Traditional Chinese understandings of our world’s natural cycles categorise the five seasons according to specific climates. Summer is related to Heat, late summer to Humidity, autumn to Drought, and winter and spring to Cold Wind. All climates are seen during all seasons, but their manifestations are stronger in the matching ones. Just as in nature, Wind generates movement, even where things would otherwise be still; creates change and speed in what is normally slow and steady; and causes things to appear and disappear quickly. Disorders of Wind are behind many diseases in TCM theory, and are seen as Yang-associated conditions. Nefarious Wind also allows other negative influences to invade the body.
Winter colds and flu are common Wind conditions. For example, Cold Wind features an aversion to the wind and cold; a runny nose; cough; fever; headache and generalised aches. Hot Wind causes fever and sweating; headaches; sore throat; red, light-sensitive eyes; constipation; thirst; a cough with yellow, thick phlegm; breathing difficulties and nosebleeds. Damp Wind causes listlessness, lack of desire to eat, sore limbs, nausea, diarrhoea and can worsen arthritis. These TCM syndromes don’t always appear in isolation, and you don’t necessarily have to have every possible symptom. The overarching theme of Wind disorders is their rapidly changing nature. For example, you may have a cold that suddenly came on and featured a series of changing symptoms before disappearing.
While hygiene and staying home when you’re sick (or wearing a mask when you need to go out) are essential for stopping the spread of any respiratory infection, contact me if you’re interested in learning more about how TCM may be helpful for your overall health.