Dampness is another pathology in Chinese medicine. It describes any excess accumulation of water and mucous in the body. As it thickens or begins to dry up, it progresses to a more serious form of dampness called phlegm. Normally we think of phlegm and mucous as only residing in the sinuses/throat/and chest during colds and allergies, however dampness and phlegm can be found anywhere in the body. To be blunt, it equates to 'systemic snot'.
Our bodies need to have appropriate fluids and moisture to function well, but dampness is excess gunk that our body doesn't need or isn't eliminating properly.
Examples of damp conditions include edema, sinus/nasal congestion, productive cough, fatigue, brain fog and worry, feeling sluggish and heavy,diarrhea/loose stools, extra weight/excess fat, pus, cysts, and even some types of tumors. Any kind of sticky, gooey substance that we don't want extra amounts of in the body!
What causes dampness? Living in a wet or humid region can cause your body to show damp symptoms, but often it starts from within from poor diet and stress.
Sadly, dairy foods such as ice cream and cheese are very damp in nature and can contribute to excess dampness in the body if not eaten in moderation. However, there are foods you can add to your diet to counteract and eliminate excess dampness from your body through urination. In addition, regular acupuncture treatment and certain herbal formulas can also speed up the process to eliminating dampness.
Click HERE to view an interesting Infographic about Dampness and what you can do to reduce its effects on you!