Summer heat means it's time to treat winter ailments

Cai Wenjun
Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments known as dong bing xia zhi are popular this time of year to balance energy and manage chronic conditions.
Cai Wenjun

With the arrival of the hottest days of the year, local medical experts encourage people to seek traditional Chinese medicine treatments called dong bing xia zhi (treating winter ailments in the summertime). They also say it's important to follow the dos and don'ts of such treatment, which are popular among local residents.

Dong bing xia zhi treatments usually involve futie, cupping and acupuncture. Chronic conditions like respiratory and digestive diseases are major targets for the treatment.

Futie refers to herbal medicine applied to the skin at acupoints. It is the most common treatment for winter ailments during warm weather, and it's meant to enhance circulation, nourish energy and improve immunity.

“Summer is considered the best time for the body to absorb medicines to balance yin (cold) energy and yang (warm) energy to prevent the relapse of chronic diseases in winter,” said Dr Liu Jianguo from Shanghai Ren’ai Hospital’s TCM department. “But not all patients are eligible to receive dong bing xia zhi. Patients with pneumonia and infectious diseases, those with skin trauma and infection on places for futie, pregnant women, patients with heart pacemakers and diabetics should be cautious about receiving such treatment. People should visit a formal facility and must consult doctors properly beforehand.”

“People with futie also should avoid swimming and cold-water bathing on the day of receiving treatment to ensure its effects. It's also bad to stay in rooms with low temperature or expose areas with futie directly to fans or air-conditioning,” he said. “People should also avoid eating spicy, cold, raw and aquatic food after receiving the treatment.”

Summer heat means it's time to treat winter ailments
Ti Gong

A woman receives futie at Ren'ai Hospital.

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