We’ve been having nothing, but damp, rainy and cloudy weather here on Long Island for most of September. Some clients have been coming in with the typical achy knee, back or something or other, the usual for rainy weather. Lately, however, I’ve been seeing a higher number than usual of clients with congested sinuses, headaches, vertigo or simply just feeling “under the weather”.
Feeling “under the weather” or getting aches and pains and congested is due, in part, to our environment as affected by the weather of late. Through more than twelve years of practicing holistic therapies and having worked on hundreds of people, I’ve noticed that folks that have a delicate type of health constitution or who suffer from migraines, headaches, mental/emotional health concerns seem to get exacerbation of their symptoms when the barometric pressure goes down. The weight of air at any given time is the barometric pressure and a barometer is what is used to measure this weight in the air. When it goes down it’s stormy, rainy, windy and/or damp. When it goes up the weather is good, cold and/or dry.
According to Bio-meteorology which is the study of the impact of weather and climate on living things including plants and animals, it’s believed that birds are able to detect changes in barometric pressure due to expansion and contraction of sealed air sacs or cavities in their bones. I remember three years ago when I was participating in a human cadaver dissection class at the Oregon Health and Science University, I noticed that the human skull is full of air sacs and cavities and I think its here where dampness plays out it’s role.
It’s interesting to me that in Chinese Medicine dampness is a pathogen that obstructs and slows metabolic processes in the body. Symptoms of dampness in the body are a heavy feeling, sluggishness, congestion in the body and a slew of other not so good stuff including headaches. It’s really hard to get rid of dampness in the body and when the body is surrounded by dampness in it’s environment it’s even more difficult and it’s the reason why I’m seeing more clients lately. Certainly you can schedule an appointment now as getting a CranioSacral Therapy, Acupuncture or a Massage treatment is the way to go for quick relief, but there are some things you could do yourself that may help you stay healthy in this gloomy weather.
Start with your diet. Do all you can to avoid damp forming foods like dairy products, cold quality foods like apples, bananas, potatoes, salt, watermelon and wheat to name a few. Daikon, Job’s Tears, lemon, aduki beans, turnips, lots of onions, garlic, parsley and scallions are but a few damp reducing foods you may want to consider adding to your diet.
Physical exercise is a must as it boosts your metabolism and helps your mood. If you belong to a fitness club spend some time in the dry sauna room, this will help a whole lot. If you don’t have a hot sauna, get into baking meals, the oven heat will help dry the air. Or, turn on a dehumidifier.
Supplements are really important too. I highly recommend Magnesium. It’s an absolute gem for our well being. Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in metabolic activity and is closely involved with calcium metabolism. Calcium helps keep bones strong by helping calcium stay in the bones and reduces risk of osteoporosis. Magnesium helps keep the heart healthy and maintains normal levels of adrenaline, phosphorus, potassium and insulin. I like Magnesium Citrate rather than Magnesium Oxide as it is easier to be absorbed by the body. Also it’s always good to choose foods that are high in Magnesium like Brazil and cashew nuts, brown rice, halibut fish, oats, raw broccoli and tofu to name a few.
Laughter therapy is coming up in popularity since studies done quite some time ago indicated that laughing really does augment the healing ability of the body. Make the choice to sit down at your kitchen table and have “who can make the funniest joke contest” with your family or simply pick out the funnies comedy movies you can and watch them. The physical gestures of laughter, the mouth opening wide and the head moving ever so slightly or animated as in a hardy laugh will help your sinuses open up as well as help out all those air sacs in the skull. It’s really easy and you’ll have fun with your family.
There is a great deal of information out there on what you can do to help yourself stay healthy in a natural way, but please use common sense and ask your doctor or other trusted health care professional for advise before trying something new, especially if you already have chronic health issues.