Blowing in the Wind

Blowing in the Wind

There are several technical terms in Oriental medicine that are famous for being confusing and hard to grasp. These terms are rooted in a different cultural reality. Occidentals also have difficulty wrapping their minds around them with just cause, as they are truly confusing. Some of these are Shen (Spirit), Jing (Essence), Phlegm, and Wind. The last two, Phlegm and Wind, are famous for not being completely understood even by those in the Oriental medical profession. They are associated with “twisted” and “knotted” type diseases that are disorders of the Body/Mind and are difficult to understand, much less to treat effectively. Phlegm we shall stick back on the shelf for another time. In this article, we speak of Wind.

There are an external Wind and an associated internal phenomenon. External Wind stimulates and exacerbates internal Wind. Wind, as a pernicious influence or oriental medical pathogen, is also thought of as a kind of carrier of its other pernicious cousins—Heat and Cold. The wind is thought to make these excesses much, much worse.

Actually, there are six of these evil influences. They are Wind, Cold, Heat, Dampness, Dryness, and Summer Heat. These excesses are generally associated with a particular season and either Yin, which injures Yang forces, or Yang, which injures Yin forces. The wind is associated with spring and is Yang and can, therefore, damage the Yin essence.

As the season transitions to spring, we usually encounter more wind. Diseases caused by the internal variety of Wind arise suddenly and change quickly. Spasms, vertigo, itching, or pain that changes its location can occur. These diseases act like the wind outside of us. It confuses our body’s defense mechanisms. It is difficult to prepare for in advance because it changes so quickly and keeps our bodies guessing.

Oriental medicine speaks of literal gateways where external wind can enter and pool. If you are in a state of disharmony or imbalance, external Wind can cause influences to penetrate more deeply. These gateways are associated with the names of acupuncture points. The points that are related to Wind are almost all on the head and neck and upper back areas. Examples include: Grasp the Wind (Small Intestine 12), Wind Gate (Bladder 12), Screen the Wind (Triple Heater 17), and Wind Pond (Gall Bladder 20), all of which are located in the head, neck, and upper back. As a result, covering these areas during extreme windy times with a scarf or hoodie can be quite beneficial. This is an easy way to prevent the mixing of external and internal Wind.

When we were first putting Cold Snap on the market back in 1994, we had considered the name Wind Away for this formula but feared confusion with flatulence. If you are chasing wind from digestive discomfort, Stomach Chi is just the thing! Given the windy winter, we just had, anticipating the winds of spring is a scary proposition. Cold Snap is a Chinese herbal formula that can keep your chi strong and resistant to the negative influences of Wind.

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