The season of Autumn is upon us. We’ve had quite a summer here on the West Coast. Scorching heat, very little rain, and fires in the interior that brought smoke our way. In a way, the smoke helped by creating a haze that took the edge off the summer sun. On the other hand, it created an outdoor environment risky for vigorous physical activity, especially for those of us who suffer from asthma.
Speaking of asthma (as is customary for me especially at this time of year), kids returning to school are thrust into their enclosed environment, ripe with asthma triggers: allergens and harmful viruses and bacteria – not to mention the added bonus of smoke! Yearly, September 17th is the day where most people are admitted to the hospital with asthma symptoms.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, Autumn is the Metal season and corresponds to the Lung Energy System. The Lung is the domain of Wei Qi, or Defensive Energy. It is the Energy that circulates on the exterior of the body, protecting us from nefarious, airborne substances in our environment. When we have strong Wei Qi, we are well protected. I reach back into my nerdy bag of analogies to compare Wei Qi to Star Trek’s ‘Shields’. Whether you’re a Trekkie like me or not, you may recall Captain Kirk giving the command “Engage Shields!” when encountering an enemy or an asteroid field. With its shields up, a blue light would encircle the Enterprise and it would be able to withstand the onslaught of rocks, lasers, and missiles.
Wei Qi is like our shields. When it is strong, we remain healthy and well, despite the barrage of pathogens we encounter. When it is weak, we easily catch colds and our asthma and allergies are triggered.
How do we keep our Wei Qi strong and our Shields Up!? There is an herbal formula for that. Yu Ping Feng San, translated (loosely) as Jade Wind Screen Powder is comprised of only 3 herbs. Combined, these 3 herbs have the sole task of strengthening our Wei Qi. This 3-herb formula is usually included to boost immune function in the patient’s personal, customized formula. It can also be taken regularly on its own.
Are your shields on full? We’re going in!