How to Understand the Wind in Tai Chi & Qigong:
Wind is a Cause of Disease
Wind is one of the six external causes of disease in Traditional Chinese Medicine and often coincides with the others; cold, heat, damp, dryness, and summer-heat. Wind can also have an internal origin arising from an imbalance of the body’s yin and yang. The concept of wind is difficult to translate in terms of western medicine but can be seen in symptoms involving the skin, tremors, chills and fever, headache, and nasal conditions. Wind has a tendency to move upward and disperse, move rapidly, and vary location.
The Wind Points in Acupuncture
There are several acupuncture points on the neck and upper back with the Chinese character for wind in their name and relating to wind in traditional Chinese medicine. A stiff neck or headache can occur when this area is attacked by cold. If you experience aversion to wind, a scarf is comforting for protection. Proper circulation through the neck and upper back is important to provide protection from external influences. A heating pad and the technique of cupping will warm and dispel wind.
The common cold and flu are related to external wind. When external wind-cold attacks the body, symptoms of chills, headache, aversion to wind, and scratchy throat may be experienced. The treatment is herbs and acupuncture to expel the wind along with warming soups with ginger or other gentle spices. If the defensive Qi is unable to fight the pathogen, it progresses to wind-heat and symptoms of fever and sore throat appear. The pathogen has now progressed further into the body, requiring Chinese medicine treatments that also clear heat or phlegm. Mint tea is good for cooling. Avoid phlegm-producing foods like dairy and orange juice. Plenty of rest and non-sugary fluids are essential.
Internal wind is most closely related to the Chinese medicine functions of the liver. Rising yang or deficient blood are conditions that will cause internal wind. Spasms, convulsions, and dizziness are symptoms of internal wind. Treatment does not involve directly treating the wind, but to resolve the root of the issue. Diseases such as Parkinson’s and stroke are internal wind related. A weakened condition following a bout of illness, and stress along with overworking can leave you in a depleted state.
Improve Circulation and Blood Quality
Regulating circulation and building up the quality of blood with Chinese medicine will protect a patient. Do not skip meals and choose foods with high nutritional value. Exercise to promote deep breathing without overtaxing the body. The food that we eat will combine with the air we breath to form the Qi and blood needed for rebuilding health.
In nature, wind is created by the flow of air from higher pressure toward lower pressure. When the difference between Yin and Yang has become large, the wind grows proportionately larger. If our defensive Qi or immune system can match the wind that is attacking, the wind will be rebuffed. When circulation and energy flow upward and downward is equal, hot and cold are stable, and Yin and Yang are balanced, there is only stillness.
Learn Tai Chi and Qigong!
Learning Tai Chi, Qigong, Northern Shaolin, or Xing Yi Quan will help you become impervious to wind and have an extremely strong immune system! I teach classes in San Rafael, San Anselmo, Berkeley and in private lessons. I look forward to helping you become stronger!
If you are not local my video program 8 Diagram Palm Body Conditioning Drills is quite effective in countering the effects of wind.
Tai Chi and Qi Gong
Our School can be found here!
Learn more about Tai Chi and classes at the 10,000 Victories webpage here!
Learn more about Qi Gong and classes at the 10,000 Victories webpage here!
Listen to the Ancient Wisdom, Modern Health Podcast here!
Visit our Facebook page here!
Sign up for our weekly newsletter with more great articles, photos and videos here!