The Southeastern CT/RI area is still recovering from the rains a few weeks ago. Businesses are reopening, roads are being repaired, and homeowners have a handle on the damage that was done. We New Englanders are showing just how resilient we can be. Almost everyone I’ve met has put a good face on it, found creative ways to deal with their situation, and cheerfully helped their neighbors in the midst of their own chaos. Rainy spring days no longer come without some apprehension in our region.
In the aftermath of such major flooding, some of the health risks are obvious. We need to be careful driving due to damaged roads, and plan extra time for for detours. Extreme stress can aggravate existing health problems. On a mental/emotional level, there is more than enough anxiety to go around. Many of us have been displaced from our homes and can not cook in our own kitchens. Our diets may suffer from eating more “junk” food than usual. Disrupted schedules keep us from our exercise routines. Many of us are still feeling overwhelmed by the sudden storm that hit our area with such force.
And there is Damp. Damp is a term used in Chinese Medicine to describe a “climate” or “pathogenic factor” that can invade our bodies. Working in a damp environment, being out in rainy weather too long, living near the shore, or spending time in a basement all contribute to the presence of Damp in our bodies. Some people are more prone to being affected by Damp than others. Torrential rain turning our streets into rivers and making our basements moldy is open season for Damp.
Damp can be internally generated in our bodies, as well. Eating too much dairy or consuming cold food and drinks are ways we increase the likelihood of Damp.
Some symptoms of Damp might include bloating after eating, nausea, water retention problems, joint pain aggravated by damp weather, foggy thinking, allergies with stuffy nose, or a sluggish feeling. Sometimes Damp slows down healing of other things.
A lot of times people go to their doctors with vague Damp symptoms that western medicine can’t make sense of. They bloat, but nothing is wrong, they get lingering headaches that don’t seem bad enough for prescribed medicine, or they feel a lack of motivation. Perhaps there is something not quite right with digestion or allergies make them unusually stuffy. Maybe they can’t shake a level of fatigue and feeling blah.
In Chinese Medicine, Damp is a very real problem. The good news is that we have ways to help it. There are acupuncture protocols to make the Qi or energy flow so Damp doesn’t get stuck in the body. Chinese herbs free the Damp by either transforming it into usable fluids or aromatically dispersing it. These methods are safe to use in conjunction with pharmaceutical medications. Sometimes people just need a little help to get through a season or event, in this case a major flood.
Mystic River …