Immunity in TCM is influenced by several factors, one of which is by our Wei Qi.
What is your Wei Qi ??
There are many different forms of Qi in our body. The word ‘Wei’ means to defend or protect and this form of Qi is considered our protective energy.
It is like a semi-permeable shield that guards us against external harmful pathogens.
Wei Qi flows in the outer layers of the body, in skin and muscles. It controls the opening and closing of our pores which regulates sweating and body temperature.
Wei Qi and The Lungs
While the production of Wei Qi is dependent on the Kidneys and Spleen, it is most closely related to and controlled by the Lungs.
It is the Lungs job to spread the Wei Qi to the surface of the body where it creates its protective barrier.
Weakness or deficiency of the Lungs can result in a weakness of Wei Qi leaving a person prone to frequent colds, flu and allergies
Wei Qi is Yang in Nature
Wei Qi is considered Yang in nature and a fever response to a pathogen is the Wei Qi in action.
The stronger one’s Wei Qi the more intense the battle resulting in a higher fever and worse symptoms. This defense mechanism allows for the battle to resolve quickly, as opposed to a long drawn-out illness.
Sweating during a fever is seen in TCM as the body’s way of expelling the pathogen, the Wei Qi opens the pores letting the “intruder” out.
Wei Qi can be depleted by:
• Exposure to extreme climates (wind and cold)
• Poor quality food and nutrition
• Emotional Stress: Fear, Anger, Grief, Worry, Guilt
• Emotional toxic environments and relationships
• Lack of exercise and fresh air
• Lack of sleep or proper rest
• Low self esteem, Lack of self-worth
Ways to strengthen Wei Qi:
• Eating a healthy seasonal diet to support the production of Wei Qi
• Practicing Qi Gong, Tai Chi or Yoga. There are specific Qi Gong exercises to help strengthen the Wei Qi
• Breathing exercises which will help strengthen the Lungs ensuring good circulation of Wei Qi
• Practicing healthy boundaries, expressing emotions and avoiding negative environments
• Herbs. Such as: Huang Qi (Astragulas) Dang Shen (Codonopsis) and Reishi
• Acupuncture, Acupressure and Moxibustion. There are certain points known to help strengthen We Qi one of the main points being Zu San Li (St36)