Let’s talk about immunity. Cold and flu season seems to have hit early this year. In traditional Oriental medicine, immunity ( and health in general ) is seen as a function of the entire being, not an isolated system.
A lot has to happen in order to stay healthy and well:
Your vital life energy (qi) has to be abundant.
This depends on a nutrient rich diet, regular exercise, good quality sleep, dressing for environmental conditions, not overdoing work or exercise, and a well functioning digestive system to get the maximum benefit from your food.
Some signs of energy depletion: feeling cold, cold extremities, poor appetite, can’t fall asleep, mind cannot shut down, achy pain, frontal headaches, chronic cough, low motivation and tiredness, forgetfulness.
Your vital life energy has to flow properly
You have 12 pathways (meridians) along which energy flows. Each pathway goes through one of your organs, affecting their function. The acupuncture points are where this energy bubbles up onto the surface of the body.
These pathways have a cyclical, directional flow that must be maintained. They flow smoothly together, taking 28 minutes to complete a cycle.
Disruptions in the flow, meridians flowing the wrong way, and flow that is congested create pain and disease. Each pathway has a 2-hour cycle where it is dominant. For example, liver time is 1-3 AM. Waking up always at this time of night usually signals a congested liver. Acupuncture treatments are all about repairing and maintaining this flow.
Yes, your mom was right
Catching a chill will lead you to a cold. Ask anyone who is sick if they caught a chill in the preceding 48 hours and they will say yes.
In Oriental medicine, we see the human body as an extension of the elements. When we are outside in the cold, we may be unable to warm up after coming inside. This means that the chill has come into the most surface meridian, the Urinary Bladder pathway that runs down the back. That cold will continue to penetrate deeper into the body, weakening the pathways and making you vulnerable to whatever virus is floating around. Here is how to prevent this from happening:
If you cannot warm up: Get into a very hot shower. Let the water run onto the nape of your neck until you literally feel the chill escape your body as a shudder of cold. Get into warm clothes immediately, including socks. You should be able to avoid “catching your death” by this simple action. Wearing a scarf outside is a must in cold weather. Protect that neck area!
points LI4, LI11, ST 36, SP6, KI7, LU7, TW5, GB41. This is an example of an immune boosting balance treatment to strengthen your vital life energy. Come in today and stay harmoniously and blissfully well this winter!
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