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Foundations: Damp

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Dampness is a condition that is characterized by an accumulation of fluids in the body. It is believed to be caused by an imbalance of the Spleen and Lungs, which leads to the accumulation of Phlegm and Dampness in the body. Dampness is associated with a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, bloating, and a feeling of heaviness in the body.

Dampness is typically diagnosed by a TCM practitioner based on a combination of symptoms, pulse, and tongue diagnosis. Symptoms of Dampness include a feeling of heaviness in the body, bloating, fatigue, and a thick, greasy tongue coating. The pulse may be slow and deep, and the tongue may be swollen with a thick, greasy coating.

TCM treatment for Dampness involves a combination of herbal formulas and acupuncture. Herbal formulas that are commonly used to clear Dampness include:

  • Zhi Shi (Immature Bitter Orange) and Chen Pi (Tangerine Peel) which help to dry Dampness and transform Phlegm.

  • Fu Ling (Poria) and Bai Zhu (White Atractylodes) which help to strengthen the Spleen and dry Dampness.

Acupuncture is also used to clear Dampness and regulate the Qi. Points such as SP-9 and SP-6 are used to strengthen the Spleen and dry Dampness, while points such as LU-7 and LU-9 are used to clear Phlegm and open up the Lungs.


In addition to the above, practitioners of TCM also emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle to prevent the accumulation of Dampness and promote overall health. This includes eating a diet that is easy to digest, avoiding damp and humid environments, and getting regular exercise.

The TCM concept of "dampness" does not have a direct equivalent in Western medicine. However, some of the symptoms associated with dampness, such as bloating, fatigue, and a feeling of heaviness in the body, can be similar to symptoms of certain medical conditions such as:

  • Edema: which is the abnormal accumulation of fluids in the body's tissues. It can cause swelling and puffiness, especially in the legs, ankles, and feet.

  • Obstruction or blockage of the lymphatic vessels: which can cause accumulation of fluids in the body's tissues.

  • Chronic Fatigue syndrome: which is characterized by persistent fatigue and other symptoms such as muscle and joint pain.

  • Depression and Anxiety: can also have similar symptoms of tiredness, lack of energy and feeling of heaviness.

In conclusion, Dampness is a condition that is characterized by an accumulation of fluids in the body in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, bloating, and a feeling of heaviness in the body. Treatment for Dampness in TCM involves a combination of herbal formulas, acupuncture and dietary and lifestyle changes under the guidance of a qualified TCM practitioner.



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