Acupuncture is a great way to assist the body while transitioning from the long, warm days of the summer into the shorter, cooler months of fall. With this seasonal change, we shift from the Element of Earth in late summer to the Element of Metal in the autumn. Due to this transition, it is possible to experience an increase in colds, allergies, eczema as well as other skin issues, constipation, and even asthma for those with pre-existing conditions.
The Role of Lungs in Autumn: It's Time to Focus on Your Wei Qi
Why are we more susceptible now? Because according to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, autumn is associated with the Lungs, which control the opening and closing of the pores as well as the “Wei Qi,” also known as “Defensive Qi,” which can be likened to the Immune System.
Due to the Lungs' role in controlling the skin, this Defensive Qi is essentially a protective barrier between our body and the outside world. It is considered the most superficial level of Qi in the body as it is responsible as the first line of defense against external pathogenic factors.
The Lungs also open to the nose and throat; therefore, the Lungs are an internal organ that communicates directly with the outside world. The organ that is paired with the Lungs is the Large Intestine. Therefore, if there is any disharmony or imbalance in one organ, it can affect or impair the function of the other.
Acupuncture Benefits for Lung Function
We recommend increasing your acupuncture visits during this season if you are prone to any of these issues in order to help prevent or alleviate symptoms.
Benefits of acupuncture to improve lung function include:
- Allows for deeper breathing (great for those who suffer from asthma)
- Reduce cough and phlegm
- Reduces onset of cold symptoms by strengthening lungs
- Helps reduce high fever
- Reinforces lung function to release tension from the chest from cough or congestion
- Helps to alleviate anxiety which may occur from restless nights or difficulty breathing.
Chinese Medicine Fun Facts: Acupuncture Points for Fall Health & Wellness
Acupuncture "points" that may be included during your acupuncture visit this time of year include many of the following:
Located on the chest, this point directly communicates with and influences the functions of the Lungs. This is a great point to help with any fluid build-up associated with the Lungs such as in cases such as a cough with phlegm and is especially helpful if the phlegm is yellow in color.
This point also helps to descend the Lung Qi, so for cases of asthma, this point is helpful to anchor the Qi to allow for deeper breathing.
Similarly to Lung 1, this point is excellent for alleviating cough and phlegm, especially during the early stages of a cold. It is a great point if you are experiencing chills and fever and/or wheezing with your cold.
Large Intestine 4
Similar to Lung 7, this is a great point for early stages of a cold as it helps to release the exterior. Essentially, this point gives the Wei Qi a boost in clearing any pathogenic factors it may be battling. It is also great if there is sweating with the fever and can also help to release any congestion in the face.
In addition, this point is excellent for cases of constipation and can easily be used at home by applying pressure.
Extraordinary Points Yin Tang and Bi Tong
This combination of points is perfect for sinus pressure, congestion, and difficulty breathing. By adding Yin Tang, headaches and tension in the head can also be alleviated.
Although this point is located on an entirely different channel and on the leg, it is a great point that assists clearing phlegm from the Lungs and helps to relieve coughing and wheezing. This is because it has an action to clear the chest and face due to the channel’s trajectory through the body.
This is another local point on the chest, located right at the center on the sternum. This point reinforces the function of releasing any tension from the chest from coughing or congestion. It also helps to alleviate anxiety which may occur from restless nights or difficulty breathing.
Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations from a healthcare provider. This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease. That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options. If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on firstname.lastname@example.org.