The "Delicate" Lungs
to autumn. As the weather turns cold (and damp in Vancouver and
area, especially!), we tend to forget about how our eyes itch and water because
of flowers, pollen, and trees in the spring and summer.
Nevertheless, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine now is the time
when the Lungs are most active, so now is the time to work on your
immune system. Do you or anyone you know suffer from
allergies? Perhaps your problem is not seasonal. Do you sneeze and sniffle because of dust, animals, mold, and so on? Do you have to avoid some foods because you think you might have an allergy to them? Then you too should read on...
TCM holds the Lungs as most connected to the immune system. When
you catch a cold or suffer from allergies, it usually starts with the
respiratory system: you sneeze, cough, sniffle, and get a sore
throat. We consider the Lungs as a "delicate organ" because they
are the most external of all your internal organs. The only thing
between the outside world and your lungs are the tiny hairs and mucus
that try to keep the wrong things out. Our stomachs, on the other
hand, have powerful stomach acid to defeat invaders.
If you work on treating your Lungs in the fall, you will be less likely
to suffer from allergies--and other lung-related symptoms and
illnesses--through the rest of the year.
Check these links to studies and articles on the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs to treat allergies:
Effect of acupuncture in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled clinical trial.
and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal
allergic rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial
Acupuncture Pins Down Allergy Relief
But wait...there's more you can do...
You may not normally link the lungs
to the large intestines, but Traditional Chinese Medicine does just
that. Both organ systems are systems of elimination. Your
large intestines, well you understand how they relate to elimination.
Your lungs are also called on in elimination...of the respiratory
waste product carbon dioxide. If either organ system doesn't work
properly your body will have health issues.
- Digestive disorders push about 1 in 3 Canadians to visit their doctors every year
- Gastrointestinal motility disorders cause the second highest numbers of work absenteeism, after the common cold
- Laxatives and stomach medicines are the most commonly
prescribed pharmaceuticals after drugs for heart disease and blood
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) affects 15 to 20 percent of people in Western countries
I wouldn't normally use a tv show like Scrubs to demonstrate how important properly functioning bowels are, but here's a segment from YouTube that you may or may not find amusing.
Check these links for information about acupuncture and Chinese herbs to treat some intestinal disorders:
Acupuncture and Moxibustion in the Treatment of Active Crohn's Disease: A Randomized Controlled Study
Observation of the efficacy of acupuncture and moxibustion in 62 cases of chronic colitis.
Therapeutic roles of acupuncture in functional gastrointestinal disorders
Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Chinese Herbal Medicine
The role of acupuncture in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a pilot study.
Strenthen your Lungs
Push to strengthen the Lung channel
Stand in front of a wall with your arms extended out to the sides at
shoulder height. Put the palms of your hands on the wall in front of
you. Push against the wall with some force. After 10-30 seconds,
relax and take a small step back. Push against the wall again for
10-30 seconds. Repeat the small steps back and pushing against the
wall until your arms are too close together. Kids can make this into a
game by pushing against the palms of a stronger kid or adult rather
than a wall.
Stretch and open your Lung channel
With one arm extended at shoulder height, put the palm of your hand
against a wall and twist your body away from the wall so that you
stretch and open your chest. Repeat on the other side.
Expand your Lungs
Breathe in as deeply as you can
through your nose and hold for 5 seocnds. Breathe out fully
through your mouth. Repeat 2-3 times, but stop if you get dizzy.
Improve your Digestion
Rubbing your Belly
improve intestinal function, use the heel of your hand to massage your
abdomen. Start at the area above your belly button and with firm (but
not too hard) pressure circle your hand counter-clockwise around your
belly button. Continue this motion several times.
Sitting on the edge of a chair, rotate your whole torso in a
counter-clockwise direction, bring your chest to your knees and back
upright. Repeat 5-10 times.