There is moss growing on the tree outside my office window, and a group of crows is playing in the large, standing puddle on the roof of the building across the street. It is humid enough that the towel I use to dry off from my morning shower is still slightly damp to the touch in the evening. The typical dampness of a Minnesota summer is becoming more and more pervasive.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dampness is one of the environmental factors that lead to disease. When Dampness is in the lungs, it causes a loose, productive cough. When Dampness is in the digestive system, it causes loose, slimy stools. Dampness in the skin causes acne, fungal infection, and various other lesions. Dampness in the channels can cause lots of different problems, from generalized aches and limbs that feel overly heavy to mental “fogginess”.
Dealing with Dampness takes persistence, just like dealing with humidity. After bathing, make sure to dry off thoroughly before getting dressed. Avoid greasy or oily foods, which can cause dampness in the body. Increase your intake of vegetables, especially slightly steamed or stir-fried in a scant amount of healthy oil. Teas, especially Oolongs and Pu-Erh’s, are good to help your body get rid of dampness. These are all steps that I try to take this time of year to keep my body balanced with the environment around me. And if these steps don’t seem they’re enough, come in and see me. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can take care of Dampness quickly and effectively.
-Paul Magee, L.Ac.