How can we possibly keep our own body, especially our immune systems strong in light of the various viral, bacterial and fungal and toxic threats in our environment?
The following information will give you some suggestions/opinions:
Dr. Menen’s Traditional Chinese Medicine Corner
When the immune system is challenged by seasonal changes or viruses/bacteria in our environment, Chinese Medicine believes that the Lung Channel needs to be strengthened to fight these challenges to our system. Interestingly, diet, lifestyle and emotions play an equally important role in maintaining the health of any Channel. For the Lung, sweets and bananas will challenge the immune system nutritionally; lying down will challenge this Channel from a lifestyle perspective; and sadness/grief weaken the Channel emotionally. This is a vicious cycle—so the person eating sweets will often feel like lying down and will often experience sadness. Or the grief-stricken person will feel like eating sweets (often comfort foods) and feel like lying down.
To build and strengthen the Lung Channel, one can use herbs (my favorite is Astragalus – which, unlikeEchinacea, can be used in the early or late stage of a cold). The nutrition can be changed from a Chinese Medical approach to eliminate bananas and sweets (which often cause phlegm, and definitely decrease the strength of the immune system). Peppermint and Ginger tea can be used to move the blood and energy in the Lung Channel and the actual Lung Organ. Swimming as an exercise is also very helpful in building up the Lung Channel and should be incorporated into a person’s lifestyle if possible. And my favorite approach to strengthening the Lung Channel – acupuncture!! Acupuncture can strengthen any Channel/Organ in the body; however, it is only lifestyle and nutrition that will keep the individual strong independently – I believe that one should never become dependent on acupuncture to treat what might be possible to do with diet and lifestyle, as this indicates an individual’s inability or unwillingness to become autonomous in their own health care.