To combat allergies, runny noses and respiratory ailments during the cold season, traditional Chinese medicine physicians are advising use of a “3-9 medication pad.”
The pads are made of herbal ingredients and a traditional tonic, with a non-active sticky substance for application to the skin.
Chen San-yuan (陳三元), a doctor at the Chiayi Christian Hospital’s Department of Traditional Medicine, said the most suitable times during the year’s four seasons to regulate and tune up for health is during the “3-9 days” — the coldest period of winter, and the “3-Fu days” — the hottest time of summer.
He said that this belief stems from the sayings of ancient sages: “Train [the body] at ‘3-Fu’ in summer and at ‘3-9’ in winter.”
Chen said that training and tuning the body’s condition in the hot summer period of the “3-Fu Days,” can improve and strengthen endurance to the summer heat, thus preventing illness.
“To train and tune-up in the winter, can boost the body’s resistance to cold and prevent winter ailments,” he said.
The “3-9 medication pad” has evolved in traditional Eastern medicine to treat and tune-up the body for the cold winter.
“There is a long history for the ‘3-9 medication pad.’ According to modern research, when the pad is applied, it can reduce the eosinophil cationic protein count in the blood, which improves the body’s condition. It helps to protect the mast cell membranes and suppress the formation of immunoglobulin E,” Chen said.
Its summertime equivalent is the “3-Fu medication pad.”
Chen said research has shown that when patients apply the pads for three consecutive years in winter and in summer to the correct acupuncture points, they have been effective against symptoms of asthma and hay fever.
However, health improvements are best complemented by exercise, personal preventative therapy and traditional medicine, he said.