COLORADO SERENITY - OCT 2005 Respiratory Problems

Tracy Saraduke, RN, M.Ac. L.Ac.

3082 Evergreen Parkway, Suite 2

Evergreen, CO 80439

(303) 670-9181

East Meets West - Respiratory Problems
by Tracy Saraduke, RN, BSN, MS, M.Ac., L.Ac.

As winter approaches, we start worrying more about illness.If you have an underlying respiratory condition, you know how a cold can lead to something worse.Iím already getting calls about colds that have lasted several weeks.Being at a higher elevation, we need to focus on lung function and the risk of chronic respiratory problems.Many people prepare for the season by getting flu shots.Older people are most often targeted to get flu shots because respiratory related health risks increase with age.Flu shots are not the only way to prepare.

Westerners focus on the germ theory, where we ironically ignore the worst places for the spread of germs (shopping cart handles, not washing hands after public contact or restroom use, etc.), but go overboard on sterilization of kitchens where it is potentially counterproductive.There is strong evidence that using the sterile technique in the home increases the overgrowth of resistant strains of bacteria.The latest advice is to use the clean technique instead.

The immune system gets educated through the exposure and subsequent building of defenses.Children are born with an immature system that needs this process in order develop.But if we donít allow the system time to do this, it leads to a decline in healthy immunity.Our society makes it difficult to fully recover from an illness, by pressuring us to get back to work or back to school.

Eastern medical practitioners have been treating respiratory problems for thousands of years, using different concepts including constitution, defensive chi, and the seasons.

Constitution is a description of an individualís innate strengths and weaknesses in their chi and organ functions.Identifying your individual constitution enables you to make lifestyle adjustments that will minimize problems throughout your life.A practitioner can determine your constitution and provide treatments and advice accordingly.

Defensive chi circulates on the surface of the body.It is the bodyís first line of defense against external aggressions.It is not the same as immunity; immunity is deeper, related to the blood level.If you think about how flu hits the body, you can see how the defensive chi is involved.Pores close to prevent the disease from entering further.You get aches, fever, and sweating.This is evidence of the fight occurring at the defensive chi level.

Blocks in the defensive chi are related to surface symptoms.Sinus blockage, headaches, or a stuffy nose could be a defensive chi problem.Wherever chi isnít flowing properly, it can easily be diagnosed and treated.

Cold symptoms can progress to bronchitis or eventually pneumonia, if left un-addressed.When this occurs, the illness has been driven deeper, where the body relies on the immunities.If your immune system is already boosted, the illness canít be driven deeper.However, with compromised immunities, it takes more time or treatments to push the illness out to the surface level again.

Our bodies need to adjust with the seasons, harmonizing with all of the external changes.So, many people do seasonal tune ups to prepare and adjust.I also get calls from patients who say, ďIím think Iím too sick to come in, because I donít want to give you what I have.ĒI tell them not to worry, Iím not afraid of being exposed.Acupuncture treats acute problems, and prevents relapse into the chronic condition.