Wondering why you have sudden aches and pains without any injuries? TCM may have the answer.

In a healthy person the qi moves freely through the body, like water flowing through a clear river. However, when there is an obstruction in the river, the flow of clear water stops, and debri starts to accumulate resulting in a murky pool of stagnant water. Likewise, a network of channels carry qi (life force) through the body but if damp or cold enters a channel it blocks the flow of qi, especially near the joints, causing swelling and pain. Damp or cold can invade the body from outside causing disease.

According to TCM theory, environmental wind can easily invade the body from the outside. For example, if you expose your head, neck or shoulders excessively to cold wind or air conditioning, you will most likely get a headache or muscle ache from the ‘wind’. A ‘statement of fact’ in TCM teachings states: “Wind is the chief of the one hundred diseases”. Wind is often carries environmental factors into the body, and wind causes disturbances, literally moving the pain from joint to joint.

The characteristics of wind invading the body are sudden symptoms, pain that moves from one place to another and, in some cases, paralysis.

Wind + Dampness: the joints will be swollen and feel heavy with a dull ache.

Dampness + Heat: the joints will swell and feel heavy and hot.

Wind + cold: perhaps the most painful because cold contracts and the pain can be quite excruciating.

TCM treatments for such pains are herbs for internal balancing, acupuncture, scraping (gua sha) or cupping.

In Singapore, we have a heavy reliance on air conditioning. Avoid being under direct aircon draft and wipe off sweat quickly before entering air conditioning. A weak immune system may not have strong enough qi to protect the body from invasion of wind. According to TCM, there is a defensive Qi that controls the opening and closing of pores, that is to defend the body against external aggressions. People with weak defensive qi need to take extra care to eat well, wrap up on cold days, and get plenty of rest.

TCM Advice:

-Avoid sitting on damp surfaces

-Dry off sweat as soon as possible

-Dry off properly after a shower

-Dry wet hair thoroughly, if rushing for time, focus on drying the scalp

-Cover up if in air-con environment