Sunday, September 15, 2013

Acupuncture Fall and Immune System

 Acupuncture and your Health in the Fall

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Please read disclaimer link below. Articles here are for information purposes only and not intended to diagnose nor cure.
Fall in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture is associated with the element of METAL (from the theory of 5 elements: Wood, Fire, Metal, Water and Earth). Metal is represented by the Lungs and Large Intestine. Color is white, the emotion is sadness or sorrow. The Lungs control the skin and pores and are the first form of defense against exogenous pathogens like wind and cold. 

Lungs are often referred to as a delicate organ, because it is sensitive to weather changes. The lungs are often associated with sadness or depression in Chinese Medicine.

Fall in New York brings drastic and volatile weather changes. Our bodies and immune system are often subjected to respiratory problems (colds, asthma and flu) in this season. So here below are a few steps to prepare yourself for seasonal changes and strengthen the immune system.  

Acupuncture and Immune System There are certain Acupuncture points that stimulate your immune system. Acupuncture can adjust your energy to prepare the body for a particular season, especially the one like Fall, with constant change of temperature. Acupuncture also reduces stress and optimizes your body's defenses.  

Weather Best thing you can do is not to expose your body to the wind and extreme weather changes during Fall season. If you dress appropriately for the weather, you are less likely to catch a cold. So scarf, hat and appropriate shoes will all do when the temperature drops. 

Food As it gets colder, you need to cut down on cold (energy) foods like salads and eat warmer energetic foods like chicken, hot soups, etc. Cook with ginger (or scallions, garlic, cinnamon). Seeds and nuts (I personally like walnuts best as they are also good for the Kidneys and the Brain which come into play in the Winter - Kidney Season).  

Nothing like warm soup on a cold day

Garlic has antibacterial and immune system properties and thins blood. It disperses stagnant energy by promoting circulation of energy in your body and the Lungs. It is also very useful for those flu seasons. Garlic has antibacterial properties and gets you back on your feet quicker after flu or any other respiratory illness.

One way to consume garlic is to boil it in water and and then drink it as tea. You can add flavor enhancing herbs like: Mint, Hibiscus Flower, Cinnamon, etc. and there you go, you have a natural boost to the circulatory cardiac and immune systems.

Cooking with/ or eating Garlic, Ginger, Scallions/ Onions is OK in moderation as they circulate lung energy and energy in general. They can also act as antibacterial substances and promote circulation and reduce fatigue and inflammation.

DRINKS Drinking a warm glass of water or tea with a generous squeeze of lemon is a great way to detox your Liver and enhance intake of Vitamin C which may help your immune system as well. Consuming warmer liquids is your way of helping your body to maintain body temperature at cold temperatures. Also warm drinks help circulation and sweating which in turn helps cool the body in warm climates. In some tropical climates, people drink hot tea even in extreme heat, believe it or not.

Chinese Herbs There is a number of Herbs that can be used to strengthen your immune system. However, I would strongly discourage self medication as Chinese Herbs are very strong and can turn against you. It is best to come to a Chinese Medicine Practitioner. Spicy herbs can make you sweat and sweating in initial stages can "push" the cold out of your body. They can also act as antibacterial substances and promote circulation and reduce fatigue and and inflammation. (consult your MD or herbalist, especially if you are taking prescription medications)
To Improve your health and quality of life may we suggest you view our 2-3 minute Yoga breathing.  Particular ailments like fertility, immune system, stress and insomnia or back pain can benefit as well.

Be Well
Mark Moshchinsky, L.Ac(NCCAOM)
Licensed Acupuncturist in NYC