Ever wonder why we mark the start of summer on the longest day of the year (the summer solstice), and the next day the days start already to get shorter? In Qigong and Chinese medicine, we mark the seasons differently. Accordingly, the summer solstice marks the middle of summer, not the beginning. This way of marking the seasons is more in tune with nature, and when we are in tune with nature, we stay healthier. We can stay in tune with nature by changing behavior, such as sleep patterns; changing our diet; and even changing our mental attitude with the seasons.
For several years now I have been sharing with my Taiji and Qigong students an acupressure routine to help ward off common colds and flu. I started out publicizing the routine in late September, but after a few years, I began to realize that by late September some of my students, particularly those whose immune systems were run down by overwork and stress, would already have suffered a round of cold or flu. The Qigong system marks the beginning of autumn already in August (August 7th this year). With that in mind, I realized that if I want to help my students stay healthy during the cold and flu season, I need to start early in August.
Although in Northern Virginia it is still hot and damp at this time of year, it is a good time to begin taking greater care of your lungs. They will soon be under attack by autumn allergens and in time the dryness of Autumn will also put your lungs under stress. You can perform the Lung Cleansing Qigong shown on our You Tube channel qielements1. In additions you can begin to apply acupressure to tonifying points such as St 36 and Sp 6. I have also found that herbal supplement formulas help keep the lungs healthy. I have used Respiratory Support and Defense from Nature’s Secret and a general formula called Wellness Formula from Source Naturals. (I don’t sell supplements so there is no conflict of interest here.) This is the time that I will begin taking supplements to strengthen my lungs.