Calgary Acupuncture – Southcentre Chinese Acupuncture

How to Take Care of Your Respiratory System


It’s more important, this year, to protect our respiratory system as best as we can. With the cooler months on the way and COVID-19 still an issue, people are looking for any and every way to protect themselves and prevent disease. 

Dr. Yan explains how to take care of your respiratory system in time for the fall.  


What Is the Respiratory System?

The respiratory system can be best understood by the everyday actions it permits you to perform. Essentially, the respiratory system lets you breathe, but speaking and smelling also utilize air, making the respiratory system equally responsible for these acts. Some other actions include: 

  • Transforming air to suit your internal body’s temperature and humidity 
  • Transporting oxygen between cells
  • Removing waste gases
  • Protecting your airways 

The respiratory system has various sections connected by airways that are dedicated to allowing proper airflow throughout your body. The sections connected by the airways are the:

  • Mouth and nose
  • Sinuses
  • Throat
  • Trachea
  • Bronchial tubes
  • Lungs


Although it’s not used in the respiratory processes, the respiratory system is highly dependent on the spleen.



How Does the Spleen Help the Respiratory System?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the spleen is the source of Qi (pronounced Chi), blood, and other fluids. The spleen works in collaboration with the stomach to take in, process, and distribute nutrients from food to the rest of the body, including the lungs. Spleen Qi is meant to flow upward to the other organs, but when it’s blocked, it flows downward, affecting the body with: 

  • Giddiness
  • Fatigue
  • Flatulence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

In other words, if you eat a healthy diet, your spleen Qi and the other Qi pathways will stay unblocked and strong against respiratory diseases. 


Dietary Methods to Keep Your Spleen Qi Flowing

Foods that are beneficial to your respiratory and immune systems:

  • Garlic reduces inflammation.
  • Onions reduce inflammation.
  • Chili peppers stimulate the mucous membranes.
  • Carrots provide vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene to reduce chances of lung cancer.
  • Pumpkin provides vitamins A and C, as well as lycopene to reduce chances of lung cancer.

Taking time to chew your food lets your body process it and tell you when you are full. When you eat too fast, your body can’t keep up with the amount of food being eaten, which results in weight gain and an upset stomach. Having your meal while you work, read, or watch TV can cause you to eat too fast. Dr. Yan recommends listening to music or eating with family and friends, either in person, by phone, or by computer. 

Additionally, avoiding very cold drinks and foods will reduce the stress on your spleen to regulate the temperature for your body. 



Acupuncture for Your Respiratory Health

The body’s systems and Qi pathways are all connected, so when one system gets clogged up because it’s not being taken care of properly, the rest of the body suffers. Acupuncture is one way to unblock your Qi and ensure your body stays healthy during the COVID crisis and the cold months. 

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Yan today!

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