I had a patient a few years ago, he suffered from severe headaches and migraines, felt nauseous and vomited. He had no strength and looked grey. He would only get better after one or two days of quiet lying and relaxing in bed accompanied by taking a strong pain killer. Every time the sickness attacked him, he felt down and unwell also from frequent pain killer consumption. When he came to me, I asked, “Do you live on the ground floor or on a higher level?” He answered: “I’m living on the seventh floor. There are ocean views on three sides from the apartment.” I continued asking: “Do you open windows a lot?” He answered: “Yes, always. I enjoy the draft.” I responded, "Ah! Now the reason has been found. The draft is much stronger at high places, you would have headache if you exposed yourself to draft too much.” He replied, “Does that mean I should feel a headache every day if I opened my windows every day, how come I don’t? “ I told him, “when you feel energized your body has the ability to exclude wind, heat and cold from your body. However, when you feel tired, stressed or deficient, your body would not have this ability. And when all those things accumulate to a certain level, you would have headaches or migraines. The reason is that the wind has been staying in your head, so that spasm happens with your vascular and nerves, thus it ends up as a headache or even a migraine. If you only open the window on one side of your apartment, the movement of air is so much softer, with the air coming from one direction only”. The patient felt much better and had less headaches after he followed my advice and taking acupuncture treatments. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that too much draft or wind is a major factor leading to many diseases, it is the leading evil Qi (energy) of the six evils of sickness (wind, cold, heat, damp, dry and heat). The other five evils Qi attach to the wind to attack the human body. Such as wind cold, wind heat, wind damp etc. Thus, wind plays a leading role of all the evil Qi that account for sickness and diseases.

1. What is draft?

Draft is usually an artificial wind channel. It is the wind between two windows, two doors, two buildings, two walls, two objects etc. The higher the building, the stronger the wind; the thinner the wind, the sharper it could be. Australia is surrounded by ocean, there is strong ocean wind around us. Of course, this provides an advantageous condition for the draft to take place.

2. Why is it dangerous? Which part of body does the draft attack us?

Draft is sharper than natural wind. It could penetrate our skin, organs and body, especially when we feel deficient or sick. Children and the elderly are specially affected by it. The draft always prefers to ‘bully’ the weaker part of our body, stay there and make trouble. IFs:
  • If the wind attacks the joints, people feel sore in the joints, it ends up as arthritis.
  • If the wind cold or wind heat attacks the head (or people go out with wet hair), it could probably lead to headache, earache, sore throat or toothache.
  • If the wind cold or wind heat attacks the stomach, it could probably lead to abdominal distension, abdominal pain or diarrhoea.
  • If the wind cold or wind heat attacks the chest and lung, it will lead to cough, sore throat or cold.
  • If the wind cold or wind heat attacks the neck or waist, it will lead to neck pain or sore back. (Note: It is easy to be attacked by draft when driving, improper sleeping positions make it easy for the wind to attack our body too)
  • If the wind attacks the muscles, people would feel weak and have muscle pain.
  • If the wind attacks the body after sex, it goes into the body deeper because the sexual arousal consumes lots of energy and blood. It is more possible to happen to males who can easily fall into deep sleep after ejaculation to be attacked by cold wind. A most common chronic disease of the central nervous system called Multiple Sclerosis is related to the wind attack after sex according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
  • If the wind attacks the skin, it will lead to itching and skin disease.

3. The hazards to children

  • If the wind attacks children, they will easily get ear ache, ear infection.
  • It will accelerate getting a cold, (making it last longer),cough,asthma or bronchitis.
  • It leads to headache.
  • Babies and young children are suggested not going out when the wind is strong.
  • It makes children unsettled and tired.

4. How to avoid draft

  • Avoid staying in the draft. For example, draft in a café, restaurant, or inside the house etc.
  • Only open the door or window on one side of the house.
  • Open only other doors or windows during the night that let a soft wind blow into the bedrooms.
  • Put more clothes on when you are surrounded by High-rise.
  • Pay attention to avoiding draft when you are wet after exercise, and have wet hair and the time when you feel tired or after sex.
  • It is important to keep your navel and waist warm. Especially for women, it will affect menstrual and it might be harder to get pregnant because the uterus has a cold environment.
  • Keep your neck warm. Neck is the window of the body and it easily catches the wind.

Prevention and wisdom are the two principles of Traditional Qi.

Written by Angela Zhu (Chinese Medicine Practitioner) Translated by Alan Huang.

© Copyright Angela Zhu 2011