The past few weeks, we have seen a lot of patients with colds and flus as a result of the cold and windy weather. In Chinese Medicine, colds occur when the wei qi—the defensive qi that circulates on the exterior of the body– gets invaded by a pathogen. Wei qi has a warming function in the body, and when it becomes disrupted, symptoms such as chills and fever or tight and achy muscles may arise. As a pathogen moves deeper into the body, it can cause problems such as mucus, disrupted digestion, or cough. Without treatment, the pathogen can work its way through the meridian system and lodge in various organs of the body, becoming the basis for chronic disease. One of our patients developed heart problems after a flu, while others have developed chronic fatigue.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine at the onset of a cold or flu can help stop it from getting worse or kick it out altogether! We can also help it to leave the body even after it has taken hold, or help deal with pesky lingering symptoms of fatigue and cough months after the fact.
From a self-care perspective, keeping your immune system strong with regular exercise, good diet, and regular acupuncture treatment can help keep you healthy through the cold and flu season.