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  • Mona Eldahry, LAc, DACM

Stiff Since the Snow?


Even those of us who didn't spend a lot of time out in the snow this winter may have felt its effects internally. Some have experienced an untimely reminder of old injuries. Others complain of aches that they’ve never felt before.

In Eastern medicine, the wind, cold and dampness felt in the air can penetrate the body:

  • Wind causes conditions in the body that are sporadic, moving quickly from place to place, coming and going.

  • Cold slows things down.

  • Damp refers to accumulations that occur when cold causes a thickening and congestion of fluids.

Exposure to these can cause various conditions to arise, chief among them, musculoskeletal pain. We’ve all heard of the elbow pain that acts up only when it rains, or the arthritis that lets us know in advance that the weather is about to turn. Baroreceptors in our joints sense pressure changes in the climate. In sensitive joints, this can translate into pain. In addition, when the temperature suddenly gets cold, our bodies reorganize blood circulation. Less blood circulating in the joints can cause fluids there to thicken, leading to more friction between bones and less metabolic activity in the area. How to shake wind, cold and damp:

  • Exercise just enough to feel your body warm up, but not so much as to cause muscle soreness or fatigue the next day. And of course, keep the impact on achy joints minimal.

  • Take short warm baths or showers.

  • Keep the area warm. Consider leg warmers for knee pain or an extra shirt for shoulder pain.

  • Eat and drink warm things. If your doctor doesn’t mind, throw some cayenne into your cocoa or add raw garlic to your beans. Simmer some ginger tea to help heat things up. Cinnamon is warming too.

  • Try applying a little warmth to the sore area.If it’s swollen or red, ask your acupuncturist first.

  • Stay hydrated. This helps to keep the fluids moving through our muscles and joints.

  • Get acupuncture and maybe an herbal formula to kick this achy invasion now.

Remember that in Eastern medicine, ailments that come in from the outside can easily transform or worsen. Treating your minor ache now can help you to avoid future problems.

Read more about musculoskeletal pain:

When the Little Things Hurt

#Healthtips #Treatment

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