From the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, feeling fatigued, run-down or being prone to colds and flus is likely to be due to an imbalance in the “Qi” – the body’s circulating life force. It is believed that many people suffer from an imbalance in their “Defensive Qi”, causing a lack of resistance to illness due to a weakened immune system. Imbalances of the Defensive Qi are often caused by stress, illness or malnutrition.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the focus is not so much strengthening the immune system specifically, but targeting the body as a whole to encourage the immune system to function at its best.
In order to boost your immune system and maintain optimal health and wellbeing, individuals should implement the following strategies and tips where possible.
Chinese herbs have been proven to contain immunity-enhancing effects. Adaptogenic herbs are believed to be the best, as these plants will react to your body. For example, if your immune system is reacting too strongly, these herbs will restore balance. Conversely, if your immune system has been weakened, adaptogenic herbs will provide strength. Some of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs are believed to be Ginseng, Astragalus and Amachazuru.
As many people know, stress hormones will suppress the immune system and put extra pressure on the human body. When the immune system is weakened, an individual is more likely to suffer from ailments such as the common cold, flu and other viruses. Additionally, when the body’s immune system is weakened, it will take significantly longer to recover from sicknesses.
In order to destress, you should look towards the things you find to be calming – perhaps exercise, meditation, mindfulness, massage or acupuncture. Acupuncture is believed to beneficial towards alleviating stress as it works to correct imbalances within the body, essentially “re-training” the body to function in a more optimal manner. Some people may also find it calming to partake in Traditional Chinese practices such as cupping or scrubbing.
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important when it comes to maintaining your health. Sleep deprivation has been proven to lower the production of critical antibodies needed to fight infection. When you are lacking a regular, high-quality sleeping pattern, the chemicals produced by your immune system that are designed to fight infection and illness will be significantly weakened.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation (this is considered to be less than seven hours per night) will triple one’s chances of becoming sick with a common cold or flu virus. By allowing yourself adequate rest and practicing regular sleep patterns, you will improve not only your energy levels and emotional mindset, but you will significantly increase your immune function and overall health.
According to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, digestive function is of vital importance when it comes to managing our overall health and wellbeing.
In Western society, digestive problems and deficiencies are a leading cause of poor nutrition as many people are unable to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the food they are consuming. This is due to a weakened digestive tract which is present in most individuals nowadays, generally stemming from poor eating habits and lifestyle choices. In order to restore your gut health, here are a few tips to try.
Eat at appropriate times
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, your digestive energy is at its peak between early and mid-morning, and it is at this point that you should consume breakfast. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners recommend avoiding large meals at the common dinner time of approximately 8pm, as it is at this point that your digestive energy is believed to weaken.
Many Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors also recommend abstaining from consuming any beverages for up to 2 hours following a meal. Drinking soon after a meal is considered detrimental towards your digestive strength and is believed to be counterproductive if you are trying to heal any digestive issues.
Traditional Chinese Medicine states that even one small dosage of antibiotics can majorly disrupt the digestive tract and eliminate a significant amount of beneficial bacteria. As pharmaceutical antibiotics are generically designed, they will destroy all types of intestinal bacteria, booth good and bad. While antibiotics may minimise symptoms for a small period of time, digestive problems may soon arise given the opportunity for harmful pathogens to grow.
Rather than using pharmaceutical antibiotics, it is considered to be far more effective to utilise natural antibiotic medicines that destroy disease-causing bacteria, though maintain essential and positive bacteria. Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests colloidal silver and the oil of wild oregano to be the most superior alternatives.
Traditional Chinese Medicine specialists believe your digestive system is composed of the “earth elements”, otherwise known as your spleen and stomach. As the stomach begins the digestive process, the spleen will separate nutrients from waste and pass these through the body respectively. In order for the digestive system to operate at a functional level, both the stomach and spleen must be in good health.
Acupuncture has been known to address a wide variety of digestive symptoms and diseases for a number of years now. Acupuncture works by utilising a needle to stimulate the acupoints within the body to promote the circulation of “Qi” and to restore the balance of the body. The main goal of acupuncture with digestive health is to bring an individual’s “middle” back to harmony in order to optimise gastrointestinal function.