I’ve spoken about the six pernicious influences or causes of disease in Chinese Medicine before, but now that we’re in the season of autumn it is a good time to revisit it. These six climatic conditions are considered causes of disease within the body. They are: cold, wind, dampness, heat, dryness and summer heat. Many times these conditions occur together such as damp and cold or wind and cold.
It is also possible for these pernicious influences to develop from chronic internal imbalance.
One of the most persistent conditions which takes some time to resolve is dampness. When internal dampness occurs it creates stagnation and a feeling of heaviness. It can occur from spending a lot of time in a rainy environment or from sleeping on the ground. It can also occur internally from eating large quantities of cold foods and drinks, sweets and greasy foods.
Some symptoms of dampness include: edema, phlegm, and discharges. It can also cause feelings of dizziness and heaviness, water retention, coughing or vomiting phlegm and skin rashes. A damp condition will also make weight loss difficult. There are many different types of dampness, such as cold damp or damp heat. Each condition has its own set of symptoms and treatment including herbs to drain the dampness, dietary changes and possibly moxibustion. Dampness is a difficult condition which needs to be treated by a licensed acupuncturist in order to improve.
–Bill Schoenbart & Ellen Shefi—health.howstuffworks.com