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13 Ways To Improve Your Lung Health According To Chinese Medicine

In this time of COVID-19 keeping the lungs healthy should be a priority for everyone.

According to an article on " The lung’s energy and role—as seen in Chinese medicine—is that of making a boundary between the inner and outer world. The inner environment needs to be protected by a clear boundary which both defends and defines the person. Across this boundary, vital materials can be taken in and waste materials excreted. The lung’s most vital and obvious role is to take in oxygen, but there is more to it.

The Lungs In Chinese Medicine: Immunity + Elimination

In Chinese medicine, the lungs are more than just a respiratory system—they are deeply related to the large intestines and hold a strong role in breathing in and out, the necessity of living a healthy life. At the physical level, our boundary to the world begins with our skin—the largest organ on our body — which helps us breathe in and out through the pores. Beneath the skin, lung energy helps the circulation of blood, what we consider the body’s defensive layer against outside pathogenic factors.

The lung’s paired organ is the large intestine, and its main function is to release and eliminate. Together the lung and colon are related to immunity through the strength of the protective external layer of our skin. Generally, outside pathogens most easily enter through the respiratory and digestive systems, and the lung and colon are responsible for maintaining the function of these systems so that they are not penetrated by outside pathogens.

According to Chinese medicine, the body’s defensive energy is directly dependent on the strength of the lung and colon.

Abundant lung energy presents itself as strong physical energy. There is a sense of softness yet fullness in the chest. In the lung’s most healthy state, immunity is strong, recovery from illness is quick and effective, skin is hydrated and the complexion is bright and fresh. Body posture is another physical expression of the state of the lungs, so a strong posture shows healthy lung energy. If lung health is weak, it will present as low energy and a poor immune system. Breathing may be shallow, and skin may appear unhealthy because energy and blood circulation may be weak. Also, emotions in the form of sadness and grief are expressions of lung energy."

The article goes on to recommend several Chinese herbs as well as suggested nutrition.

The article further suggests:

"6 Other Ways To Improve Lung Health

BREATHE well - The best way to support lung health is to take in plenty of fresh air by developing your breath to expand the physical capacity of the lungs. This can be done through breath coaching and breathwork, mindful awareness of the breath, or gentle exercises such as swimming and walking. Stretching also helps expand the lung energy.

SUNBATHE - Moderate sunbathing will nourish the skin, although overexposure may be damaging. Learn a bit more about balance here.

RESPECT YOURSELF - Emotionally, the lungs are nourished by respect. Put value into who you are and what you do to attract respect from those around you, and this will also open your lung energy.

CLEAN your space - Take time to clean the physical world around you. Clean the corners of your home. Clearing up your environment literally gives you a sense of fresh air.

DRY BRUSH your skin - Nourish the skin by dry brushing. This will maintain the skin’s health and support the immune system.

Bare it All - Occasionally going naked helps the skin breathe and improves lung health."

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