By Ann Zimmerman, LAc.
According to the wisdom tradition of Chinese medicine, our Wei Qi circulates on our body’s surface, protecting us from pathogens like bacteria and viruses. This can be loosely related to how Western medicine views the immune system. In Chinese medicine, the belief is that viruses, bacteria and other pathogens are always present and generally non-threatning to our health unless our Wei Qi has been compromised.
Compromised Wei Qi then leaves our body’s defenses weak against whatever pathogens one might be exposed to in daily life. If a person keeps a lifestyle, such as an unhealthy diet or inadequate sleep over time, then they will ultimately deplete their body’s Wei Qi. Thus leaving them very vulnerable to developing illnesses. In addition to how lifestyles can effect our Wei Qi is the variable factor of extreme weather or stress. Changes in weather, such as large swings in temperature, moisture or wind also weaken our Wei Qi. On a windy fall day, a person with a poor diet who is lacking sleep, will most likely be a person who dealing with some stage of illness.
Stress also depletes our Wei Qi by fatiguing our ability to rest deeply. Often causing indigestion, anxiety, increased pain and insomnia. One of the great bummers of stress is that it does compromise your Wei Qi, often leaving us overwhelmed and sick, at the same time.
Preventing disease has been the center of Chinese Medicine, since its inception.
In the ancient Chinese text, the Neijing states, “To administer medicines to diseases which have already developed is comparable to the behavior of those persons who begin to dig a well after they have become thirsty, and of those who begin to make their weapons after they have already engaged in battle. Would those actions not be too late?
The fall and winter time tends to be a much harder time of year to stay healthy. If you know that
you are headed toward winter with compromised Wei Qi, please be good to yourself and start repairing your health before you get sick. Start practicing better lifestyle habits; eat better, get more sleep, stay hydrated, exercise, and limit sugar. Start/resume taking vitamins and herbs that improve your health and reach out for help if you need it before you get sick. We have seen a couple rounds of illness already pass thru the valley, if you are sick now or still not fully recovered consider using Chinese medicine to help restore your Wei Qi. To your good health!