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Entries in cold (1)

Tuesday
May222012

Air Condition Syndrome

I posted this in an old blog 10 Aug 2010:

The middle of the hottest, most humid summer in my history in Minnesota is a great opportunity to bring up a modern American TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) diagnosis—air condition syndrome.  This syndrome can cause us to contract acute illness such as head cold or flu. Over time, it can contribute to or worsen chronic conditions such as joint pain and stiffness or menstrual problems.

Our bodies deal with the heat of summer by opening our skin’s pores. When our pores are open and we either walk into an air-conditioned building or enter an air-conditioned vehicle, the cold from the air-conditioning enters the pores. The pores, in response, contract and effectively trap the cold.  But since our bodies know that it is hot outside and we need to get rid of excess heat, the process happens over and over again, for a time, without necessarily going out into the heat again.

In TCM, Cold (big “C”) is a pathogen.  It does refer to environmental cold (small “c”) because traditional peoples always recognized that changes in the weather could cause illness.  Since we are warm-blooded beings, we don’t want to lose excessive amounts of our energy to trying to keep warm if we can help it.  When we are cold and our body has to harness energy from other areas of our metabolism in order to keep us warm, our immunity is lowered and we become susceptible to pathogens (which the ancient Chinese could not detect). Hence in TCM we cut to the chase and blame the Cold.

Cold trapped in the body slows the flow of Blood and Qi and produces Stagnation. Stagnation is experienced as pain, stiffness, discomfort.  The longer a Stagnation presents, the longer the course of treatment required in order to get results.