I hope you enjoyed our Presidents Day blog and learned a little bit and laughed a little bit too.
Back to our International Travel blog we are going to travel westward to Beijing, China. Bei means northern, and jing means capital. So Beijing literally means the north capital and is the center of the nation's politics and international exchanges, and it is also China's second largest city after Shanghai. Breathing Beijing's air for six average days is the equivalent of smoking one cigarette. If you've only ever heard about Beijing's pollution on the news, you might be concerned about the air. However, the city has plenty of great air days, and the situation has improved a lot even in the last few years. In fact, breathing Beijing's air for six average days is the equivalent of smoking one cigarette, so you can decide what precautions you wish to take to protect yourself while visiting this historically and culturally rich area.
Here are my top 5 interesting things about China.
1. The history sites in Beijing include the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square (largest city square in the world), and the Forbidden City.
2. Beijing opera or Peking opera, a traditional form of Chinese theater, is an important part of the Chinese culture. This art form consists of a combination of song, spoken dialogue, and codified action sequences. People practice their opera singing at parks around the city as well as in opera houses.
3. The Forbidden City (the huge palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties) consists of 800 buildings, and it is a very popular place for tourists.
4. Beijing was the capital to 6 notable dynasties from over 21 centuries ago, which is why there are so many historical sites to explore. Here is the full list, with links for more information:
221 BC: Yan State Capital, Warring States Period
1271: first a national capital for the Yuan Dynasty
1402: Became Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) capital
1644: Qing Dynasty capital
1912: Republic of China capital
October 1, 1949: People's Republic of China inaugurated by Mao Zedong
5. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that includes a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Traditionally, the goal of all TCM is to promote the healthy flow of qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy that travels through the meridians of our bodies. Modern practitioners use metaphorical terms such as “wind invasion” or weakened “wei” or defensive qi to describe and to diagnose allergies. The treatments are designed to treat both the root of the disease as well as the symptoms. Acupuncture can treat allergies by controlling the body’s inflammatory reactions to allergens. Herbs can also help with reduce the inflammatory reaction as well as desensitize the body to allergens. For example, the herb Astragalus, or Huang Qi as it is known in TCM, can help modulate immunities. Even simple herbal teas that contain dried chrysanthemum flowers and cassia seeds can help lower histamine production. Many practitioners also recommend a flavonoid compound called quercetin to reduce histamine production.
Ideally, treatments with a TCM practitioner begin about four to six weeks before the start of the allergy season. This allows time to build immunities to allergens. Of course, if your allergy season has already begun or if you are allergies all year round, then starting treatment immediately can still provide great relief. And if you are currently taking allergy medications, then acupuncture and herbs can help wean you from them.
You can find many licensed practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine right here in the US if you decide that TCM is working for you. Simply search for and choose from acupuncturist and herbologists trained in traditional Chinese Medicine that are near you.
Oh WAIT I forgot one last thing I love about Beijing…. you have got to try the Peking Duck it’s like nothing else. Enjoy!!
Wishing you the best health and safe travels! - TheVentMaskTeam