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Five Element Acupuncture with Clare Moss

I have been seeing a lot of people in clinic recently with lingering coughs and runny noses, feeling sluggish and brain foggy, often dragging on for weeks. People are fatigued and aren’t waking feeling rested, and some are suffering with aching joints.

In Chinese medicine this condition is known as Damp, an accumulation of fluids in the body that may be thick and stagnant. Damp makes us feel heavy, unmotivated and sluggish.

A number of things can cause Damp, including diet (eating a greasy, oily, cold, or raw foods, as well as dairy products, sweets, and processed foods), emotions (excessive worry, overthinking and stress) or a lack of movement (a sedentary lifestyle can lead to Damp accumulating in the body).

Another cause of Damp is environmental. Damp or humid weather conditions can lead to Damp accumulating in the body or can leave our bodies struggling to clear Damp. Is it a coincidence that we’ve had the wettest winter for over 130 years and so many people are struggling with these lingering symptoms? Not according to Chinese medicine.

As the climate changes over the coming years we will experience more unusual weather patterns. These will all have an impact on our health and wellbeing, and it will be even more important to find ways to remain in balance and to mitigate the impact of these changes on us.

So what can we do about it? Spleen Yang and Spleen Qi are what will help clear the Damp from the body. And with this Damp weather our Spleens are all overworked. To support our Spleens we should try to:

  • Avoid cold food and drinks (these require Yang Qi to warm up before they can be broken down and moved through the digestive process so weaken and deplete the Spleen over time).
  • Avoid dairy, greasy and processed foods, and refined sugar
  • Avoid raw foods (salads and raw fruit) which aren’t as easily digested, again depleting Spleen Yang over time
  • Particularly avoid bananas, ice cream, rich meats, avocados, peanuts and fruit juices, refined wheat products like bread, which are Damp forming
  • Try to get regular exercise, even if it’s some yoga or going for a brief walk
  • If your home feels damp, consider getting a dehumidifier, particularly if you also dry your clothes on radiators
  • Acupuncture and moxibustion can unblock and give your tired and overworked Spleen a much-needed boost to support it in its function of clearing Damp

If you’re interested in finding out more about what acupuncture can do for you, or to book an appointment, please get in touch at

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