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Acu in Practice: Season Changes and Associated Symptoms

Welcome to acu in practice! Whether you are located in the Northern or Southern hemisphere, a season change is upon you. The transition from Winter to Spring and Summer to Fall seem to bring about the most significant TCM patterns in both people and pets. This can be largely credited to Wind and the more dramatic change from Yin to Yang (Winter to Spring) and Yang to Yin (Summer to Fall) occurring at these times of year.

Wind is most closely associated with Spring, but can also be prevalent in the Fall. It is considered the “Primary Pathogen” and the primary cause of disease because it can bring all of the other pathogens – Cold, Heat, Damp, Dryness – along with it.

In the Spring, watch out for patterns of Wind including Wind-Cold or Heat invasion (upper respiratory infections, common cold, “flu”), Liver disorders, and tension in the musculoskeletal and connective tissues. Wind can also stir up seizure patterns internally and the change from Winter – Yin to Spring – Yang can uncover internal imbalances that have remained dormant or subclinical.

In the Fall, the Wind contributes to the pattern of Lung Dryness and exacerbates Lung Yin deficiency. Lung Dryness will be seen as more acute patterns including nosebleeds, rhinitis, upper respiratory symptoms and seasonal asthma (asthma typically has a Phlegm component as well). Lung Yin deficiency can show up especially in senior patients who have Kidney Qi deficiency and manifests as a dry, hacking cough or increased thirst/dry throat at night.

Regardless of season, Wind presents a challenge to our Wei Qi and overall immune system. Supporting immunity during these times of year can prevent or at least lessen the severity of clinical disease.

Acupuncture points:

Dispel Wind: GV 14, GB 1, GB 2, BL 10

+ Internal + Wind Heat + Wind Cold: GB 20

+ Benefit Wei Qi: LI 4

+ Soothe sinews: BL 11, GB 31

+ Benefit Lung: BL 12

+ Benefit Lung and Wei Qi: LU 7

+ Internal Wind/Seizures: BL 62

+ Benefit Liver/Internal Wind: LIV 3

For patients with known seasonal patterns, consider treatment prior to the season change for best preventative results.

This post is created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice.


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