Related News

Home » Feature » Health and Environment

Wake up and check those symptoms out

SYMPTOMS like headaches, dizziness, coughs and sore lower backs can bother many people when they get out of bed. But because most of these symptoms disappear after a while, few bother. But TCM thinks you should bother as Zhang Qian discovers.

Just getting out of bed can be a tough task for some people. Apart from losing the wonderful feeling from beautiful dreams, many feel physically sick when they get up, though this disappears after a while.

TCM suggests that they are also signs that your body is not so well. If you suffer some of these little symptoms like headaches, dizziness, coughs and sore lower backs, try adjusting your lifestyle accordingly.

But because most of these symptoms disappear after a while, few people bother about it and most will probably be told "no big deal" if they see a doctor. But they are all signs given out by your body that you should seek treatment, which is what Ma Yuelin, a famous folk TCM doctor, wrote in her best-selling "The Wisdom of No Illness" in 2007.

Blood pressure, blood sugar and body temperature are usually all at their lowest levels when people have just woken up. Without the nutrition provided by breakfast, energy and blood are least sufficient; with no physical activities and body stretching, the energy channels are at their least unobstructed of the day.

"It seems that people are at their worst at this time, but this condition tells the truth," wrote Ma. And by giving you the signs, your body is expecting you to adjust your life style like diet or exercise to improve health and remove the sickness.


If people feel dizzy when getting up but naturally feel better after a while, they may suffer deficient energy and blood. It often happens to those who have been sick for long. If you have such a problem, you need to reinforce your energy and blood.

Dr Ma suggests making yourself nutritious congee with various ingredients. Danggui (angelica), jujube and eel can all help by reinforcing blood quickly.

Soaking your feet in warm water is also advisable; avoiding too many "cold" energy foods can help accelerate the blood reinforcement process and relieve the symptoms sooner.


TCM believes that you will not have pain if your energy is flowing well. Once your energy is blocked, you will have pain.

Most people who find they have a headache when they get up are suffering high blood viscosity. According to TCM, they have excessive pathogenic cold and dampness inside that blocking their energy flows.

Moxibustion on certain acupuncture points like zhong wan on the belly, zu san li on the legs and wai guan on the arms can help dispel pathogenic energies and stimulate blood circulation. Not eating too many "cold" energy foods is also advised.

Dr Ma suggests one way of relieving a headache quickly - soak your hands in hot water and then take them out and put them in again several times.

The hot water warms the meridians from hand to head and unblocks the energy channels there, thus relieving the headache.


People who cough in the morning also needs dietary therapies that reinforce both blood and kidney energy.

For those with severe coughs in the morning, eating a small spoon of danggui (angelica) powder two to three times a day may help. Eating sea shrimps can help reinforce both the kidney and lung energy, thus relieving coughs and dissolving phlegm.

Sneezing and runny noses

Temporary outbursts of sneezing and runny noses in the morning are not an allergic problem, according to TCM. It is caused by gathered pathogenic cold and deficient energy inside.

Apart from eating more reinforcing food and eating less "cold" energy food, soaking feet in hot water, rubbing your ears, massaging your head with a comb and especially rubbing your nose wings every night before bed can help relieve the problem.


Some people suffer regular stomachaches when they get up and find it relieved by a loose bowel movement. This is caused by long-term gathered pathogenic cold in the spleen and stomach.

They should strictly avoid "cold" food, and drink a cup of ginger and egg soup before bed and after getting up. The soup can help dispel pathogenic cold in the stomach and intestines while nourishing the damaged stomach or intestine lining.

It can also help relieve chronic inflammation in the stomach and intestines and help diarrhea problems.

Sore back or lower back

People with deficient kidney energy and gathered pathogenic cold energy in their kidneys may feel pain in their back or lower back when they wake up. Some people find their legs are numb as well.

If this is happening, do not get up immediately. Try gradually moving your hands and legs in bed and then try getting up slowly. These patients also need to soak their feet in hot water at night, eat more "warm" energy and reinforcing foods while abandoning too many "cold" energy foods.

Dr Ma also suggests rubbing the heart meridian at wu (11am-1pm) in ancient Chinese timing when the yang energy reaches its peak both in the universe and in human bodies, as this can effectively reinforce kidney energy.

Rubbing acupuncture points till they are hot like the shao hai (the inside elbow joint) and the shen shu (the lower back) are also strongly recommended. You could also warm the points with moxibustion.

Numb fingers

If people wake up with numb fingers, they may be suffering severe pathogenic cold and dampness inside. They have both deficient energy and blood inside and poor blood circulation.

Adopting dietary therapies, acupressure and moxibustion help reinforce the blood, kidney energy and dispel pathogenic cold and dampness. Related acupuncture points Zhong wan

Location: Four inches above umbilicus Zu san li

Location: On the leg, one finger breadth lateral to the tibia's anterior crest, three inches below to the depression to the lateral side of patella Shao hai

Location: With the elbow flexed, between the ulnar end of the cubital crease and the medial epicondyle of the humerus Wai guan

Location: On the dorsal forearm, between the radius and ulna, two inches above the dorsal transverse wrist crease Shen shu

Location: On the lower back, 1.5 inches lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the second lumbar vertebra


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend