Self care to strengthen your lungs

With the equinox a month away on Sept 22, 2017, you’ve probably felt the crisp morning air telling us we are moving from summer into autumn.

Angie Kociolek acupuncture woman tree

Autumn is one of the best times for a seasonal acupuncture tune up! 

Now is the time of year when energy flows in and down. You may feel melancholy or contemplative. It’s nature’s way of reminding us it’s okay to let go. Yes, like the iconic image of trees dropping their leaves.

It’s also a time of the year when our Lungs are most susceptible to external pathogens. And for us in Bozeman, this year is a moderately bad year for smoke from many burning fires across Montana. While wildfires, in and of themselves, play a beneficial role in our ecology, the smoke they produce does bring what Chinese medicine terms an External Cause of Disease, namely Dryness. If you were born with a weak constitution or get sick frequently, you’ll want to be particularly mindful at this time of year. Taking Chinese herbal supplements is a proactive way to build your immunological defenses.

Between acupuncture sessions, you can help yourself by massaging a very important acupuncture point on your wrist known as Lung 7. This point helps release external pathogens whether it be Dryness or influenza, it stimulates the descending action of the Lungs which helps stop coughs of all types, and it’s connected with the nose so it can treat sneezing, too.

You find this point by clasping one hand over the other between the thumbs and forefingers. With the forefinger of one hand, find at the base of the thumb on the other hand a hollowed out feature known as the anatomical ‘snuff box.’ This point incidentally corresponds to a calming acupuncture point (Large Intestine 5) that also helps curb tobacco cravings. Move your forefinger up and over the styloid process of the radius until your finger drops into a well between two tendons about an inch and a half away from the snuff box to find Lung 7. (See illustrative photos below).

Massage for a minute at a time as many times a day as you like. And, while you’re at it, take the time to really breathe!

Angie Kociolek acupressure LI 5
Angie Kociolek acupressure LU7

Large Intestine 5 is found in the anatomical snuff box at the base of thumb when flexed.Lung 7 is found by sliding your forefinger over the bony hump of the radius.

Read an Audubon article to learn why wildfires are “ecologically indispensable.”