So it’s smoky and hazy from all the wild fires, but why do I have this headache and watery eyes?  Why can’t I focus?  Why am I dropping things and tripping over stuff?  Why do I feel depressed all of a sudden?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), all of these questions have one common root, the Lungs.

Many people experience similar symptoms at certain times of year when their least favorite plants bloom and they endure all of the classical symptoms of allergies.  Wildfire smoke is much more pervasive and very few people are unaffected by it during heavy fire seasons.

Why do the Lungs control these symptoms?

TCM defines certain functions for the Lungs that, when out of balance, cause varying symptoms of dis-ease.  For example, the Lungs open to the nose and sinuses, when the Lungs are weakened they do not have the ability to keep the sinuses clear and we can experience a stuffy head, runny nose, and sore throat.  Pressure from the sinuses can cause headaches and give us that “stuffy headed” feeling that makes it so difficult to focus.

The Lungs are also the communication route between the mind and body.  They allow us to know where we are and how we are moving relative to the world around us.  When the Lungs are weakened, our sense of self in space, also known as proprioception, becomes confused and we become clumsy.

Not only do the Lungs give us a sense of where our body is, they can affect our perceptions of our body mentally and change how we perceive ourselves.  This change, though often subtle, can make us feel less sure of ourselves and our abilities, lowering our self esteem and bringing on mild symptoms of depression.

What can you do to help the Lungs?

The biggest and most important thing we can do when the outside air is hazy and smoky is to stay out of it.  This may not always be possible as many people work outside.  The following is a short list of other simple things to help the Lungs.

  • Stay hydrated – the Lungs want to be moist for optimal function, smoke can dry them out
  • Take your ACEZ – vitamins A, C, E, and Zinc are all very good for the Lungs and help the body cleanse itself of exterior pathogenic factors
  • Netti Pot – cleaning out the sinuses daily, especially when the air is bad, will help strengthen the Lungs

For other ways to help build your Lungs, schedule and appointment with you Amma Therapist or Acupuncturist today.