How Chinese Medicine can help “release the exterior.”

“Wei qi” (way chee) is the layer of energy that flows just under the skin. It is the body’s defense against external pathogens (bacteria, virus, etc.) that attempt to invade our bodies and make us sick. “Releasing the exterior” refers to energizing wei qi to expel invaders before they do harm. Whether we get sick or not depends on two things: the strength of the pathogen and the strength of our wei qi. Even Louis Pasteur (the father of germ theory) said on his deathbed “(Claude) Bernard was right. It isn’t the germ; it’s the terrain that matters”… meaning that if our wei qi is stronger than the pathogen, we stay healthy; if not, the germ wins and we get sick. When our wei qi engages a battle, we might experience a rash, red face, slight fever, drippy nose, or watery eyes. But we don’t necessarily “get sick”. Instead, we can successfully release the pathogen from the wei layer.

Specific acupuncture points and herbal remedies support the wei qi in this fight. These are best used when you are feeling run-down or when you have recently been exposed to sick people. The sooner you respond to the exposure the better the chances of increasing the immune response through treatment. With increased stress and exposure, the holidays are good times to preventatively boost your wei qi. Feeling run-down is no reason to put off your acupuncture treatment. In fact, it’s a great time to pick up the phone and schedule one!