We’ve already seen some very windy days this Spring.
In Chinese medicine, if you’re exposed to wind then you are much more likely to develop cold and flu, and this is definitely a pattern that acupuncturists see regularly in their clients when the weather is changing.
The most vulnerable area is the back of your neck and your upper back, so please ensure that you keep these areas well covered at all times, until the warmer days of Summer arrive. For kids, try skivvies or sleeveless polar-fleece vests with high necks.
It’s so tempting to walk around in T-shirts at the first sign of warm weather, soaking up the sun’s glorious rays into winter-white skin. But with the changeable nature of the Wood element that dominates in Spring, that warm sunny day can quickly turn to a chilly windy one.
Please ensure that you are prepared for this whenever you leave the house in Spring. Pack a jumper and a scarf and use them throughout the day as soon as you feel a breeze or a chill. It’s something extra to carry, but it’s well worth it for preventing the stress to the body that comes with cold and flu.
”First aid” for wind exposure
If you do happen to be exposed to the wind when you’re out, then apply these “first-aid” measures as soon as you get home:
- Have a hot bath or shower
- Dress in loose, warm, comfortable clothing and socks
- Make some “protection tea”:
- a few slices of fresh ginger with a little honey, covered and steeped for 5 mins; or
- a peppermint tea bag and a little honey; or
- the traditional Chinese version is simmering spring onion, ginger and honey in water for 5-10 mins (in China I saw the modern version which is ginger simmered in Coke!)
- Drink the tea while it’s still quite hot, have a few cups if you like, rugged up under a blanket
- Rest for half an hour or so, hopefully working up a slight sweat
- After this, your whole body should feel very warm. This means you have brought your “Wei-Chi” – protective energy – to the outermost layers of the body, warding off illness.
If you can’t do all the above steps – eg for lack of time or if you’re at work – then prepare a cup of protection tea and a hot water bottle or a hot wheat pack.
While you drink the tea, place the heat pack on your upper back and base of neck. This will bring your protective energy to the vulnerable “Tai-Yang” channels that cross there, giving you a good measure of protection.