Chinese Medicine Secrets For Immunity
According to Chinese Medicine, one job of our Qi, or life force energy, is to defend our bodies from pathogens. This type of Qi is called Wei Qi, or “Defensive Qi”.
First described thousands of years ago, Wei Qi corresponds to what science now knows as the body's immune system, including the lymphatic system. Wei Qi circulates under the surface of the skin like a watchful guard against potential invaders, including viruses, bacteria, and environmental allergens.
When Wei Qi is strong, the body can easily protect itself. When it’s weak, our shields are down and foreign substances can cross our boundaries and overtake our system. An imbalance on Wei Qi can make us prone to seasonal allergies and frequent colds and flu. Fever, chills sneezing, and other symptoms are seen as evidence of the Wei Qi fighting off pathogens in an epic battle of good vs evil.
Wei Qi also protects us from the bombardment of electro-magnetic radiation all around us- from cell phones, Wifi, radio, power lines, microwaves, Bluetooth devices, computers, smart meters.
So, how to you make sure your Wei Qi is healthy and strong?
Wei Qi is generated by the food we eat and air we breathe, so a healthy diet and clean air are essential.
Here are 10 tips to keep your Wei Qi strong and active, plus a simple recipe for boosting your defenses when you feel something is coming on.
1. Eat whole, seasonal, simple foods: The less steps is takes to make the food we eat the better. Choose seasonal produce, whole grains, nuts, beans, healthy fats (like olive oil, avocados) and simply prepared chicken and fish. Limit sugar, dairy, fried foods, and heavy sauces, which tax digestion and compromise the immune system.
2. Get outside: Even on cold days, try to get outside and take a few deep breaths. Imagine the fresh air cleansing and clearing out the lungs. On the inhale, envision the lungs filling with clear white light. On the exhale, see all the old stagnant air leaving the body. Take a brisk walks to the point of feeling your lungs working and skin warming up.
3. Improve indoor air quality: Make sure the air in your home and work place is clean, especially if you live in or near a major city, highway or factory. A HEPA air filter and/or vacuum remove pollutants and dust. Open windows when you’re dusting and cleaning. Use a humidifier in dry conditions and an essential oil diffuser with peppermint and eucalyptus to naturally keep air fresh. Test your space for any mold and have it naturally removed.
4. Only use natural, non-toxic home cleaning supplies, free of artificial chemicals and perfumes. Make your own natural cleaning products such as this disinfectant spray: Combine 1 cup each of water and white vinegar in a clean spray bottle, and add 10 drops of each of lemon, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils. The internet is filled with other great recipes to try.
5. Dry brush to stimulate the lymph flow and activate Wei Qi. Using a special “dry brush” or soft loofah, lightly sweep the skin from the extremities towards the heart/ chest area several times before showering. Make sure to brush carefully, using slow, soft movement. Wash the brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells and replace every 6 months. If you have easily irritated skin or a history of eczema or other skin conditions, skip this tip.
6. Practice this Qi Gong exercises to boost Wei Qi: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and arms by your sides, palms facing forward and fingers separated. Inhaling deeply, lift onto the toes and raise arms out and above the head, palms facing in. Exhaling, lower the feet, turn palms out and lower arms and the feet, slightly bending knees. Hands will be facing each other in front of the pelvis. Repeat 10 times. Imagine your are energizing a protective force field around your body.
7. Get enough sleep: Wei Qi moves internally in the body during sleep to nourish your internal organs and replenish energy. Adequate sleep supports all the systems of the body that are involved in generating Wei Qi during the day. Ideally get to sleep by 11pm and sleep for 8 hours.
8. Supplement with Astragalus. Research has confirmed that this herb traditionally used to strengthen Wei Q has a powerful effect of increasing immune function. Try it in tinctures, teas, or capsule form. Those with auto-immune conditions should not take this.
9. Boost Wei Qi function with acupressure. Find 5 acupressure points that stimulate the immune system HERE.
10. If you do start to get that "I feel like I'm coming down with something feeling," with scratchy throat, headache and chills try THIS RECIPE to boost your defensive Qi!