During the season changes the body requires more energy to keep the immune system in tip top shape. It’s no secret that many people tend to come down with colds and flus when the weather starts to change. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the weather itself is considered a potential external pathogen, capable of breaching the body’s defense mechanisms and helping to usher in viruses.The immune system is a highly complex series of protective layers in the body that begins with the outer most layers of the skin and respiratory tract and continues into the gastrointestinal tract and into the very depths of the blood and bodily fluids themselves.
The outer most layer of the immune system; the layer that pertains to the skin and respiratory system is called “Wei Chi” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is considered the first line of defense, a veritable energetic barrier that protects us from the first onslaughts of external pathogens. The quality of the “Wei Chi” is influenced by many factors including, quality of diet, quality of air we breathe, exercise, proper rest, emotional balance and of course genetic inheritance. These are all factors that we can consciously improve (minus the genetics part, just blame your parents or thank them for that one), during times of stress and transition, seasonal changes and other life changes. In addition to proper diet, exercise, rest and emotional and mental relaxation practices, acupuncture and cupping can be very useful therapeutic tools in the pursuit of optimal health. Acupuncture has the ability to strengthen and redistribute the body’s energy for optimal resistance to external pathogenic factors and improved immune function, while cupping can be useful for opening and ventilating the pores of the skin and respiratory system when the first signs of scratchy throat and sniffles have already commenced. Acupuncture and cupping have a long and successful track record for strengthening the immune system and fighting external pathogenic invasions such as colds and flus. Consider adding them to your health regimen this winter. Go see your local acupuncturist at the first sign of a sore throat, or better yet, before you have any symptoms at all!
Terry M. Chen, Licensed Acupuncturist
Open Sky Acupuncture, Eugene Oregon