Monday, October 13, 2014

External Pathogenic Invasion: Remedies for Wind-Cold

By Mary Oleksowicz, MSTOM, L.Ac.

Last time we reviewed the idea of wind-cold invasion and how the pathogen can cause signs and symptoms such as headache and nasal discharge. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), warming foods especially those that promote perspiration are recommend to counteract the illness. It is generally advised that when feeling ill to eat lightly and avoid foods that are extremely cold. This would include iced beverages, ice cream, salad and raw vegetables. Miso soup is highly recommended. If you are unfamiliar with miso, it is fermented soy bean paste that is available  in many stores. Combined with slices of the white bulb found at the base on scallions, miso soup can be helpful in reducing the duration of the illness.

Not all treatment of wind-cold invasion is internal. Gua sha is an external scraping of the skin that is said to “release” the pathogen from the body. Many cultures ascribe to this practice which can also be called coining due to the use of coins in the practice. Gua sha uses instruments to produce redness and inflammation which stimulates the immune system. This can help your body heal more quickly. From a TCM perspective the process is said to “release the exterior“ allowing the pathogen to leave your body.  Gua sha should be implemented by an experienced practitioner


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