There are so many things you can do to support your immune system during the fall and winter. The primary goal of Chinese Medicine is always to keep us healthy.
Here are some tips for staying healthy during the fall.
1. Acupressure. Here are two points you can massage yourself regularly to keep your Spleen qi and your Wei qi strong. Your Wei qi is your protective qi. It is the energy that protects the surface of your body. When it is strong, it is harder for pathogens to penetrate. People with strong Wei qi are the ones who don’t get sick whenever everyone around them does. In order for your Wei qi to be strong, the rest of your qi needs to be strong as well.
- Stomach 36: Place the 4 fingers of one hand together (excluding thumb). Use those fingers as a measurement from the outside eye of your knee (the indentation in your knee cap) down along the tibia (the big bone in your shin). The point is that distance of your 4 fingers down from the indent in the knee, just next to the bone, on the lateral side of it. Many believe this to be one of the most important and most powerful points on the body. It strengthens your overall qi, increases energy and vitality, improves digestion. Massage this gently in a circular motion whenever you have a moment. Massage it on your children too! If you are a regular patient, ask me about teaching you to burn moxa on this point at home.
- Large Intestine 4: This point is another very commonly used point. It is located in the web between your thumb and index finger. If you spend a moment pressing around in that web, closer to the metacarpal bone that comes down from your index finger than to the thumb, you will find a tender spot. It can actually be very sore! Massage that spot regularly to help your immune system. Give it extra attention when you know your immune system is stressed or when you first feel yourself coming down with something.
2. I told you I was going to repeat this… keep the back of your neck covered. There are several acupuncture points on the back of the head and neck that are considered to be entry points for “wind.” Keeping that area protected from cold breezes is an excellent way to help prevent colds and sniffles. Nice soft scarves are a great way to do that this time of year! And a scarf can be taken off easily when you are toasty warm inside!
3. Make EASY herbal teas at home. Read the recipes for two simple teas (ginger and mint) that are amazingly effective at early stages of colds and flues. Easy ingredients, quick to make, extremely effective!
4. Acupuncture (of course). And Chinese herbs as well. I can’t begin to tell you how many people over the years have commented to me that once they started coming for regular acupuncture treatments (often for something completely unrelated… even back pain and fertility patients!), they found that they got sick so much less. Acupuncture is truly one of the best things you can do for your immune system.