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.
Within the art of Chinese medicine, each weather season is believed to correspond with a particular organ system.
The cooler autumn months correlate with our Ying Organs – our lungs, and it is believed that this is why there are so many colds and coughs present throughout this time of year.
As our lungs are already susceptible to dryness and congestion at the best of times, it’s particularly important to take care of our respiratory system during this upcoming autumn.
Here are our top three tips to do so, and to ensure optimal health for both you and your loved ones.
Taking a brisk walk during the cooler months is an excellent way to strengthen your lungs by breathing in that fresh, crisp air. Where possible, stretch your chest while walking in order to open up your ribcage and breathe right into your diaphragm.
Eat the right foods
As the weather cools down, it’s important to ensure your vitamin and mineral intake is appropriate for your body’s needs. When the air is cool, the human body hugely benefits from hearty meals such as soup and stews, which also assist in digestion. Be sure to incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices into your diet. We highly recommend garlic, ginger and onion.
Avoid excess dryness
While this may seem obvious to some, it is vital that you stay hydrated during the autumn months, avoid overusing heating elements such as stoves and fireplaces, and utilise a humidifier where necessary.
As we head into the warmer months, many of us are feeling the effects of the extra calories we have consumed over winter. If you’re keen to shed a few kilos in time for summer, consider these 3 ways that Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you lose the winter weight.
Cleanse the body
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is associated with the liver, and just as we spring clean our homes, we also need to spring clean our body.
A simple diet of fresh fruit and vegetables is an excellent way to detoxify your digestive system and start you on your way to losing weight. Try to include vitamin rich greens like alfalfa, asparagus, broccoli, lettuces, celery, fennel, cucumber and collard and reduce your consumption of coffee, alcohol, starches and sugar.
Chinese herbal medicine can be incredibly helpful to aid in weight loss. Herbal medicines are tailored to your individual needs, and different combinations of herbs can influence different factors.
Herbal medicines are intended help promote balance and better health, however they may help to stabilise hunger, improve your energy, and enhance your immune system – all important to be mindful of when losing weight.
In conjunction with healthy diet and exercise, acupuncture can be a great addition to your weight loss plan.
For many people who experience difficulty losing weight, excessive hunger can be one of the biggest challenges. Acupuncture therapy can used to stimulate the hypothalamus, the part of the brain which regulates hormones and balances hunger levels.
Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, which can put an end to stress eating. Less stress can also work to control the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone which is responsible for stubborn fat deposits predominantly stored around the abdominal area.
For further guidance on how Traditional Chinese Medicine can assist you to lose weight, please contact us today.