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Do What Your Granny Tells You, And Stay Well

Something that is very interesting and comforting to me is the way that folk wisdom crosses wide distances and finds it's way into different cultures and different communities. And so it is that the gems of wisdom aimed at keeping us well that we learned here in Ireland are very similar to the ones held dear in China. Chinese Medicine places a lot of emphasis on Exterior Influences as causes of illness. In other words, things we take in from the outside. Such as wind, dampness, cold, heat. These can build up in the body and cause blockages in our meridians. Wind diseases include common cold, neck, back and shoulder pain, skin rashes and arthritis. Cold and heat cause a lot of trouble in our digestive systems. Dampness can play a role in many illnesses, often occuring alongside heat to cause joint pain and swelling, skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. So how do these exterior forces gain entry to our bodies in the first place? In just the ways your Granny warned you about such as:

  • Sitting in the draught near an open window- Neck and shoulder pain due to wind invasion. 
  • Going outside without a coat or scarf in windy weather- Common cold
  • Getting wet in the rain and not changing clothes quickly enough- Fever, Flu
  • Sitting on concrete- Urinary tract problems, menstrual problems due to cold invasion
  • Sleeping in a damp bed or damp room- swollen joints, arthritis, back pain. 
  • Slow digestion, food 'sits there' causing bloatedness, loss of appetite, abdominal cramping- Eating too much energetically cold or raw food or drinking too many iced drinks.
  • Indigestion, heartburn or acid reflux- too much hot or spicy food or eating something on a regular basis that does not agree with you.

Acupuncturists tend to become hyper-aware of external causes of disease. This is why my poor kids are worn out with me running after them with scarves and hats, nagging them about not walking on cold floors, making sure to stay dry, sipping warm drinks in the winter. They don't fall prey to many colds though, and I know for a fact that any Irish Granny worth her salt will back me up 100%!


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Galway

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