Fall is the time of year that is often considered the beginning of cold & flu season. Why do you suppose we catch more colds and flus at this particular time of year? Aren’t viruses present all throughout the year? Do they go away during the Spring and Summer? It all makes sense according to Chinese Medical Theory.
Fall is the season of the Lung, and the Lung is responsible in large part for our immune system and its functions. Although you may have heard of Qi in general, there are several types of Qi. One type of Qi is Wei Qi or defensive Qi. It lives in the layer of your body between the skin and the muscles. This Qi keeps external pathogens, like viruses, which we call wind-cold or wind-heat from entering the body.
The strength of your Wei Qi is determined by your parents, your diet and your treatment of your body. Our original Qi is passed on to us from our mother and resides in the Kidney. If your mother wasn’t particularly healthy or was very stressed during pregnancy, your original Qi may have suffered. Some people are born with weak immune systems and diseases such as Asthma.
When we eat healthy, easy to digest foods, our body (the Spleen) transforms the food into Nutritive and Wei Qi. Nutritive Qi travels through the muscles and the Chinese acupuncture meridians. One component of keeping our immune system healthy is through consuming proper nutrient rich foods. Warm foods such as cooked vegetables and bone broth should be a staple in your diet to fight illness.
Over-working and over-exercising and lack of sleep can use up Qi and leave you drained. Draining your Qi will weaken your ability to protect yourself from these external invasions. Keeping covered up and warm will also protect you from catching colds and flus. The idea that wind can enter the body, especially when combined with cold, leads us to recommend that you wear scarves and hats especially when it is windy. The neck is especially vulnerable to wind cold attacks.
Acupuncture and herbs can improve your immune system and help kick out colds or flus before they get deep into your body. If you have an acupuncture appointment and feel ill, DON’T CANCEL! Come in and get treated for your external invasion and we will also prescribe herbs to get you well faster. There are many over the counter drugs for colds and flus but I have opted every time to use Chinese herbs and got better results.
Take care and stay well this season.