Internal and External Wind

Wind, traditional chinese medicine, energy, balance qi, acupuncture, stress management

Springtime in Colorado can be synonymous with wind.  Warmer temps can bring strong gusts that blast us with nature’s breath, frustrating and worrying us.

But is there more to wind than irritation and flying debris?

In traditional Chinese medicine, elements can invade and affect the body; one of these being wind.

Wind is perceived as yang energy which is active, dry, fast, irritating, and loud – possibly why such a weather phenomenon is so aggravating at times!  This yang energy can be both external and internal and can affect us differently depending on which is in excess.

What do we mean by that?

Let’s start with external.

External wind is what most of us may think of – the breeze that’s ruffles leaves, creates waves, and requires a jacket.  This wind can stress the body and deplete qi (energy) which can lead to lowered immunity. It can cause head and respiratory cold symptoms like sinus pressure, congestion, and headache and is typically temporary.

How to keep external wind from invading the body?

  • cover the nape of the neck (where wind tends to invade the most) with a scarf or high-neck shirt
  • wear a warm hat to keep the head warm
  • use a windbreaker to decrease cold assault to the body’s core
  • keep feet warm with socks and blankets
  • warm the body with warmed tea, soups, bath, and blankets
  • keep sinuses moist with sinus sprays and steam showers and baths

Now, on to internal.

Internal wind in TCM is a stimulating yang energy that is commonly related to stress and is more long-term.  It can become excessive from things such as chronic stress, alcohol and drugs, poor diet, lack of movement, chronic illness or disease, yin qi deficiency, and stuck qi – particularly in the liver (if liver qi isn’t moving, it can cause a rising of internal wind that gets stuck in upper half of the body – hence anxiety and mood issues).

This internal wind can cause:

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • jitters
  • tremors
  • high blood pressure
  • headaches and migraines
  • aversion to cold temperatures

How to settle internal wind?

Calm the nervous system, warm the body, and move liver qi with such things as:

  • yoga, meditation, and walking
  • acupuncture
  • massage
  • adaptogenic herbs to support the nervous system
  • herbal supplements for the liver
  • stress management
  • warm teas, broths, and spices such as ginger, turmeric and cinnamon
  • cozy blankets
  • a warm epsom salt bath

Interesting concepts, aren’t they?  Especially for those of us living in a wind abundant place (thanks, Colorado!).

For more information on how external and/or internal wind could be affecting your health, please call us at (303) 688-6698 or schedule an appointment with Dr. Graves here

The CNMA office provides naturopathic care, acupuncture, testing, massage, and holistic counseling to those in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, and the greater Denver metro area.  For those outside of these areas, virtual appointments are available.

Posted in Acupuncture, Anxiety, blog, mental health, Natural Medicine, Spring, Stress & Adrenal Health Tagged with: , , , , ,

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