Our lungs play a vital role in our overall health and well-being. They are responsible for bringing oxygen into the body and expelling carbon dioxide, helping to regulate our blood pH levels, and supporting the proper functioning of our body systems. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches lung health by understanding the effects of lung health on other body systems through the natural detoxifying ability of the lungs.
Qi And the Lung Meridian
The movement of Qi through the lungs in TCM follows the principles of the lung meridian. The lung meridian is one of the twelve main meridians in the body – it begins in the chest region and travels along the inner arm, ending at the thumb. According to TCM, the lung meridian facilitates the movement of Qi and controls the respiration process. The specific pathway of the lung meridian allows Qi to flow through the lungs and connect with other meridians and organs in the body. In TCM, any disruption or imbalance in the flow of Qi through the lung meridian can lead to various respiratory symptoms and conditions.
The Importance of Lung Health
Healthy lungs are essential to the proper functioning of our body systems. There are many ways lung health affects other parts of the body, particularly the cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems.
Cardiovascular system: The lungs play a crucial role in regulating blood pressure by controlling the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Poor lung function can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.
Immune system: The respiratory system is the first line of defense against airborne pathogens. Healthy lungs can help to prevent infections and reduce the severity of symptoms if you do get sick.
Nervous system: The lungs are also involved in the body’s stress response, helping to regulate breathing during times of stress or anxiety.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Approaches to Lung Health
In TCM, the lungs are thought to be closely related to the skin and the immune system. The lungs are believed to regulate Qi and to be responsible for circulating defensive Qi. Defensive Qi helps to protect the body from external pathogens, which can cause illness and dysfunction. TCM uses a variety of methods to improve lung health:
Acupuncture is a technique that uses thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body through the skin. It is believed to help balance the flow of Qi in the body, which can improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory infections.
There are several herbal remedies used in TCM for improving lung health. Honeysuckle flower, apricot kernel, and elderberry are all believed to have benefits for the respiratory and immune systems.
TCM also emphasizes the importance of breathing exercises for improving lung health. Practices like Qi Gong and Tai Chi can help to improve lung function, reduce stress, and strengthen the immune system.
The Natural Detoxifying Ability of the Lungs
In addition to their respiratory function, the lungs also play a crucial role in detoxifying the body. They help to eliminate volatile organic compounds, airborne pollutants, and other harmful substances that we inhale from our surrounding environments. To support the lungs in their natural detoxifying processes, the following are excellent steps recommended in both TCM and modern medicine:
1. Quit smoking
Smoking is one of the most damaging things you can do to your lungs and can increase your risk of respiratory infections, lung cancer, and other illnesses. If you are a smoker, whether you smoke daily or infrequently, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve lung health.
2. Avoid air pollution
Exposure to air pollution can harm lung function and increase the risk of respiratory infections. Avoiding areas with high levels of pollution and using air purifiers in your home can help to reduce your exposure.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help to improve lung function, strengthen respiratory muscles, and encourage blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body. Most recommendations say to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to provide the nutrients needed for optimal lung health.
Herbal Remedies for Lung Health
There are several herbal remedies used in TCM to support the improvement of lung health, whether alone or in herbal blends. Some examples include:
Honeysuckle flower – Honeysuckle flower is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it useful for preventing respiratory infections. It is often used in TCM formulas blended for treating coughs and colds.
Apricot kernel – Apricot kernel is believed to be a natural expectorant, meaning it can help to clear mucus and phlegm from the respiratory tract. It is often used in TCM formulas for treating chronic coughs and bronchitis.
Elderberry – Elderberry is thought to have antiviral properties, making it helpful in preventing and treating respiratory infections. It is used regularly in TCM formulas for treating flu and other viral illnesses.
Dejia Harmony’s Approach to Lung Health
Our lungs play a vital role in our overall health and well-being. By understanding the importance of lung health, we can take steps to optimize their function and support their natural detoxifying ability. Whether through TCM approaches like acupuncture and herbal remedies or by adopting healthy lifestyle habits like regular exercise and a healthy diet, lung health should be prioritized in our efforts to achieve total wellness.
Dejia Harmony believes deeply in the power of lung health, and our Respiratory Detox Supplement was formulated to support lung detoxification, boost immunity, promote gut health, and enhance cognitive function.