These usually occur because the individual's parents have poor health, though they may also occur if the parents are generally healthy but are suffering from an illness at the time of conception. Furthermore, children can be born with certain conditions if their mother experiences shock, illness, or trauma during pregnancy.
Some of the many emotions we experience include joy, worry, sadness, grief, fear, love, and anger. These are all considered to be appropriate feelings when given the correct circumstances. When they begin to dominate our lives disproportionately, however, they may become pathological and affect our overall well being. In holistic medicine it is also understood that long-standing emotional imbalances can eventually even affect the functioning of the internal organs, leading to physical symptoms and more systemic patterns of disease.
More than excessive physical exertion, this refers to the tendency of some people to consistently work long hours every day without allowing for periods of rest. People who do this wind up slowly depleting themselves both physically and emotionally, especially if they don't give themselves time to relax, sleep, and replenish. The slow drain and high stress effect of this lifestyle weakens them over time and makes them susceptible to imbalances and disease of all kinds.
The most common dietary imbalances are excesses of raw, spicy, or fatty foods, and eating too much or not enough. Too much raw foods makes it hard for we warm-blooded beings to maintain our internal heat, especially in the winter. Too much spicy foods can cause or aggravate inflammatory conditions, while lots of fatty foods can lead to weight gain and excess mucus. Eating large meals stresses our internal organs and drains their energy, resulting in digestive disorders. Eating too little food, on the other hand, causes our bodies to struggle to nourish themselves and slowly depletes us in the long run. Improper eating habits like eating too fast, eating while standing or working, eating at irregular times, or eating late in the evening can also cause health conditions.
Exposure to extremes of temperature and weather can have major effects on the body. At its worst exposure can even be life-threatening. The most common environmental causes of disease are excesses of heat, cold, damp, wind, or dryness. For example, exposure to too much heat and humidity can cause heat-stroke. Another example is joint pain that is sensitive to humidity or cold, a sure indication that exposure to these environmental extremes is an aggravating factor in the condition. Environmental factors like allergens, chemicals, and radiation can also be a major cause of disease and illness.
When we think of pathogens what usually comes to mind are infectious microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. Viruses like the ones that cause the common cold are milder pathogens and we can often avoid contracting an infection if we are healthy. Other types of microorganisms, like cholera and measles, are very potent and most people will wind up becoming infected, even those who have strong immune systems. In holistic medicine we also consider things like unhealthy foods and exposure to extremes of weather to affect us like pathogens. Even a dysfunctional relationship can be pathogenic in the literal sense, causing both emotional and physical symptoms.
The main effect of trauma is that it can cause a temporary stagnation of blood, which interferes with circulation and causes pain. If the trauma is severe, where bones are broken or surgery or stitches are required, the resulting scar tissue can permanently affect the circulation, leading to chronic pain or arthritis. Severe physical trauma can also have a lasting effect on our emotions, like in Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Pharmaceutical drugs have many well-known side effects and tend to interact with each other and with other medicinal substances like herbs, though their side effects may resolve once the patient stops taking the drug. Unfortunately, many people wind up taking pharmaceuticals indefinitely, even while the side effects get worse over time. Recreational drugs can also have side effects, even the milder ones, especially with long-term use.
Excessive Sexual Activity or a Lack of Sexual Activity
What is considered to be excessive depends a lot on the individual's age and health and is a more important consideration for men than women because they actually loose a substance during sex. A general rule of thumb is to divide the man's age by 5 in order to determine how often he should be having sex (so every eight days for a 40 year old man). Signs of excessive sexual activity include lower back pain, dizziness, fatigue, and poor memory or concentration. Lack of sexual activity is mainly an issue when there is a sexual desire present. When this desire is unfulfilled it tends to affect the heart, causing emotional issues like anxiety and depression.
*from Giovanni Maciocia's book, "The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists"
"Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos - the trees, the clouds, everything." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
We are open by appointment Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturdays 10am to 5pm.
779 Haywood Road, Downtown West Asheville, NC 28806 (828) 505-3174