Damp Accumulation & How it Affects Your Entire Body

by Linyana Gipson

Nutrition, Acupuncture, Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC

Damp can affect you all year round but Fall Season is the time when people start to eat "comfort" foods, stay in the house more, and ultimately gain weight. Please, don't let this be you! The number one side affect of Fall Season is Damp Accumulation. You may already be affected by damp and not even know it. Read more to determine if this coincides with you and what can be done now!

Signs you have Damp Accumulation

  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Poor concentration
  • Weak and heavy sensation of the extremities
  • Foggy mind
  • Sticky loose stools and diarrhea
  • Acne
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Poor appetite
  • Slight depression
  • Poor digestion
  • Nausea
  • Frontal headache
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pain

What in the heck is Damp! You can think of it as a sticky, heavy, fluid-like, pathological accumulation. Damp can be present in the lungs, such as when you cough up mucous. Or it can be present, but not seen, systemically presenting in many ways such as the symptoms above.

Dampness is caused by low functioning of the spleen. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Spleen has similar functions of the intestines when compared to Western Medicine. Overtime, the energy of the Spleen or Spleen Qi becomes weakened. It is caused by poor eating habits, poor dietary habits, prolonged illnesses, and even excessive worrying. Spleen Qi Deficiency is one of the most common patterns in general.

When the Spleen function is low, digestion is poor. Proper digestion is important for sustained energy, blood production, muscle strength, and mental clarity.

There are ways to improve Spleen function and overcome damp accumulation. First, you must incorporate warm cooked foods and remove raw, uncooked, and cold foods. When the Spleen is deficient, you are more fatigued than usual. Eating cold foods causes the body to work harder during digestion ultimately leading to even more fatigue. It is best to do your body a favor and start with warm foods so digestion is not so difficult.

You can incorporate aromatic, warming foods to promote digestion. Use spices such as fennel seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, and turmeric. PLEASE decrease sugar, fried foods, dairy, and processed-flour foods. This all creates more damp!
You can also incorporate bitter foods. In Chinese Medicine, bitter foods help drain damp. Kale, celery, asparagus, and citrus peel such as lemon and orange zest can be added to dishes. Just remember to always cook your ingredients but do not overcook them.

Be conscious of how and when you’re eating. Abstain from eating while angry, irritated, worried, or resentful. Do not eat while working, reading, or in a hurry. Doing so causes your Spleen to work harder and ineffectively.

Lastly, people with damp accumulation must move their body to decrease stagnation. Even if it is only 20 minutes per day walking. Damp is sticky, heavy, and typically takes more time to treat. You can help your practitioner by doing at home care. If you are not able to walk frequently, at minimum please stretch. Nothing creates more damp than non-movement!

To Learn more about nutrition according to Chinese Medicine, call (646) 854-6619