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Oct 3, 2011

Exopathogenic Influences and Seasonal Illness

Chinese medicine has a very long and effective history of describing and treating various illnesses.  One of the most common maladies affecting humans is invasion by various pathogens.  In Chinese medicine, there are two types of pathogenic invasions, heat and cold.  All external pathogens require Wind (an energetic concept rather than literal windy weather) to penetrate the Wei Qi (our protective shield).  The saying in Chinese medicine goes “Wind is the tip of the spear that allows the pathogen to invade.”  Once inside the body’s shield, the exopathogen will take on the characteristics of either heat or cold.  

A wind heat pathogen will generally manifest as a sore throat with sharp pain, fever with no sweats, rasping cough, and body aches.  This is generally a “flu” presentation.  Treatment of Wind Heat is effected by prompt acupuncture treatment and the formula “Yin Qiao San.”

Wind cold will generally manifest as a dull sore throat with stuffy nose, post nasal drip, cough and sneeze with body aches.  There are also chills with no fever or sweating.  This is generally a “common cold” presentation, and treatment is effected with gentle diaphoresis (sweating), acupuncture, and the formula “Gui Zhi Tang” (Cinnamon Twig Decoction).

In the Fall season, especially August 8th to November 8th, the lung is very susceptible to Wind invasion.  To help prevent exopathogens from entering the body, it is wise to protect the back of the neck.  This point, known as the “Jade Pillow” is a common location for Wind to enter.  When going outside, use a scarf or hood to cover and protect this area.  You can strengthen your body’s own protective shield with the formula “Yu Ping Feng San” (Jade Windscreen Powder), taking 3 caps three times daily.  And finally, ensure your body is strong and healthy, nourish your body, don’t skip meals, and get enough vitamins and minerals.  We can help you stay healthy and free from Exopathogenic Influences with preventative acupuncture and naturopathic treatments here at Riverwalk Natural Health Clinic.  Call and schedule your appointment today!

Dustin Bergman, L.Ac