Winter can be a hard season, with short gray days, long nights and bad weather but it is also a time of persistence and clarity and a time for storage, contemplation & assessment. However, there are natural excesses to each climate and season and these can weak our defenses, like wind and cold in the winter. Illnesses tend to be more prevalent during this season. In early winter the temperature is starting to drop and we are attacked by the common cold. By mid-winter it is very cold and windy and the indoor heating is on full blast. This dry climate, mixed with the battle of rampant colds, gives way to further illnesses of flu and bronchitis.
The lungs are the roof of all the internal organs and keep in touch with the outer world through our breath. Thus they are the most vulnerable against external pathogens. The lungs must stay calm moist and cool and can be damaged and weakened by smoke, particle matter, fumes, grief and wind-cold or wind-dry. Internal pathogens also affect the lungs, showing up as a dry cough after a cold or excess phlegm causing asthma. The lungs are like a sponge, they must not be too dry or too wet and neither too hot nor too cold – balance is key here.
One of the great natural Chinese medicine remedies during winter is hot tea with added ginger. Use licorice or honey to sweeten the tea if needed. Other good spices for tea include fennel, cinnamon and clove. Pears are naturally protective and restorative for the lungs. Conveniently, there is an abundance of them in the autumn. They are naturally moistening and cooling. It is very important to get fluids into when you are sick and water is taken much easier when it has some flavor so mix in a little pear juice to help drink it down. Or try them cooked and mashed with a little cinnamon and honey.
Chicken broth is excellent for tonification of qi, blood and the internal organs. The organs and essential substances of the body are strengthened which increases resistance to disease and boosts immunity. Add some Chinese herbs like Astragalus / Huang Qi or White Ginseng / Ren Shen to further enhance the effect of the soup.
And finally, to anticipate an over-indulgence of food during the holiday season and avoid weight gain, fast for one day between the end of November and Christmas, and again between Christmas and New Year's. And do not forget, how we eat is as important as what we eat – try not to gobble your food but relish and enjoy and appreciate it. …
More commonly known as chest pain, angina can be experienced by sufferers of CAD as a discomfort, a pressure or heaviness on the chest. For me, this was the most significant symptom that warned me I was on the verge again of having another heart attack. Sometimes it was an aching, burning sensation, or a feeling of fullness that often times, I attributed to indigestion.
It was mostly chest pain, but sometimes also, the pain would radiate towards my left arm and back. Other sufferers may experience the pain going through their shoulders, neck, jaw or throat.
If there is one advice I could share with you is to take note of these symptoms and never ignore them. I did once and it replied to a heart attack when I was just 44 years old. Even if you have never been diagnosed with any heart problem, please seek treatment as soon as possible – no, immediately. And if you know you have angina, you must take your anti angina medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you tell the doctor the precise nature of the pain, when it happened and what you exactly you were doing. With the doctor's help, you can determine if the pain you have experienced were regularly occurring or if the pain is becoming worse and more frequent, even if you are at rest and not doing any physical efforts.
Causes of Angina
It starts with the decrease of blood flow to the heart. When this happens, oxygen and vital nutrients do not reach the heart muscles. The heart of them must use another type of fuel, but a less efficient one so it can continue to pump blood to the rest of the body. This use of another less efficient fuel leads to the production of lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up in the muscles and its accumulation cause pain. The same thing happens with muscles in the legs or arms when you work out too much. The pain in the muscles of the arms and legs is caused by lactic acid also. There are drugs that are used to counteract this tension of the heart to use an inefficient fuel.
Types of Angina
There are three types of angina, namely:
1. Stable angina – pain is experienced only while doing physical activities or during intense emotional episodes. Taking a rest will usually make the pain disappear.
2. Unstable angina – chest pain experienced from this type may occur more frequently and even while resting or doing minimal activity. Oral medications can usually relieve symptoms but because the pain is unstable, it may be a precursor to a heart attack.
3. Prinzmetal's angina – pain comes even if you are at rest, sleeping or just being exposed to cold temperatures. Pain is caused by diminished blood flow to the heart's muscle or due to spasms of the coronary artery very near the blockage.
A doctor can make a diagnosis of angina after asking the …