This August turned out record numbers for air pollution as wildfires blew thick smoke throughout BC and the western states of the US. Vancouver sits nicely in the bottom of the valleys created by several mountain chains that channel smoke from all directions into the Lower Mainland.

On many days, air particulate numbers in Vancouver exceeded those of any other city on the planet!

Authorities recommended for the elderly, the infirm, and the very young to limit outdoor activity. Needless to say, many of my patients suffering from chronic lung conditions had a terrible time getting through the thick of it.

Let’s hope they’re incorrect, but early predictions say that this will be the new norm for us in August. It sure felt that the best of the year’s weather was usurped by all the smoke. Walking outside on an otherwise beautiful day only to be met by smoke so opaque that visibility was down to one city block wasn’t my idea of enjoying the hottest days of the year!

Here are some of my recommendations for those struggling with air quality:

  1. Limit outdoor activity levels during peak air particulate times
  2. Purchase a good Hepa air filter for your living space and hunker down until the worst of it passes. I’ve found Dyson products to be the best on the market for clearing the indoor air of unwanted allergens and particulate, a healthy investment regardless of the presence of forest fire smoke.
  3. Drink more water than you normally do. This helps flush out toxins built up in the lungs.
  4. Get Shiatsu and acupuncture treatments to free up the Lung System and clear toxic substances.
  5. Take TCM herbal remedies as prescribed while acute symptoms persist. When these acute symptoms have subsided, continue taking the modified version of the formula to help the immune system regain balance. This will help reduce the lungs’ hypersensitivity to triggers going forward. ** This is the basis for the treatment all chronic lung conditions: clear toxins, then strengthen the system to withstand future (next August?) encounters.
  6. Re-build your gut flora with good probiotics. I recommend Natren brand probiotics in my practice.  In TCM, the digestive system (Spleen/Pancreas System) is considered the ‘mother’ of the Lung System. When the digestive system is weak over time, it cannot nourish the Lung, leaving it susceptible to environmental pathogens. The gut flora is our first line of defence.
  7. Start preventive treatment several months in advance of the smoky month.

Could you feel the smoke in your lungs? Did it affect the severity of your asthma? Did it cause you to cough and feel chest tightness? If so, your Lung Energy System could use treatment. Don’t wait until August!