Word to the Wise on Wind

Wind!  Such a topic for us in the Southern Tier.  All we have to do is drive around the region and we see signs of high winds all around in the form of wind farms like around Bath and Cohocton.  

In Chinese Medicine, wind is a nefarious influence.  It is the element in which insects are born.  It is the thing that makes sages run "as if avoiding arrows and stones" (Ling Shu).  There is an idea that wind dwells in caves and gusts out suddenly.  

The human body is designed to withstand wind, naturally.  We have a kind of "defense barrier" called the Wei Qi.  But if we are weak, the defenses are low.  We can get weak from aging, and chronically poor health and stress.  We also have low defenses due to lifestyle choices, like staying up too late, harboring stress and denied emotions, and the like.  Finding time to meditate or pray, finding time for gentle exercise like stretching or yoga, and keeping sensible hours will all help.

Wind is a sneaky element.  Literally, it likes to sneak through our defenses and make us sick.  Wind is the carrier not only of insects, but also other pernicious influences like cold.  So, on these wintry, windy, cold days, we really need to act smart.  We should absolutely cover up our necks with warm winter scarves.  Why this area?  Because this is where the wind likes to penetrate first - the neck, and the back.  So wear a warm scarf and wear a warm winter jacket.  

Many of the ancient acupuncture point names relate to the wind on the neck.  There is the Wind Pool, Wind Palace, and Wind Gate, all there on the neck and upper back.  

If you do get sick... Our natural immunity will purge wind out on it's own eventually, but we can speed up the process with plenty of rest and some wind-purging teas, such as a simple broth of scallions, ginger, or cinammon.  These food remedies are longstanding Chinese herbs designed to release the exterior and release external (pathogenic) wind.  Acupuncture too, can help us recover quicker from a cold.  An entire herbal treatise, the Shang Han Lun, was written on just this topic over 2000 years ago.