Today, Thursday, November 16th, marks the annual GREATAMERICAN SMOKEOUT, which is an intervention event put on by the American Cancer Society. As everyone now knows, smoking (vaping, too) is bad for your health and is a major risk factor for many serious diseases. Smoking is also an extraordinarily difficult habit to quit because it is so physically and psychologically addictive. Acupuncture can facilitate the process of quitting by alleviating the withdrawal side effects and strong cravings. Please ask me for assistance if you are seriously considering quitting. I would love to help you!
Autumn and the Lungs & Skin
Fall is associated with the lungs in Chinese medicine- the air is dry, fall allergens are circulating, mold and mildews may be prevalent, and it’s the beginning of flu (and cold and covid) season. The lungs may be especially vulnerable during these months, so it’s a good time to show them some love. This means staying hydrated, getting ample rest, eating appropriately balanced, healthful meals, dressing appropriately for unpredictable weather, and staying physically active.
In Chinese Medicine theory, the lungs not only control respiration, but they dominate the qi of the whole body and disperse the protective qi (“Wei Qi”) and body fluids throughout all organs and tissues. They also regulate the body’s water metabolism/circulation and control the body’s surfaces- that is, the skin and hair. The nose (and throat) opens directly to the lungs, and this is how pathogens often infiltrate. In this ancient medicine, the lungs and their function are in a sense very closely related to what we know as the immune system today.
Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it acts as a barrier to protect the internal environment. The lungs are thought to control the opening and closing of pores. Pathogens may challenge this barrier and invade through the skin and in turn affect the lung and the body’s defenses. The lungs, if compromised, might manifest symptoms through the skin- for example, spontaneous sweating or acne. Generally, the skin may reveal deeper more complex maladies with features such as bruising, scarring, discoloration, chafing, and other skin diseases like psoriasis. Much can be learned about a person’s health from observing the skin.