This is the first in a series of acupuncture stories that are simplified stories about health and disease from the paradigm of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Liberties are taken for the benefit of the modern reader so these should not be used to diagnose or treat oneself, unless one is already an acupuncturist and understands the medicine at a deeper level. These stories are meant to be enjoyed and, perhaps, to make us think of health and dis-ease in a different way.
This is the story of Wind-Heat.
On a warm day in early fall, when the leaves have started to turn but the air is not yet chill with the breath of winter, the squirrels enjoy the sun while packing up the last of the harvest that will see them through the winter. People are walking, turning their heads to the sunshine, taking of jackets to absorb as much sun as possible. Even Wind comes out at this time.
Wind wafts through the trees, into open windows and even a little ways down chimneys. Enjoying the sunshine, it’s not angry or driven but merely playful. Here and there it tickles the back of an exposed neck. And here and there, exposed necks are far more exposed than they think, holding open doors for Wind to enter the body. Like a playful kitten, sometimes Wind inadvertently closes the door behind him and is trapped.
Locked in the body with no way out, Wind hammers at the eyes and the person has a headache. He moves more quickly through the body and after his sun warmed flight, he’s hot.. He sees the narrow passage of the throat as potential way out and runs up leaving behind a sore throat. Alas, he is trapped there too. He tickles the nose and although his friend dampness gets expelled, he is still trapped.
Wind sinks into farther into the body, leaving the body tired and feverish with his heat and despair.
Fortunately for Wind, there are those who know what to do to restore the balance. The acupuncturist and herbalist offer treatments that open the body’s doors so that Wind can escape. As he leaves, he takes away his extra warmth, so that fevers come down and throats are soothed. The body moves into true rest rather than the fatigue of Wind’s despair.
And that is the story of Wind Heat’s Invasion of the Body