As I write this no one really knows what is going on with the corona virus. So far only two cases have been confirmed in Somerset but things can seemingly change rapidly. By the time this goes to print we could be in full panic lockdown and the only reason you are reading this is that you picked up a copy because you couldn’t find any toilet paper in the shops! (It is a thoroughly absorbing publication). Or it is equally possible that the whole thing has blown over and everyone is wondering what the hell that was all about. Though this time…perhaps not.
Whatever happens it is certainly interesting times. Whether you believe it is some kind of escaped biological weapon, a by-product of 5G electro-magnetic, or even just a plain old virus, the effects of it are undeniable. There is an unprecedented amount of news coverage which is spreading fear and panic across the World, some of it with good reason. But as any health practitioner will tell you, Eastern or Western, stress is not very good for the immune system at all.
Last month I spoke briefly about the importance of the Kidneys and the Lungs within Chinese medicine with regards to our defensive energy or Wei Qi, and it is to these two organ systems we must turn to when confronted with any pathogenic invasion. The Lungs are clearly our frontline of defence and it is here where the corona virus attacks, so the stronger our Lung Qi, then the less chance it has of taking hold. The Kidney energy also feeds in to this system, so it is imperative we look after them as much as possible.
The emotion associated with the Kidneys is fear and prolonged exposure to a stressor that causes fear will deplete the Kidneys and therefore your immunity. This is very relatable to the Western mind, as a threat to life will stimulate the adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys, which engages the ‘fight or flight’ response. This should result in short burst of energy to get us out of the way of danger, however if the stress or the fear continues, it can cause adrenal fatigue, or as we call it Kidney Qi deficiency. As this Kidney Qi feeds directly in to the Wei Qi field, our immunity may become impaired.
This theory is supported by the fact that young children are hardly affected by the virus at all, while the elderly are much worse off, some even dying. This is unexplainable by Western science, however in Chinese medicine the Kidneys are seen as a kind of battery that is fully charged when we are born. By and large this energy depletes as we get older and when it runs out, we die. The weaker the Kidneys, the weaker the immunity. Simple.
So what can we do? Well firstly, try not to panic. Easier said than done in this age of media hysteria but it will only make matters worse. Secondly get outside, get some fresh air and open up those lungs with some deep breathing, Qigong, Yoga or Tai Chi. Thirdly, gentle stretching and exercise. Get those bodily energies and fluids moving. Fourthly…drink plenty of warm liquids and nourishing soups and stews, feed that engine of yours. And lastly, as someone said to me recently, don’t go about your day trying not to catch the virus, go about your day as if you already have it and you’re trying not to pass it on. This will immediately move you from a position of fear, to one of love and compassion which is something that we all need right now.
It is a scary time, but it will be a bit less scary if we all stick together.