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But It's Cold Outside

In the mornings lately when my husband announces the outside temperature he may hear me launch into a song originally sung by Dean Martin, "Baby it’s cold outside ... but it's cold outside!"

We've certainly been having quite the winter this year with record snowfall in some areas of New England and record cold in most areas. When temperatures are in the single digits it's bad enough but add some wind to this and you get sub-zero windchill factors that leave us feeling we've moved to the Arctic.

Many of us still venture out to walk, ski, snowshoe, or snowmobile. We are hearty Mainers who live in the western mountains, after all, and we enjoy our outdoor activities. But it does wreak havoc on the system so a little care is needed.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine we are attacked by environmental factors such as cold, heat, damp, and wind. There can also be combinations of these: wind heat, damp heat, or wind cold. I've been seeing a lot of wind-cold invasion in my practice this winter, with sniffles, sneezing, congested sinuses and their related headaches, and stuffed-up noses with post-nasal drip that creates that cough.

Typically when we have these symptoms we say we have caught a cold. More accurate would be: we've caught a wind-cold!

Wind can enter our systems at the area of the 1st thoracic vertebrae. Covering this area at the base of our neck and across our shoulders with scarves and "neckies" helps keep wind from invading our system. And, as modern day science has taught us about bacteria and viruses, we also now know to wash our hands as frequently as possible to avoid contact with any “bug.”

Another way to protect yourself against invading pathogens, environmental or microbes, is with regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture beefs up the immune system, thus fending off the “bugs,” and is very effective for dealing with the environmental wind-cold invasion. There are acupuncture points that are known to "release wind" and we also have methods to "warm the internal cold" invasion. There are points that are very effective at opening and draining the deep sinus congestion that results from any drawn-out viral illness that too often leads to a sinus infection. And there are points to stop headaches, open the nose for easier breathing, and reduce post-nasal drip to help with that nagging cough.

Yes, a lot of your symptoms can be addressed with acupuncture! Not to mention the fact that we have heated beds, warm, fuzzy blankets for you to crawl under, a heat lamp that will warm your feet, and soft music to lull you off to sleep for a very healing power nap.

"Baby it's cold outside!” … but in the acupuncture clinic it's warm and we can help you feel much stronger and ready to face what might be left of winter for us this next month ... or more?