The Impact of Air-Conditioners on Our Health

By Jiahui Health team


Shanghai has continued to experience scorching temperatures, and it is having an impact on our bodies.

Currently, we are living in air-conditioned apartments, and riding in air-conditioned cars, providing a cool respite from the heat outside.

Although air-conditioners make living in Shanghai in summer bearable, if they are used improperly, they can have a negative impact on our bodies.

Exposure to air-conditioners may cause a series of physical symptoms, at which we will be taking a closer look in this article.

What causes the symptoms?

Sickness induced by air-conditioning is predominantly caused by air-cons operating in closed rooms, without windows being opened for long periods. This lack of fresh airflow creates an ideal environment for pathogens to breed.

This causes various symptoms such as nasal congestion, dizziness, sore throat, sneezing, and joint pain; or gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, bloating, and loose stools, in addition to skin allergies such as tight and dry skin, allergic reactions, and poor skin texture.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, air-cons artificially create cold air which can have an impact on the body.

When an air-conditioner is used for a long time, the temperature is set too low, or you are within the direct airflow for an extended period, the body cannot adjust sufficiently, and diseases may occur.

Within the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, this combination of cold and wind is referred to as ‘Yin Qi’. Sickness caused by air-cons is predominantly caused by this cold and wind, which impact on the skin, spleen, and stomach, causing dampness, stagnation, and various other symptoms.

How can I prevent myself from getting sick?

While enjoying the coolness provided by the air-conditioner, a few small changes can prevent you from falling ill:

  1. Adjust the temperature of the air-conditioner according to the temperature outside. Usually, the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures should be 10°C in summer. For example, if the outdoor temperature is 36°C, the indoor temperature should be approximately 26°C.
  2. Open windows regularly for ventilation and to increase indoor oxygen content and humidity.
  3. Do not sit in the direct airflow for long periods, and keep the neck, waist, abdomen, and limbs warm.
  4. Additionally, the use of various Traditional Chinese Medicine methods can be used to relieve and cure the symptoms.

Traditional Chinese Medicine methods to reduce the negative health impacts of air-cons

The following methods can be used to reduce the impact of air-conditioners on your health:

Acupoint massage

For headaches, bloating, and neck and shoulder discomfort caused by air-conditioning, massage acupoints such as the temple, Fengchi and Dazhui to relieve symptoms and invigorate yang.

Before massaging, rub your hands together and then gently massage each acupoint with your fingers for 3-5 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day.

Temple acupoint:

The temple is located in the temporal part of the skull. From the tip of the brow and the outer edge of the eye, it is approximately one horizontal finger towards the back of the skull, in the depression in the skull.

Location of the temple acupoint

Massaging the temple can help relieve fatigue, invigorate the spirit, relieve pain, and refresh the mind.

Fengchi acupoints:

These are located at the base of the skull near the back of the neck. They are located on the outer edge of the two large tendons in the neck, in line with the level of the earlobes.


Location of the Fengchi acupoints

The Fengchi acupoints work to dispel wind, relieving tension, relaxing the tendons, and dredging collaterals (i.e., enhancing circulation). It helps to relieve symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and neck discomfort.

Dazhui acupoint:

This acupoint is located in the depression below the seventh cervical vertebra.

Location of the Dazhui acupoint

For people with symptoms such as nasal congestion and a sore neck and back, massage the Dazhui acupoint.

Tea & medication

For colds, chills, gastrointestinal discomfort, loss of appetite, etc., drink hot brown sugar and ginger tea, basil tea, or take Traditional Chinese Medicine medicine, called 藿香正气水, in the early stages of sickness. This causes sweating to relieve the symptoms on the skin, dispel cold, and warm the stomach to relieve vomiting.

It must be emphasized that air-conditioners are beneficial, but you must ensure that you use them in the correct manner. 

If these recommended steps do not relieve your symptoms, please see your doctor to advise you on a suitable treatment plan.

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