While in school I caught a common cold, which is referred to as “wind-cold.” In Chinese Medicine wind is one of the causes and conduit for making our bodies feel sick. When wind enters our body it can lead to symptoms which mimic wind itself; such as how the wind blows causing instant changes to our environment, our body too can experience rapid changes due to pathological wind within us. But how does it enter into our body in the first place?
During treatment in school my instructor Dr. Zhu told me we would be releasing the exterior of my body to let the wind out. After my acupuncture treatment, I felt much better; my neck was less stiff, my nose was clear, and my headache subsided. My instructor told me to cover my neck after I got my treatment. I was feeling rather swell afterward and had patients to see, so I forgot to cover my neck. About 10 minutes later my nose began to run uncontrollably. I quickly returned to my instructor to blame him for giving me my an incessant runny nose. He looked at me with a borderline sarcastic look and said, “You didn’t cover your neck.”
Immediately I realized my mistake in the situation for I did not fully embrace the concepts of this healing art. When my instructor “released the exterior” of my body, it meant my pores were open. The treatment is designed to open your pores and let the wind escape, which he had done correctly. The problem was since my pores were open I had left myself vulnerable to wind invading my body again, which instantly had caused my new ailment.
There are a few acupuncture points around the nape of the neck which have the word “wind” within their name. These points can extinguish wind or help expel it from the body. However, these same areas of the body are most susceptible to wind invading into our body. When I got up from my treatment, I had left myself completely exposed and instantly humbled by my own mistake of not listening.
When it’s cold or windy outside you best cover your neck, another ailment that is common from “wind” is a stiff, stiff neck or a painful headache. When these acute conditions affect us, it is due to “wind-invasion.” Covering your neck with scarves or turtlenecks will not only keep you warm but prevent ailments from entering your body in the first place.