In ancient times, there was a belief among Chinese people that cold air hurts the lungs. On the other hand, it was also believed that heat can cause a deficiency of Qi. As it happens, both heat and cold are good things, and of course, seasonal changes inevitably bring hot and cold weather. During different seasons, there should be coldness and heat. That is just the law of nature and everyone on earth lives within its scope.
Summer weather should be hot and winter should be cold, but nowadays there are ways to moderate indoor temperatures, such as air-conditioning units and heaters. So now, winter becomes warm and summer becomes cool, which is not in line with nature. Of course, it is fine to use these things, but when turning on the air conditioning, do not set the temperature too low; when turning on the heater, do not set it too hot. If going outside on a very cold day, wear a ski mask or wrap a scarf over your mouth and nose so the cold air has to pass through a layer of material before entering the body. This will add some moisture and warmth, since excessive dryness and bitterly cold air are not good for lung health.
According to a Korean doctor who specializes in diseases of the lungs, there are a significant number of Koreans suffering from pulmonary fibrosis. Because the weather in South Korea is arid, many families use a humidifier inside the house. The humidifiers themselves are not causing the problem. Many add liquid disinfectants into the humidifier in an effort to kill off bacteria and viruses in the air to make it fresh and clean. These disinfectants cause lung problems when inhaled. Similarly, people like to put some type of air freshener over the vents of their cars. That way when the car is started, the fragrance diffuses around the inside of the car. This has the potential to cause health issues in the long term, as no one knows what inhaling these artificial fragrances may do to the body.
More concerning is the use of electronic cigarettes, an activity commonly known as “vaping.” A vaping liquid is used that turns into a vapor when heated. These liquids typically contain diacetyl, glycerine, propylene glycol, and can contain nicotine, although nicotine is not found in all of the liquids. Although based on limited short-term studies, scientists recognize lung health issues such as reduced efficiency of the lungs to clean themselves, micro-scarring known as “popcorn lung,” and increased risk of suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) occurring to e-cigarette smokers. Results of more long-term studies over the next 20 to 30 years will provide more data, but by disregarding the traditional Chinese medicine principles on living a natural life in harmony with nature, the outcome may be disastrous.
The writer of this story is not a medical professional, and the information that is in this story has been collected from reliable sources — every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional health care.
Translated by Olivia Li