One benefit of healthy lungs is a strong immune system...read more
Immunity in Chinese Medicine
(article by Dawn Aarons as published in Superior Star Magazine- November 2009)
It's always beneficial to have a strong immune system, but
this issue is of particular interest for many in the fall. This year, in
addition to seasonal colds and coughs, we are surrounded by discussions about
the flu. What to do?
In Chinese Medicine, the fall is associated with the Lungs
in the body and the element of Metal. The Lungs control the skin and the
opening and closing of the pores. The Lungs also govern Defensive Energy, which
circulates between the skin and muscles. When people's Lungs are balanced and
clear, their Defensive Energy is ample, and their immune system strong.
Chinese Herbal Medicine offers many options for
strengthening immunity. There are also many formulas for treating colds and flu.
One popular combination of herbs, called Change of Season Soup, is taken in the
Spring and Fall to support smooth transitions between the seasons. It is
believed that taking the "soup" (actually more like a tea-the 4 raw
ingredients- astragalus root, codonopsis root, dioscorea root, and Lycii berries, are boiled in water -just the water is consumed) in the Spring
will help preclude colds in the Fall.
Numerous acupuncture treatments and Qigong exercises are
used to strengthen the Lungs. Although breathing is always a key element in the
maintenance of health, the breath connection is more obvious with the Lungs.
Breathe deeply and consciously. Notice the breath in the Lungs. Try breathing
into the back and sides of the Lungs as well as the front.
In general terms, our immune systems benefit from healthy
eating, regular sleep, and relaxation - just like the rest of our body and
Note: "Lungs" refers not only to the lung organs, but also
to the multiple functions of the Lungs in Chinese Medicine.