Sunday, August 24, 2014

The ice bucket challenge is not a healthy way to promote ALS awareness

The internet these days is full with ice bucket challenge videos to promote ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) disease awareness and encourage donations for research. However, dumping a bucket with ice water on one's head is never a good idea.

  According to the principles of Chinese medicine, the Yang energy of the whole body gathers in the head. If we dump ice water on the head, this may influence the flow of qi in the body and the normal functions of the inner organs and systems. Especially now, during the hot days of the Summer, when the Yang qi is very active on the surface of the body, the cold ice on the head could have a damaging effect on health.

  In Chinese medicine, ALS is related to extreme weakness of Yang qi in the heart (心阳极虛), spleen deficiency and excess of cold in the body.  Of course, treatment will vary on every individual situation. Acupuncture, moxibustion, proper diet and herbs will be beneficial. Soaking feet in a basin with warm water will be helpful too. So better warm up your feet than dump icy water on your head.

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