Why is my chronic illness and pain worse this time of year?

Why is my chronic illness and pain worse this time of year?

As we move into autumn, the temperature drops, there is less daylight and our vital energy gets zapped. For many, this can exacerbate symptoms of chronic illness and/or pain. But why? Less Daylight means Less Vitamin D As days grow shorter and nights grow longer, we receive less vitamin D from the sun’s warm rays. People afflicted with chronic illness often need to supplement that missing Vitamin D. When buying supplements, pay attention to the type of Vitamin D you choose. Compared to Vitamin D2, Vitamin D3 is more easily absorbed by the body. For my patients in need of Vitamin D supplements, I usually recommend a combination of Fish Oils and Vitamin D3. Hot vs Cold Foods From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the same mechanism that keeps us warm also creates digestive fire. Eating cold or raw foods creates an additional burden on this system and depletes a lot of energy in the body. People living in cold climates should opt for soup over salad in colder months. Seasonal Sleep Have you ever noticed how pets sleep more in the winter compared to the summer? Like our pets, our bodies are wired this way. We are not separate from the world around us and experience the natural cycles of the seasons along with Mother Nature. As daylight decreases, our bodies naturally crave slightly more sleep. As the holidays and New Year approaches, many of us face increasing work, family and social commitments. These additional demands cause many of us to get less sleep the very time of year when we actually require more. Dress for the Weather As...
Steps to Healing: Part 2

Steps to Healing: Part 2

As a follow-up to last post on relieving symptoms, this week we will speak a little bit about treating the root cause or the imbalance that is impacting your health. Last week we discussed that treating symptoms was equivalent to cutting the wire or turning off your car’s dashboard warning lights such as the low oil indicator. Treating the imbalance would be adding more oil so the light turns off on its own. From a Chinese Medicine point of view pain, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, poor digestion and insomnia are all caused by an imbalance. In the case of the above car scenario, the imbalance is a lack of oil. In Five Element Acupuncture, our task is to determine the imbalance and use Acupuncture to restore harmony in the system. To explain what I mean by disharmony, we will need to speak a little bit about Chinese Medicine. In Chinese Medicine we consider the body to have 12 Officials, each associated with a primary meridian. Each Official is responsible for specific tasks that impact us on the level of body-mind-emotions. Though each official is named for the organ it passes through, its functions are so much greater than that of the organ alone. Imbalances occur when an Official is operating in excess or deficiency; often the result of some type of trauma – physical, mental or emotional. We often go along for a good many years without even noticing the effects of the disharmony because the rest of the systems compensate. Additional strains create further imbalances and we start to experience symptoms such as pain, exhaustion or anxiety. As a...
Steps to Healing: Part 1

Steps to Healing: Part 1

A few weeks ago I posted an article on Facebook about slow healing. One of the great things about the time we live in, is the immediate access we have to an abundance of information, food and material goods; and as a result we’ve come to expect instant results when it comes to our health. Yet it’s quite often just the opposite and sometimes with good reason. How many of us have suffered from a cold or flu that knocked us out, had us at home on the couch for a few days? Though we were frustrated, how many of us realized we just needed a break? Miraculous healing does happens every day, but more often than not it happens over time. Generally there are three stages to the healing process: Relief Care – reducing symptoms Treating the Root – working with the cause or imbalance Prevention through Wellness Care – supporting the body in maintaining health Each of the above stages is critical in the journey to Health and Wellness. Today’s post will focus primarily on the relief care, this is what brings most patients in for treatment. Weekly Acupuncture treatments help to reduce and eliminate the symptoms. Patients generally notice a reduction of some symptoms immediately and others over time. This is a critical part of the healing process as it helps patients start to feel better and begin to engage in life again. The danger in focusing on just symptoms is that it doesn’t address the root cause, the imbalance that caused the symptoms to flare up. Treating symptoms only is the equivalent of cutting the...