By Stephen Clendinnen, Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine
In the early stages of winter, when our bodies have not yet acclimatised to the new season, many people become unwell. Cough, running nose and sore throat are often experienced by people at this time. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help to restore wellness and prevent recurrences of these types of problems.
From a TCM perspective the main threats to our health in winter are Cold and Wind. The organ that is first attacked by these factors is the lungs, and from there the disease pathogens might attack to a deeper level in the body. If this happens the person experiences lingering cold and flu like symptoms that might start to upset other systems in the body like the digestion or our sleep wake cycles.
TCM treatment can help protect the lung Qi (energy) and assist in the expulsion of the disease Qi from the body. Therapies from TCM such as cupping, herbalism and acupuncture can have a good role to play here. If this is done early then the duration of the illness will be shorter and the symptoms will be less severe.
In particular cupping therapy is very helpful for winter colds. The Chinese cupping glasses can be put on the upper back for about five minutes. Over that time the pores of the skin open, and from a TCM point of view this allows the Cold and Wind which has attacked the surface of the body to exit. The cups are removed after this time and the skin’s pores will slowly close again. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can increase and complement the effectiveness of this treatment and help the body back to health.
As a preventative measure TCM advises that we protect ourselves from cold winds to prevent us falling ill. In particular the neck needs protection from winter cold. High collars and/or scarves when we are outside can make a difference here. Tea made from fresh ginger can also help prevent colds and flu. According to TCM ginger has a warm and pungent character. Because of this it can reinforce the surface of the body – which is governed by the lungs – against attack by Wind and Cold.
At Sentient Being we are keen to meet all your health needs and help you stay vital no matter what the season. Please contact us on 9431 3950 if you have any questions about our services.