From the category archives:

seasonal health

Spring Allergy Preparation

by Ed

Just a quick tip, today. If you are expecting to start suffering from Spring allergies in a couple of months, this is the time to see your acupuncturist. Chinese Medicine can greatly reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies, and the success rate is much higher if you start working on it a couple of months before. In fact that is true for any seasonal health issues. If you get treatment before you are symptomatic, you may never get symptoms.

Find Air Purifiers and Cleaners that Fit Your Needs

Arthritis and Rheumatism

by Ed

Back to talking about the cold damp weather, many people find their aches and pains are worse in the Winter. One of the statements of fact in Chinese Medicine is, “When qi (energy) is flowing, there is no pain. Where there is pain, qi is not flowing.” Cold damp weather tends to make the qi sluggish. It also makes us sluggish, which makes the qi more sluggish. So one of the first steps when you have pain is to keep moving. It may be a good idea to consult with a qualified health professional, if you do not have an exercise program, before you start. Tai chi is one of the best forms of exercise, particularly for older people. It is gentle, yet powerful in its effects. Research has proven it to be an excellent way to prevent osteoporosis, and to slow its progress. From the Chinese point of view, not only does it relax the body and move all the joints, but the particular movements encourage the free flow of qi throughout the body.

Diet can also be helpful for arthritis and rheumatism. It’s best to eat warming foods rather than cooling foods. Ice cream should definitely be avoided. Dairy products aggravate damp conditions and ice cream is obviously cold. Other foods to be avoided include the nightshade family: tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers. For many people they are not a big problem, so the best thing to do is to go off them entirely for about a month, then add them back in, one at a time, and notice if they aggravate your symptoms. Many people also find that sugar aggravates painful conditions. Lastly oily, fatty foods can aggravate damp related conditions. One exception being the omega 3 oils found in fish and flax seeds. Omega 3 oils actually have anti-inflammatory action. Taken in large quantities, ginger also can relieve pain. It can also thin the blood, though so consult your doctor if you are on blood thinners or have a blood disorder.

Have an active pain free Winter.

Cold Damp Winter

by Ed

I was happy to wake up to clear skies this morning. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we get a lot of rain in the Winter. Cold damp weather brings with it its own ills. People are more susceptible to colds and flus, as well as achy joints. Many people with arthritis know that it acts up more when the weather is cold and damp. Also with shorter, darker days, a lot of people get more despondent, and tend to dwell more on their ills. In India they say that we become what our minds dwell on. So if you dwell on your aches and pains, you just get more of the same. Also, research has proven that the immune system improves with positive emotions.
So, to stay healthy in the Winter, drink warming drinks like ginger tea. Avoid things that aggravate cold damp conditions in the body, like milk and orange juice and salads. Keep the body active. Many people exercise less in the Winter, when we need it the most, to keep warm and keep blood and energy flowing in the body. Joints that don’t move get achy.

And to keep the mind healthy be more social and stop dwelling on your ills. A good way to do that is to help others. Perhaps visit sick people in the hospital or volunteer for hospice. At the same time respect the inward turning nature of Winter and practice being still. Prayer and meditation are easier in this time. Practicing gratitude is another great way to keep a positive outlook.