In Chinese Medicine, good health is associated with free-flowing energy or qi. Every organ of the body has its own energy flow, but there are three types of qi which are most important for the immune system. These are: wei qi, ying qi and yuan qi.
The wei qi is our outer protective energy, it circulates both inside and outside the blood vessels and protects the surface of the body from harmful pathogens which cause disease. Keeping the skin hydrated during winter with water and lotions will prevent cracking and risk of infection.
Ying qi is the energy we derive from food. Good nutrition is vital for a strong immune system.
Yuan qi is “a mix of energy that comes from the kidneys which activate the liquids and the essence of our blood.” It is important to get adequate rest to support kidney energy.
A strong immune system is the best defense against illness; and a healthy diet full of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables will strengthen it.
During winter, foods such as garlic, onions, ginger, and mushrooms are great diet staples. It is also important to drink plenty of water and exercise in nature to get the qi moving. Breathing in fresh air is great for the lungs and circulation. Exercise is also a good way to balance stress, which if prolonged is harmful to the immune system.
A qi imbalance in the body can lead to muscle pain, lethargy, high stress and a tendency to catch a cold or flu.
Keeping your energy balanced with acupressure or acupuncture helps boost the immune system.