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TCM Articles  

Seasonal Flares

Date Published: 10 Apr, 2019

Feel as though you have been going so well and then all these symptoms have come back out of nowhere? In Chinese medicine, autumn is the ‘hinge’ between summer and winter! With the change in season, we often see what we call ‘flares’, this can an exacerbation of your symptoms that are usually kept at bay.

It is a time when the body must continually adapt to change, from opening the pores to allow sweating, to closing them to protect from cold. Change is hard;  these two seasons are associated with various kinds of illnesses.

Quite often this ‘flare’ can feel as though your treatments are going backwards, or all of your old symptoms are back again. Rest assured that it is only temporary and you will regain your health back very soon.

What symptoms or signs will I have?

  • Cold like symptoms; sneezing, runny nose, fullness in the head
  • Tired/Sleepy
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Fibromyalgia (FMS): A wetter, colder climate is associated with symptom flares in patients with fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) symptoms worse

How long does it last?

  • This is person dependant. If you keep on top of your healthy eating, exercise and rest it will be easier for your body to bounce back!
  • A treatment plan will be advised when you see your practitioner. Some people may already be on a treatment plan that is more out to 3-4 week, if you experience a flare, then one extra treatment is usually enough to turn the symptoms back down.

How can Acupuncture help?

Through our clinical experience we can often pick a flare before you feel the symptoms. This can be through clinical techniques like pulse, abdomen, as well as signs and symptoms. If you are in a flare then depending on your overall health a treatment, (or up to 3) should take the symptoms of a flare away.

Acupuncture for a Healthy Balanced Life




What else can you do?

  • Keep warm – feet, ankles, abdomen and neck are 4 important areas to keep covered and out of the wind – think socks & scarves
  • Start to swap the salads, smoothies and cold foods for warming broths, soups and slow cooked meals.
  • Keep your body moving – exercise is important, but ensure you have a jacket/scarf for before/after so you don’t cool down too quickly.
  • Eat with the season – You want foods that flourish in this weather as they will have the most nutrients!
  • Lungs are autumn season and it is associated with grief and sadness. Now is the time to speak to the counsellor, keep a journal or ‘free write’ – set your alarm for 10 minutes, put pen to paper, don’t think, just write. As soon as your timer goes off immediately tear up the paper and throw it away, don’t read what you have written and release those thoughts.

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