To keep our qi strong and prevent colds and flu, it is important to:
- eat a healthy diet full of fresh raw fruits and vegetables
- cut out white and brown sugar, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, all of which lower our immunity
- wash hands frequently with regular soap and water
- get outside in fresh air, take walks and expose yourself to sunshine. It may be wise to supplement with vitamin D3 this time of year
- receive acupuncture treatments which strengthens the qi, balance energy, keeping us healthy and helping restore us to health more quickly
- herbal medicine, supplements and proper food choices keep immunity strong.
An acupuncturist will often use points such as St. 36 to keep the energy strong, and Sp. 6 to make sure food is digested properly and nutrients are absorbed and turned into vital energy.
LI 11 is a powerful immune point. LI 4 and TW 5 are often used to help the body push pathogens back out. Lu 7 combined with LI 4 strengthens the body's defense against pathogens.
Often the earth and metal shu points on the back (Bl 13 and Bl 20) are needled to harmonize the body's energy and strengthen immunity.
In terms of herbal medicine:
- Astragalus is an excellent immune tonic
- Medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi and Maitaki can bolster the immune system, especially when the immune system is compromised
- Four Gentlemen Formula - a classic Chinese herb formula to keep the Qi strong
- Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, a combination of ginseng and astragalus, used in specific cases to strengthen the body`s Qi
- Gui Pi Tang is used when both qi and blood need a boost, with signs such as insomnia, irritability and anxiety
In Chinese medicine, classic herbal formulas are used, including:
- Yin Qiao - This formula contains cooling detoxifying herbs such as forsythia and honeysuckle. It is used when just getting sick, with symptoms which include sore throat, headache, and a yellow tongue coat.
- Gan Mao Ling - if you find yourself in the midst of a bad cold or flu
Please feel free to call us at the Birch Center if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment: (412) 381-0116.
Here's to your health...stay healthy and strong this season!
~ David and Melissa Sokulski, L.Acs.
The Birch Center for Health
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