Feel Cold Easily? Treat Winter Conditions In Summer With TCM

Having cold hands and feet in the hot summer? 

Are you the one of those people who always have cold hands and feet throughout the year, even in the hot summer? Why does this sensation happen?

Chinese medicine works with the concept of Yin-Yang. When the Yin-Yang of each organ is kept in optimal balance, we have good health. From the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, our body naturally responds to changes in the weather or environment. However, due to different reasons and daily practices, our Yin and Yang balance can be disrupted, causing our body to become less sensitive and efficient in adapting to seasonal change. A Yin-Yang imbalance can be from deficiency, excess or both. For people feeling the chills with cold hands and feet all the time, the diagnosis from Chinese medicine would be a Yang deficiency.

Cause of cold hands and feet

There are a number of reasons in our modern daily life why you may feel cold hands and feet. Some people are born with a lack of Yang energy and thus have less tolerance to cold. Our body will also absorb cold and damp energies from the environment, either slowly over time or from a sudden exposure. One such way is through our daily diet habits – having too much cold food, salad, cold fruits, icy cold beverages and alcohol can cause the build up of Yin in our body. The cumulative effect of all of these small actions and habits has a big impact on our body, especially when you already have an imbalance of Yin and Yang.

How does acupuncture improve the symptoms?

You may not consider cold hands and feet as a serious health problem. However, it may be an indicator that serious illnesses are yet to come, such as chronic diseases like cancer. Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of fine disposable needles on the meridians and lit moxa sticks placed onto the needles to warm the meridians. This technique encourages qi production and invigorates blood flow to the hands and feet. Total treatment sessions for these symptoms varies patient to patient, depending on how imbalanced the body is.


Why is it better to have an acupuncture treatment on the designated dates?

Summer is the season of Yang and belongs to the fire element. Chinese medicine practitioners believe in “Treating Winter Disease in Summer”. Therefore, having acupuncture treatment in summer, especially in the three hottest dates of the lunar calendar when Yang energy is at peak level, allows patients to maximise the Yang qi to improve body constitution, and restore health to prevent a recurrence of winter conditions.

These are the dates that you don’t want to miss: 16 July, 27 July and 15 August.


Any other lifestyle tips to avoid cold hands and feet?

Taking ginger and turmeric can promote health circulation. You can eat the ginger raw, steep thin slices of it in a tea, or cook it in dishes. Engaging in regular exercise and not smoking can also help in promoting blood circulation. 


For more information regarding Yin-Yang imbalances, TCM medicine, and acupuncture please contact Dr Alen Liaw, General Practitioner and Acupuncturist at 2881 8131 or reception@lifeclinic.com.hk


Acupuncture in subjects with cold hands sensation: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4167502/

Characteristics of clinical studies of summer acupoint herbal patching: a bibliometric analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4618877/

Evaluation of the Effects of Acupuncture on Blood Flow in Humans with Ultrasound Color Doppler Imaging. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3388479/

Molecular basis for cold-intolerant yang-deficient constitution of traditional Chinese medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19051350/

Tian Jiu Therapy for the Treatment of Asthma in adult Patients: A Meta-Analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4403225/

Written by Dr Alen Liaw

Dr Alen completed his MBBS degree from National University of Singapore in 1988 and received training in Family Medicine with Ministry of Health (Singapore).

Since then Dr Alen has received numerous addition degrees to broaden his expertise including a Masters’ Degree in Acupuncture (China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences), certification in chelation therapy from ACAM (American College for Advancement of Medicine), and a Post Graduate diploma in Medical Toxicology (Cardiff University).

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