Water, water everywhere: how damp manifests in children

Water, water everywhere: how damp manifests in children

This is the view in front of my house at the moment!  Very beautiful but very damp! Wolvercote is always a particularly damp part of Oxford – nestled on the flood plain between the river and the Canal, with the odd lake thrown in to boot.  But the amount of water at the moment is exceptional.

Deeply embedded in Chinese culture and thinking is the idea that the external environment has a big effect on the internal workings of our body.  So when it’s damp outside, we become more Damp on the inside.

In children, Dampness most commonly manifests in any of the following symptoms: a snotty and running nose, a mucousy cough, puffiness, bloated tummy, mucous in the stools, flabby limbs, the needs for lots of sleep. 

There are various simple things that we can do to help prevent our children becoming too Damp – and these things are especially important when the external environment is so damp.  The first thing is to avoid Damp forming foods.  The worst culprits are dairy products (milk, cheese and yoghurt), refined sugar, bananas and peanuts!  The second thing is to keep moving!  It’s tempting when there are rain and wind storms outside to hunker down, watch more TV than usual and not really move much.  And although it is appropriate at this time of year to hibernate a little and conserve our energy, we do need to balance this with movement.

So, get the kids well dressed up in hats, coats and scarfs and take them out to do some splashing around in puddles.  Just make sure they don’t stay in damp clothes for any length of time though………!!

Rebecca Avern

I have been practising acupuncture for 15 years. As well as practising in Oxford, I am both a senior lecturer and clinical supervisor at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (www.cicm.org.uk) which is the biggest acupuncture training centre in Europe. I have treated both adults and children and whilst the benefits of acupuncture for adults are well-known and well-documented, fewer people are aware of how it can benefit children. I decided that I wanted more children to experience the benefits of acupuncture, and so decided to set up The Panda Clinic. I have to admit to having another motivation - I love being around children and derive great satisfaction when I see children recover from ill health. I am mother to 2 primary school age children. As well as being an experienced acupuncturist, as a parent I have a good understanding of the stress and anxiety that an ill child can induce. I will always do my best to communicate with the parent(s) of a child I am treating as thoroughly and clearly as I can.