Does The Weather Affect Your Mood, Immune System or Both?
We’ve been having some pretty drastic weather changes here in Minneapolis since last week. One night you could sweat uncomfortably without air conditioning, the very next night it was so cold you needed flannel sheets on your bed.
In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) we pay very close attention to how the weather can affect your health. Our goal with this wonderful effective medicine is to be able to live in harmony with the seasons. Drastic changes in weather like these can adversely affect your immune system, mood and wellbeing if you are not careful.
TCM teaches that elements like cold and wind (it’s been very windy here lately) can be a pathogenic factor if your immune system is weak or if you don’t take the proper precautions.
Cold can invade the body and cause chills, severe aches, and stiff neck. Wind penetrates the skin and interferes with the ”wei qi’, a protective layer between the skin and the muscles that defends against colds, flu and viruses. It mimics the action of wind in nature. It appears suddenly, blows intermittently. It usually affects the upper part of the body, manifesting as stiff neck, chills, aversion to cold or wind, runny nose, sneezing, coughing and itchy throat.
Precautions to take include dressing to keep your body warm. The summer is gone so dress for this season otherwise you are asking for trouble. Protect yourself so you don’t get sick. Also with the onset of cooler weather eat warmer foods and stay away from cold and raw foods. The principle here is the warm the body from the inside. Soups, stews, broths and teas are all good.
We are quickly moving toward the fall equinox. As our climate to starts get cooler, things begin to slow down. For some, the fall is not so festive. Many people get sick during the fall months, allergies can flare up, and some people don’t look forward to the steady decrease in sunlight, resulting in SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
5 Tips to Stay Healthy in the Fall:
1. Wear a scarf.
The large intestine channel runs up your arms, shoulders, neck, over your face and stops next to your nose. As some of you may know, the health of our gastrointestinal tract plays a huge part in your immunity, so keeping the large intestine channel warm and preventing exposure from the elements will help keep you healthy. Cold pathogens can enter the body through your pores and nose, so covering your neck and shoulders with a scarf can help ward them off. Scarves don’t have to be thick or heavy, but they should cover your neck.
2. Eat seasonally
Eating foods readily available during the autumn months and foods that boost your energy is a great way to keep your organs healthy. In the fall, it is better to eat fewer cold and raw foods like salads. Rather eat seasonally using more warm and cooked foods. Great fall foods to enjoy include apples, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pears, yams, cabbage, carrots, cranberries, ginger, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and wild rice. Hot herbal teas are another good addition to your daily diet, especially those containing ginger and lemon, which act as natural antibiotics.
3. Stay hydrated
The fall is dryer than the humid summer, so drinking lots of water is very important. Without proper hydration, the skin, which is controlled by the lung meridian, can become dry, allowing pathogens to easily enter the body. The large intestine meridian also needs proper hydration in order to expel any pathogens that do get into the system.
4. Let go
In Chinese medicine the season of Fall is associated with letting go. Just as the trees let go of beautifully colored leaves, you can also let go of what is bogging you down. It may include material things like unused clothing cluttering up your closet, or as unresolved emotions. Letting go of attachments can make way for personal growth and new beginnings.
5. Get acupuncture!
As the fall gets closer, it is a good idea to increase your regular acupuncture treatments. There are many acupuncture points that help boost immunity, fight off colds, help with releasing emotions and improve digestion. Why not use the natural healing power our clinic has to offer? You might just survive the fall without ever getting sick and be better prepared for the upcoming months and seasons that follow. Our Acu-Immune Booster is a great way to strengthen your defense against illness. To schedule your appointment for better health call 952-831-8080 or go to our contact page.
P.S. Like us on Facebook.