The immune system in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) consists of two parts: The external system and the internal system. Primarily, we are concerned with the external aspect called “Wei Qi”, a defensive energy residing just below the skin’s surface in the layers of the muscle and meridians. The Wei Qi involves the body’s natural ability to ward off disease-causing illnesses, such as colds, flu, allergies, and sinus problems.
As the skin and lungs are the only organs that communicate directly with the outside, the immune system's first line of defense starts here - with the Wei-Qi. The meridians and organs work together, with the lungs propelling the Wei Qi and providing a powerful stabilizing effect.
In allopathic medicine (science-based medicine), external pathogens have been identified as harmful microbes such as fungi, bacteria and viruses that invade the body. Similarly, in TCM, external pathogens are identified as natural excesses of wind, heat, cold, dry, damp, summer heat and pestilence (microbes). One is especially susceptible to these pathogens in cases of a weakened immune system, resulting in a lack of physical stamina and psychological stress. The internal causes of a weakened immune system originate from internal pathogenic factors such as negative emotions in excess. Excessive emotions of anger, pensiveness, worry, sadness, fear and shock create an environment for disease and cause disharmony between the righteous Wei Qi and ill Wei Qi.
East Vs. West:
In many ways, the East and West invariably use different diagnostic systems and treatment protocols when diagnosing and treating diseases. Meaning, both are looking at the same phenomenon but from very unique perspectives. Hence in China, eastern measures such as TCM (herbs, acupuncture, moxa, and Qi gong), are administered and carried out to prevent the progress and or reduce the severity of the symptoms of the Covid-19 disease.
TCM Covid-19 Experience:
Covid-19, the disease running rampant through our world currently has been identified and diagnosed by TCM as offending pathogens invading the body as a result of wind-cold, wind-heat, damp, and toxicity. Toxicity is the utter state of resistance by our bodies to the virus. The stage of pathogens gaining access into the body is outlined like this: When the body’s Wei Qi is weak, wind (being the primary transporter for most external pathogens), invades the body. A wind-cold invasion results in chills, scratchy throat, white nasal discharge, and an aversion to cold. A wind-heat invasion results in a fever, yellow nasal discharge, sore throat, and an aversion to heat. The Covid-19 coronavirus falls into both the wind-cold category and the wind-heat category as infected patients experience and exhibit both sides of associated symptoms.
Progression of the Covid-19 coronavirus manifests itself initially with a wind-cold toxin invasion before progressing to wind-heat toxin invasion of the body. The latter establishes itself particularly if a person’s immunity is very weak (perhaps as a result of an underlying condition). In this case, the virus immediately infects the body at a deeper level. The usual reaction of the lungs, when pathogenic toxins invade the body, is to generate dampness in excess causing phlegm to expel the heat toxins from the body. However, in cases of when the Wei Qi is extremely compromised, the phlegm accumulates, eventually causing asphyxiation and death.
Ultimately, the Covid-19 coronavirus is an epidemic toxin that hinders and obstructs the flow of the Wei Qi and the blood within the body, thereby denying Qi to the lungs. Often such epidemic toxins are so powerful that they afflict the entire population, without regard for the constitutional integrity of the individual.
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by Dumisani Kambi-Shamba, LAc.