As an ex-addict (in my youth) I understand chills experientially as well as academically. If a drug-user doesn’t get a hit they feel so cold they start shivering even on a warm or hot day. These chills are the stage before the shivering turns spasmodic (the ‘cold turkey’). The underlying cause is the same for everyone with chills. If you feel cold to the bone and are shivering regardless of the outside temperature, and can’t get warm even by rugging up in a scarf and beanie, the source of the chills is internal and it comes from an imbalance and a lack of yang.
Yang is heat, it’s a quality generated by your organs. If your organs are working fine, your internal temperature is perfectly regulated and you don’t feel cold or hot, but just right. But if an over-committed lifestyle has put your organs under stress, your temperature is one thing that can go haywire. Chills can be a signal that you’re over-committed and that constant rushing, worry and pressure is not allowing your body to recoup the energy you’ve spent. Or it could be a dietary issue. I often do consultations with clients who, in their pursuit of health, constantly try new diets; follow raw food or smoothie diets (or the keto diet) and get symptoms including chills. This is because these foods don’t give your organs what they need to generate the yang you need to feel nice and cosy, so you get chills.
The lifestyle approach to treating chills is to bring healthy yang back into your life by reducing the behaviours that are burning yang. Eat warm nourishing foods and factor in a regular daily yang recoup. My replenishing chi-cycle lifestyle is ideal for this. You’ll always feel warm and cosy internally, and this makes the whole world look and feel warm and cosy. Read all about it in my book Clock On To Health.
With regard to chills and addiction, when you take a recreational drug you feel warm but this is because the drug exploits your jing or life force to warm you. Once jing is deficient there is no fuel for the fire, like an oil lamp with no oil. Build your jing and you will recover fully. For addiction, diet alone is not enough for this. You need lots of supplements and Chinese herbal formulas for this. My book The Rebel’s Guide to Recovery outlines the lifestyle for this.