Among the most common diagnoses my patients come in with are arthritis and chronic inflammatory conditions that seem to be aggravated by the weather. They suffer from all types of pain (neck, knee, back, etc.) and discomfort (migraine, IBS, etc.), especially before it rains or when it’s extremely cold. Some can even tell if it will rain or snow because they’ll start feeling achy or develop a severe migraine.
There are also patients who feel fatigued, depressed or achy in hot, humid weather, and those who feel bloated or tired after they eat.
Fortunately, with any of these symptoms, acupuncture can help.
There are many different patterns associated with arthritis—what’s commonly known as bi syndrome in Oriental medicine—but in the tri-state area, most people suffer from damp bi syndrome. (This is just one of the many patterns associated with bi syndrome, which include wind, cold, heat and damp.)
In Oriental medicine, damp bi syndrome is painful obstruction due to an external pathogenic factor (in this case dampness), which affects the circulation of the qi and blood. This obstruction can eventually result in the disruption of nourishment to the body’s sinews, leading to numbness and weakness. (To learn more, read Musculoskeletal Disorders: Healing Methods from Chinese Medicine by Alon Marcus.)
To put it simply, dampness is humidity inside the body; it can be present from birth or caused by external factors. When the humidity outside rises, it joins with the humidity inside your body and weighs you down. When it’s cold outside, the dampness inside your body congeals and your joints stiffen, which can cause aches and pains. Both humidity and cold can cause migraines by causing pressure on your head.
Acupuncture can help by draining the dampness; it can also improve the blood’s circulation. After treatment, patients release dampness through sweating, defecation and urination. Depending on the individual, the results can be immediate or can take up to three to five treatments. (For people who have suffered for decades, it will take a little longer.)
Ultimately, acupuncture treatment helps the body go back to its healthy, balanced state.
Originally Published in Natural Awakenings
Westchester, Putnam, & Dutchess NY Edition
September 2015 /Mina Park Pyun
Mina Park Pyun is a licensed acupuncturist and the owner of Eastern Wellness Acupuncture, 83 Montgomery Ave., Scarsdale, NY. For an appointment, contact her at 914.472.6688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.