A Note from Toni & Stephanie
February 23, 2008
That seems to be the question we’ve heard most in the last month. Why is everyone getting sick? Why is it taking so long for people to get better? Are the bugs out there worse this year than in years past?
From a Chinese medicine point of view, there are constant battles between “pathogenic influences” such as the bacteria and viruses that make us sick and the “Wei Qi” which is the defensive qi that builds up immunity. Changes in the weather like the excessive rain and wind we’ve seen in the last month can both weaken the “Wei Qi” and bring in new and abundant pathogenic influences. Illnesses and even allergies can be looked at in terms of these two factors. It seems like a really simple concept, but one that’s truly worth giving some thought to.
What happens when we take excessive courses of antibiotics or constantly use anti-bacterial soaps and cleaning products? When we try to kill off the bacteria in our environment the strongest bacteria will mutate and replicate creating stronger, more potent bacteria which are even more difficult to eradicate. From a Chinese medicine perspective the “pathogenic influence” becomes stronger, but the “Wei Qi” does not. Does this mean we should never use antibiotics or anti-bacterial soap? Absolutely not! But we should be careful and thoughtful about when to use them. Save their use for when they are truly necessary. If you are a teacher surrounded by a large number of sniffling children then it is probably a good idea to bring out the anti-bacterial soap throughout the day. If you’re traveling on an airplane during cold and flu season it’s also a good idea to wipe down your headrest with anti-bacterial towelettes. But in both these instances it’s also a good idea to build up your “Wei Qi” with good nutrition and Chinese herbs at the same time.
To achieve long-term health and wellness it is far more beneficial to optimize your own “Wei Qi” than to try to produce germ-free surroundings. So – are the bugs out there stronger this year than they were in years past? We really don’t know. But we do know that the bugs ARE out there and probably will continue to be in years to come. The best way to stay healthy is to take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, and come see us for acupuncture, herbs, and massage.
And if you have any questions about optimizing your health, please feel free to call us – (310) 454-5855. We’d love to hear from you!
Wishing you the best of health,
Toni & Stephanie