How does the cold damp wet weather affect the body from a Chinese medicine perspective?

Autumn is fully upon us, and Keats’ “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” is feeling decidedly damp and dreary here in the New Forest. With further rainfall and strong winds forecast, we’re taking a look at how damp weather can affect us.

For this blog, our acupuncturist Amanda Caspari explains how Chinese Medicine views damp and how it can adversely affect your body.

Our recent weather reminds us that in Chinese medicine, Damp is considered a cause of disease and refers to the build-up of fluid, mucus or phlegm in the body. It is heavy, sticky and obstructs.

Damp in the body generally comes from three things – it could be one of these, it could be all:

  • Your lifestyle – activities in a damp environment, for example, on or in water, especially in Autumn and Winter;
  • Your diet – consumption of foods that are said to be “damp forming”;
  • Your constitution – some people are more susceptible to damp settling in the body.

If Damp accumulates, it is said to weaken the Spleen, which is considered an important organ in Chinese Medicine.

Common signs

Some of the more common signs of excess damp include sinus congestion, some types of arthritis, respiratory problems, urinary tract infections, skin conditions such as acne and eczema, loose stools and other digestive issues and some types of headaches.

Acupuncture can be used to help, and you can also do things yourself to counteract damp in the body, particularly by considering your diet. In colder, wet months, swap salads and raw foods for soups and cooked foods. If you consume a lot of dairy products, then reduce these. Sugary foods, fatty foods, bananas and concentrated juices can also contribute to damp settling in your body. There’s no need to cut everything out, just eat less of these foods and swap cold foods for warm foods. Foods that help the Spleen work well and counteract damp include pulses, grains, and oily fish. Interestingly, spices that we typically use in our winter cooking, such as ginger, cinnamon and cloves, also help counteract Damp and Phlegm.

Remember, if pain and discomfort are preventing you from enjoying life, book online or call 01590 679560 for appointments with chiropractors Colin, Charlotte or Fiona, or massage therapist Hannah. For acupuncture appointments, call Amanda directly on 07876 343 821. And for podiatry appointments, call Paul directly on 07857 137732.

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