In our blog series Autumn Health Part Five, we will continue to explore our incredible lung organ. The lungs are considered in Chinese medicine to be the delicate organ. This is because they are the highest organ in the body and particularly susceptible to wind and cold.
Autumn Health Part Five
It’s just a short path from the nose to your lungs. Likewise, cold wind on your neck is just a few short inches from your delicate lungs. During sudden drops in autumn weather, it’s easy to catch a chill. Don’t be one of those people still wearing a t-shirt on cold, windy fall days. It’s all too easy to catch a cold by exposing your lungs and body to the cold.
Strong Defensive Line
If our body were a football team, our lungs would be the defensive line. The lungs control the circulation of the protective energy in the body that shields us from sickness. This protective energy is called Wei Qi. It circulates on the surface between the skin and muscles and works to warm the body. If the Wei Qi is weak, the skin and muscles will not be appropriately activated, resulting in making the person more prone to picking up a cold or flu virus.
Gazelle and the Tiger
Why is it that some people never get sick while others get sick all the time? The reason lies in their level of Wei Qi. The stronger your Wei Qi, the less frequently you will get sick. And correspondingly, the hearty Lungs yield robust Wei Qi. This “tender organ” is deceptive. It is a gazelle on the outside and a tiger on the inside.
Keep Your Nose Clear
The nose is the opening to the lungs, and you can prevent colds by keeping your nose and sinus passages clear. In Autumn Health Part Five, we have two suggestions to avoid colds. First, use a neti pot with salt water to get rid of excess mucus. Second, if you have a runny nose or sinus infection, Chinese herbs can help resolve that problem. Give Raleigh Acupuncture a call, and we can provide herbs that will prevent a cold, get over a cold in progress, and help resolve a lingering sinus infection.
The foods you eat also play a significant role in keeping your lungs healthy. Foods that are cold and raw create dampness and phlegm in the body, accumulating in the lungs. These foods include dairy products like cold milk, ice cream, and yogurt. Limit them in the Fall. Instead, eat more warm, cooked foods like stews, crockpot dinners, and soups. These will strengthen your stomach and your lungs.
Transition From Summer to Fall
In Autumn Health Part Five, we want to stress that the transition from Summer to Fall is when the Qi energy in our body may be unstable. Change brings uncertainty, and with it, instability and risk. We need to be mindful to safeguard our health during season transitions.
A good rule of thumb is that the Qi from healthy lungs should descend. If the Lung Qi goes upward (what we call “rebellious”), the person experiences a cough. The Lungs’ job is to inhale Heavenly Qi (air) and exhale dirty Qi (carbon dioxide). Now is the time to strengthen your Lung Qi in preparation for Winter. Dress appropriately, eat well and get enough rest.
Embrace Autumn Health
Now it’s time to embrace the Autumn season fully. Go out and rake the leaves this weekend. Buy a giant pumpkin, bake a pie, or take the family apple picking. Venture on a long walk along the greenway trail. Let’s take a moment to marvel at the wonders of nature, the Fall colors, blue skies, puffy white clouds. Soon enough, Winter will descend. But for now, we have a few months to get out and enjoy nature. And build up our Lungs!
Autumn Health Part Five discussed Lung health and the keys to staying healthy in Fall. Let us know if Raleigh Acupuncture can help.