Fighting The Common Cold with Chinese Medicine
Tis the season to be snotty… tra la la la la la…! Winter solstice has been and gone, the season changing from the darkness and cold of winter to bright sunny days just to confuse our senses and of course our Wei Qi (Defensive Qi) according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). When invading external pathogens (viruses and bacteria) attack our bodies, our defensive Wei Qi (immune system) must be strong enough to rise to the surface and protect against the invasion. Chinese Medical Practitioners can feel this in your pulse when it rises superficially to the fingertips.
According to TCM external pathogens can be Wind, Cold, Damp or Heat or a combination of any of these. Most common is Wind Cold with symptoms like the common cold – clear runny nose, congestion, body aches, and chills. The other common external pathogen is Wind Heat that usually starts with a sore burning throat, fever, and body aches etc. Both pathogens can easily transform from one to the other.
Acupuncture can be effective in summoning and strengthening the Wei Qi, our immune response to the initial attack, or be effective in shortening the length of the symptoms once the external pathogen has lodged in your system. Correct diagnosis of the invading pathogen will determine the best treatment options Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have to offer. Panaxea’s Fluex can be very useful to keep on hand for you and the family at the first signs of a Wind Cold attack. Remember to stop taking other herbal medicine when you have a cold as it is important for the body’s resources to fight the attack, rather than support internal deficiencies at this time. Support your immune system by increasing Vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc, keeping your body as warm as possible to expel the pathogen through sweat, minimise exercise and exertion, eat warm chicken broth, etc. Chilli can be good for Wind Cold but not for Wind Heat.
If you are suffering from lingering Colds, Sore Throats or the first sign of a Cold or Flu, make an appointment with us immediately – prevention always better than cure!
By Dr Melanie Bastian (TCM)
Scarborough Traditional Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is open Monday to Saturday
Melanie is available Wednesday afternoon/ evening and Friday morning/ afternoon