is not there any longer, so it is still beneficial to massage the point to keep the Qi flowing. According to Western medicine, when the spleen is removed, the body loses some of its ability to fight infections ( My advice is to strengthen the body as a whole which can be done by practicing Chinese Reflexology. I have a number of online courses that offer different levels of learning. You can learn more about courses on the workshop page at: and in the online store:

  4. hi Holly,

    Yes, I believe that you are destined to be a great teacher and help millions of people to heal, that is easy to see from the way you reach out to us from your website, which is full of helpful information. Thank you!
    I just heard your interview with Diane Ray on the I Can Do It Hour on Hay House Radio. Congratulations on your book, Soul Guidance, I’m ordering it today!
    I have a question : For a few years, my nose starts to run from September to June. I can be otherwise healthy, but I’m never without a Kleenex in my pocket. I live in France, it’s a 4-seasons climate. Is the spleen point the best one to use?

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and appreciation. The Lung and Spleen points would be good to massage, but it would be most beneficial to take a holistic approach and massage more points. When you receive my book, you’ll see a couple of core routines to practice each week. These two routines will be most beneficial to practice.

  5. I’ve been in this exact place of denial the past few weeks. I’ve noticed that whenever I meditate or practice my adjusting skills (I’m a chiropractic student about to graduate and start a business in October), that my right nose will start to feel like fluid is “dripping” from it. I’ve been denying my ability to grow into my power. Doing all of the STEPS but not FEELING congruent. I came across this article twice now and finally fully read it. I’ll start to incorporate using this technique to help me embrace my power. Thank you!

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