As you have probably already noticed, most people hunch their shoulders when it is windy. This is not the only reason is is extremely important to protect your neck in the wind… Yes, hunching your shoulders and tucking your chin in the wind is a natural response, but it is also an awesome way to develop neck and shoulder pain. By wearing a scarf it instantly eliminates that unnecessary neck and shoulder tension, that I’m sure we all – myself included- have experienced multiple times in our lives.
Now, the second reason I preach “protect your neck from the wind” is based on Chinese Medicine theory. It all starts with the acupuncture points on your neck and base of skull. There are two major meridians that follow down the base of your skull and continue down your upper back – the Urinary Bladder (UB) and the Gall Bladder (GB). Its important to keep in mind these aren’t the physical bladder and gall bladder.
There are two points I am going to specifically talk about. GB 20 and GB 21.
GB 20 is at the base of the skull. It is indicated to release wind. As is GB 21 which is on the trapezius muscle. First I will explain what exactly “wind” can do in Chinese Medicine, then we will get back to GB 20 and GB 21.
So, in Chinese Medicine, there are six climate factors that can cause the body to become sick. They include; wind, cold, heat, dampness, fire, and dryness. It has been said that wind is the first/easiest to penetrate the body’s immune system and is the vehicle to carry in other pathogens in. Western Medicine sees infectious diseases as being caused by bacteria and viruses. Whereas Chinese Medicine sees them as being caused by exterior climate factors, with the body’s Defensive Qi – like the immune system- also taken into consideration.
Now, each climate factor is connected with a season. And guess what?! Wind is connected with Spring. So not only is your neck usually a target for wind, this time of year it is even more susceptible.
Back to the Acupuncture Points…. now that you know a bit more about the pathogen wind, it will make a bit more sense why you need to protect these specific acupuncture points. GB 20 and 21 help eliminate wind very effectively, however, this also means that wind is their greatest weakness. These two points, specifically, are a wonderful way for wind to penetrate your Defensive Qi, resulting in a cold.
So as much as we all want to get out there and enjoy the beautiful – slightly warmer-weather. It is important to protect your neck from that wind, so scarf up!