What is Wei Qi?
Wei Qi is a classification of Qi that is otherwise known as our protective Qi. It is our first line of defense against external factors that cause illness. The stronger and more nourished our protective qi, the healthier and more resistant we are to external pathogens that cause illness. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), our protective Qi is controlled by our lung, a delicate organ susceptible to invasion of the exogenous wind pathogen.
This wind pathogen is often paired with other factors such as heat and cold that weaken the protective function of the Wei Qi. When the Wei Qi is weak enough, these external factors wreck havoc on our health. Think of our Wei Qi as the dam trying to keep the water out. As long as you keep the dam strong, you can prevent catastrophe.
We have all heard this while we were growing up. Most of us ignored it and got sick. In TCM, this philosophy holds true. Covering up and dressing for the weather is one of the best things you can do to help keep your Wei Qi strong and to prevent you from falling ill due to a wind attack.
A common cold in TCM can be broken down into two basic categories, wind cold and wind heat. A wind cold attack will present with chills, fever, headaches, nasal congestion, running nose, itchy throat and clear sputum. In this fall season, wind cold is the most common wind attack seen clinically.
A wind heat attack presents with fever, sweating, aversion to wind, pain and distention in the head, a productive cough with yellow/green sputum, congestion and sore throat and thirst. Wind heat is often seen as the progression of a wind cold left untreated. In TCM, it is important to take the proper steps immediately when you feel a wind attack affecting your health. Improper or lack of treatment can allow the pathogen to manifest more deeply and become harder to expel.
If you keep your Wei Qi strong, it will keep you healthy to enjoy the fall season.