Avian flu survivor and exercising when sick

A number of newspapers and websites reported the case of Mr. Hung, a 42-year old resident of Hanoi, Vietnam, who is one of the very few people who survived the avian flu. Some articles mention that experts attribute Mr. Hung’s survival to his outstanding physical shape.

However, an article on Mr. Hung published in The New York TImes provides additional information. It reports that Mr. Hung ran around his room several times a day, doing deep breathing exercises during his stay in hospital. Could this have anything to do with Mr. Hung’s survival?

According to Chinese medicine, avian flu is caused by cold and dampness. Physical exercise will, of course, generate heat in the body, which helps diminish the cold. But exercise is also the most efficient way to get rid of dampness; this may well be the real secret behind Mr. Hung’s survival.

Chinese medicine recommends a bit of exercise to all people who are stuck in bed if they are able to do so. This applies even when the illness is not caused by dampness, because staying in bed increases dampness in the body, which is likely to lead to digestive problems, feelings of heaviness, fogginess and other symptoms. It’s also the reason Chinese medicine recommends avoiding excess sleep.

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