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  • sudden and extreme wind


Wind is an external climatic factor. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine whenever the wind is sudden and extreme it can penetrate the body from the surface and “hide under the skin”. The most common body locations that the wind penetrates are the shoulders, the neck, and the back.

Once the wind successfully invades the body the defensive  energy of the body called Defensive Qi gets obstructed. Since the Lung governs the Defensive Qi and the Defensive Qi is obstructed, the Lung also becomes obstructed. Thus the Lung becomes “invaded by toxic wind”

There are two stages of wind invasion. The first stage is called Wind-Cold. If untreated Wind-Cold will eventually transform into Wind-Heat – a condition more difficult to treat. If  Wind-Heat also remains untreated the wind will transform into toxic heat, which will penetrate the deeper layers of the body, and eventually reach the internal body organs. The organ first to suffer from the toxic heat is the Lung. Then the diagnosis becomes "heat in the Lung".

If you want to learn more about the Lung and its functions from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine you can read the material "The Lung in Traditional Chinese Medicine" in the Physiology chapter.




  • wind-cold symptoms - chills, aversion to cold, body pain, runny nose with profuse clear discharge, frequent, clear and profuse urination, some fever
  • wind-heat symptoms - sore throat, thirst, fever, some chills, thick, yellow nasal discharge, yellow urine


Wind invasion causes common cold symptoms. The first stage - Wind-Cold - is characterized with predominantly “cold” symptoms such as intense chills and aversion to cold. As the Defensive Qi is obstructed it cannot circulate and warm the body muscles, thus overall body pain is experienced. The Lung opens into the nose therefore runny nose with profuse clear discharge manifests. As one of the places of wind invasion is the back, where the Urinary Bladder channel runs, the urination will become more frequent, clear and profuse. Light fever might also be present (although fever is a heat sign) as the body starts fighting the pathogen. (1)

The next stage of wind invasion – Wind-Heat – is characterized predominantly with “heat” sings such as sore throat and thirst. The chills are still somewhat present but the fever is heavier. The heat has thickened the discharge from the nose and now it is scanty, thick and yellow. The urine is also yellow and in some cases urinating might be painful. (1)

The heat symptoms become even more intense when the wind-heat transforms into toxic heat and attacks the Lung. The sore throat becomes extremely painful, the sputum and the nasal discharge become yellow-green, there may be some bloody pus. 




Umbrella For Lung


As the wind invades the body predominantly form the neck, back and shoulders it is advised to wear wind-proof jacket whenever there is intense wind, to prevent it from penetrating the body surface. The jacket should extend all the way to the neck. If it doesn’t the neck should be covered with a scarf.

In the first stage of wind-invasion - Wind-Cold – the wind is still hidden under the skin therefore hot and spicy foods are recommended, as they promote sweating and expel the wind from the skin. Hot and spicy foods also enter the Lung and clear it from mucus conditions. Their hot nature additionally clears the cold signs manifested with Wind-Cold.


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(1) Maciocia, Giovanni (1989). The Foundations of Chinese Medicine. Nanjing: Harcourt Publishers Limited

(2) Pitchford, Paul (2002). Healing with Whole Foods. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books


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