The concept of QI or vital energy is central to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Qi changes its form according to its location and function. The lungs are associated with Wei Qi. Fall is the time to nourish and strengthen the lungs. Wei Qi translates as “defensive vital energy”. In other words, your immune system. According to TCM theory, your Wei Qi is derived from food and water. The lungs regulate the circulation of Wei Qi beneath the skin, and control the opening and closing for the pores. This explains the holistic tradition of promoting sweating when one has a cold or flu. The invading pathogen obstructs the flow of Wei Qi, blocks the pores, and impairs the controlling function of the lungs. By promoting sweating with herbs, for example, the pores are unblocked; sweat comes out and with it the pathogenic factors causing your cold. Then the Wei Qi is free again to circulate and defend.
When Wei Qi is weak, you can become prone to frequent colds. It is important to nourish and strengthen the lungs and therefor the Wei Qi in the fall. There are several herbs and formulas one may use in the fall to nourish the Wei Qi. Depending upon your personal constitution, herbs such as Ginseng, Astragulus or Reishi mushroom or formulas including them might be recommended to strengthen your Wei Qi for the cold and flu season. Consult your acupuncturist at Oregon City Acupuncture to find out what is best for you and avoid those winter colds and stay healthy.