Marney Murray brings us an article explaining how Damp and Heat (two basic elements of Chinese Medicine) effect our bodies, and how to remedy them.
With summer almost here, parties and Christmas feasts generally mean over indulging in rich foods, alcohol and hanging out by the pool. Sound like fun? Not for everyone… How does climate and diet affect us during summer?
During the Qing and Ming dynasties (1368 – 1911), famous Chinese physicians found damp and warm weather conditions during the long summer period exacerbated many uncomfortable symptoms in many patients. These symptoms were due to ‘Damp’ and ‘Heat’ already existing internally in their patients. This article will explain what damp and heat is in the digestion and how to reduce it to minimise the uncomfortable side effects mentioned in the column to the left.
Damp and Heat internally manifests as a sticky type of fluid or residue (collectively called Dampness) generated due to incomplete digestion. The Dampness has a tendency to slow us down energetically, hence the feelings of heaviness or dulled senses.
This tendency to clog or obstruct the body’s metabolic rate is one of the reasons excess heat can appear in the body. The heat generated is “pent up” due to the sticky fluids not allowing it to escape as normal – much like the steaming/fermenting process of a compost heap. Damp and Heat hinder the usual metabolism of fluid, leaving the digestion less available to process the last meal, contributing to further Damp and Heat generation in the body.
To eliminate Damp and Heat, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are used to promote the movement of Qi benefiting the digestion and energy.
Damp and Heat conditions are generally long standing, and have been getting worse over a period of time, so a contentious effort and commitment to results are required from both patient and practitioner.
One of the most effective ways you can begin to reduce Damp-Heat is through diet and eating habits.
Eating only until 50-60% full will ensure that the digestion is not over loaded and can process all the food eaten, even if you eat more frequently. Lower consumption of rich, sweet, greasy, raw or cold foods as they reduce the efficiency of our digestive organs, whilst taking care with spicy, hot foods and alcohol will prevent excess heat. Beginning to adjust the diet to a more neutral and cooling one before the indulgent Christmas period will make summer a more pleasant time of year for you.
See your practitioner for dietary advice and print outs of the above mentioned food categories.
Putting your health first!