It can happen to anybody. One of us, Donn, while in the midst of busy acupuncture and herbal practice during the early spring cold and flu season, let the “unwanted guest” too far into the house. Usually, he is pretty good at seeing people with upper respiratory and other contagious conditions and keeping the guest from setting up housekeeping in the spare bedroom. There are many possible reasons why that didn’t happen this time.
However, the Body/Mind is not a linear system. It does not follow strict Boolean logic. Not all of the above is cut and dried when individuals are involved. Just a soon as we think we have patterns categorized and neatly placed into a system of our liking, we find exceptions. The Lungs are considered an organ but they break some of the organ rules. Unlike the other organs, the Lungs do indeed have a direct pathway to the outside. As a result, this system is more open to external pathogenic invasions and pernicious influences as discussed in last month’s article on the wind. The Lungs are also more controllable by us. We can hold our breath, influence our breathing patterns either by design or not as when we are stressed and tend to catch our breath or breathe more shallowly. Since it is more influenced by external influences, it is not a surprise that upper respiratory problems are a common sign of sickness during this time of year.
What can we learn from this? We can watch for the approach of the unwanted guest and dose up with Cold Snap when it is appropriate. We can protect our organ systems with more care and awareness especially those that have an outside connection. We can notice our breath and its cycles and even guard against too much breathing in of bitterly cold air. We can also do our best to moisten the dryness. Fluid intake during this season is even more important than usual here in Colorado. We can follow the wind protection strategy by wearing a scarf or hoodie to protect the gateways of wind on the back of our necks and upper back. Utilizing these tools will get us through the tough transitional season.