Protecting Ourselves from External Pathogens

March 18, 2020 - by enrica - in Lifestyle

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In my lifetime, health has never been so foremost as it is now in people’s minds. These trying times are an opportunity to review our own health so we can protect ourselves and others from getting sick. Chinese Medicine has a lot of knowledge about how to protect ourselves.

In Chinese Medicine, illness is caused by external factors, internal factors and then there is a category called “neither internal or external”. The coronavirus is considered an external factor, something that is caused by outside of us, and there are some steps to reduce our chances of contracting this virus or any other colds and flus.

  • avoid exposure to cold, damp or wind immediately after exercising or taking a hot bath or shower, as our pores are open and vulnerable to attack
  • avoid sitting on cold damp surfaces such as bare ground or walls for a long time, and avoid getting the legs and feet cold and wet
  • avoid wearing clothes that have become wet or damp
  • cover up your neck if it’s cold or windy
  • avoid living in damp housing
  • if you have stomach or bowel complaints, avoid cold, particularly cold wind on the abdomen and avoiding chilled food and drink
  • if you have given birth, stay warm in particular for 30 days after childbirth, avoiding cold weather, cold food and drink and washing with cold water


Also, now is the time to help our immune system function as well as possible. Here are some other things we can do:

  • Stay well-hydrated with warm fluids.
  • Taking in good nutrition by eating whole foods. Moderate undereating and simpler food combinations strengthen immunity. Do not eat late at night. Avoid intoxicants, refined or chemically contaminated foods, rancid nuts and seeds, and limit oils and fats.
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep as overwork results in low protective energy.
  • Maintain an orderly, pleasant living and working environment.
  • Get some sunshine as sunlight, clean fresh air strengthens immunity.
  • Do some moderate daily exercise as lack of physical activity, excess sexual activity, and overwork impair immunity.
  • For those with very weak immunity, associate yourself with completely supportive people.
  • Minimise stress by meditating, practicing gratitude and forgiveness, doing yoga, qigong, taichi, having acupuncture, simply taking a walk in a park or watching funny cat videos! Science has proven that laughter boosts your immune system!

Please stay safe and well out there!


Deadman, P. (2016) Live Well Live Long: Teachings from the Chinese Nourishment of Life Tradition, The Journal of Chinese Medicine, UK.

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