While many of her colleagues have impatiently taken off their thick winter clothes and put on flimsy coats to show their lovely curves for spring, 28-year-old Lina Yang is reluctant to join the trend.
"Wearing more clothes during spring and less in autumn will help fend off miscellaneous diseases. I am a believer of this ancient doctrine," Yang said.
Despite the fact that the temperature in the capital rose to 15 C this week, Yang told Metropolitan that "it’s still necessary to keep winter clothes on for some days."
"The weather in spring is so changeable, especially in Beijing. It could be sunny one day and very windy the next day. It’s easy to catch a cold. So I always keep my heavy coat on. There’s nothing wrong with being warm," she said.
Shi Ming, a TCM doctor from Shanghai Literature Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said Yang’s behavior is wise. According to Shi, people’s body conditions change along with different seasons.
"The temperature changes from cold to warm in the spring, and it takes some time for people’s bodies to adapt to the shift. Therefore, they should not rush to reduce their garments," he said. "Spring is also a time for growth and keeping warm is for the body’s growth and development."
If people, especially elderly citizens, do not follow this advice, they may get illnesses ranging from a cold and fever to osteoarthritis, stomach problems and even coronary disease, he warned.
But not every body part needs to be given equal attention, Shi explained that based on the division of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy) in TCM, parts including the back of body, abdomen, waist and joints which belong to yin need to be warmed.
Parts like the chest and buttocks, which belong to yang, can stand more coldness, he added.
On babytree.com, a popular online forum where mothers and experts discuss maternity and baby care in China, some mothers claimed that when the temperature reaches a stable 15 C for several consecutive days, people can take off their heavy clothes, but before the temperature gets stable, people should not lessen their clothes, especially children.
"When the temperature starts to show signs of rising, grownups need to keep heavy clothes on for seven days, while children need 14 days to become acclimatized," read one mother’s post.
However, Shi suggested that if people start to sweat under the heavy garments, they do not have to follow the rule.
On the Internet, there is a widely spread post advising people how to stay warm. The post says that people need to maintain a 26 C body temperature. On colder days, you must wear clothes warm enough to raise your temperature to 26 C. The post assigns values to different garments. For example, a down coat is rated 9 C, an overcoat 5 C, and a thick sweater 2 C.
To determine what to wear, subtract the day’s temperature from 26 C, and then make sure the value of the clothes you are wearing matches the difference.
Shi said this widely circulated advice is not valid, because it does not take into account the seasons.
"In a similar way, in autumn the temperature goes from warm to cold, so it doesn’t matter if people wear less because the body remembers the temperature of the previous season." he said.