How seasons influence your health

Updated: Jan 27, 2018

Your body makes multiple physiological adjustments in accordance with seasonal changes. For example, it opens the skin pores to allow more sweat in summer, but closes the same skin pores to produce less sweat in winter, in both instances it does so to control the bodies temperature within a normal range. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physicians always listen for and then consider the seasonal physiological changes when distinguishing the abnormal body signs from the normal ones.

A key measure within TCM is your bodies pulse (measured by feeling them on both hands), this tends to be taut in spring, surging in summer, floating in autumn, and deep in winter, which reflects the body's blood and qi activities, and corresponds to the natural world.

Seasonal influences are important factors for many diseases too, for example, respiratory infections and nose bleeding are common in spring, heat strokes and digestive problems are common in summer, malaria and dysentery tend to occur in autumn; arthritis and respiratory problems tend to relapse in winter. 

For TCM physicians, seasonal influences on the body are important considerations when making diagnosis, selecting therapies and even suggesting preventive measures.

As an example, elder people who suffer from chronic coughs are likely to feel better in spring and summer, but feel worse in autumn and winter. Their conditions are usually due to weakened spleen and kidney, and warming herbs are indicated, physicians will suggest them to take preventive measures in hot summer, so that in winter, their conditions are less likely to relapse, or the symptoms can be less severe and in shorter duration.

In other cases, people with blood deficiency and hyperactive liver are likely to experience dizziness, distending headache, blurred vision, ear ringing and mental fatigue in spring. Winter is the season where the body conserves energy and builds strength as a prelude to spring. TCM will advise the patients eating more nourishing and tonic foods in winter for prevention.

A qualified TCM physician will know what to look for and how to treat the underlining cause, taking into consideration the seasonal influences and their impact on your body. Just one of the many ways TCM is different, but complimentary to Western Medicine.

Eca Brady is a fully licensed physician of Chinese Medicine BSc(Ac) MBAcC PGDip(CHM), practicing from Harley Street, London. Make an appointment for an acupuncture treatment and we can discuss how we can help you, to read more about Eca click here.  

These articles are not intented to diagnose, treat or cure any conditions. Excerpts from the original article in Beijing University of TCM, Basic Theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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