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Monday, December 27, 2010

Weather Impacts on Your Health

Severe weather doesn’t just impact travel plans, activities and utilities. It also affects our health. In fact, many people can somewhat predict coming weather as they experience headaches, dizziness, aching joints, muscle soreness, or swollen fingers and hands.

This makes sense from a physiological point of view. At the level of cells and ions, within all body systems, processes occur due to pressure gradients. And storms and weather changes are preceded by changes in barometric pressure. Weather predictions are typically made by measuring the pressure gradients. The greater and quicker the change in pressure, the more intense the storm will be.

It is because of pressure changes that divers have to return to the surface slowly, in order to allow their bodies time to adjust. It’s the differences in atmospheric pressure that forces climbers to stop at base camps allowing their bodies to adjust before they continue a mountain ascent or descent. And if you’ve ever flow from sea level to a high altitude you know that it takes a number of days, even weeks, before your body can adjust to the altitude change.

To a lesser degree, the same thing happens in our bodies prior to weather events. For the most part healthy bodies are able to make the adjustment without our experiencing symptoms. But when our bodies are already under stress, or the changes are dramatic and intense, we may experience uncomfortable sensations. Often these symptoms are experienced in air or fluid filled cavities, like sinuses, ears, and joints, but the circulatory system is also affected so migraine headaches and dizziness may occur due to blood flow and decreased oxygen levels. And because the entire body is influenced by the nervous system, which is dependent on pressure gradients for ion transfer- any area can be affected.

Homeopathic medicine acknowledges the affects weather changes have on the body. When determining what remedy might work best for a particular person and set of symptoms, the homeopathic physician will determine how the person responds to weather. Aconitum Napellus for instance might be indicated for someone who experiences the symptoms of a cold after exposure to a draught, or a cold dry wind. Rhus Toxicodendrom may be recommended if symptoms of joint pain worsen with a change of weather to cold or damp. It is a common remedy for joint pain that occurs in autumn type weather. People who experience colds or coughs in the change of temperature from cold to warm in the spring/summer, may be helped by Kali Sulphuricum. If mild wet weather actually makes your chest, joint, and aching symptoms better, and changes to dry clear and cold weather make them worse, Causticum might be indicated. The list can go on and on. The point is to figure out what works for you when, and in doing so consider the weather that is likely to bring on, and relieve, your particular symptoms.

Although Bach Flower essences are matched more to emotions than to physical symptoms, the combination remedy Rescue Remedy can be very helpful during sudden weather changes, particularly to relieve a headache. This may be at least in part, because of the essence Impatiens which is included in the combination and is indicated when we feel impatient or stressed. Winds and impending storms often make people perhaps unconsciously, feel stressed and when we tighten certain muscles in the stress reaction, such as shoulder and neck muscles, a headache can be the result. Rock Rose in the remedy may also help if there is an element of fear of a storm at some level.

Our bodies are usually able to “weather storms” pretty well and continuously make changes and adaptations to our environment without us experiencing any symptoms or discomfort. If however we are already under stress or harbouring infections such as a sinus infection or cold, even a slight pressure change may adversely affect you. Colloidal silver may be helpful if that’s the case.

In the world of natural medicine, there is no “one size fits all motto”. That means finding what works for you in the situations that you are likely to need it. It can take some research, investigation and trial and error, but the results can be well worth it.

Before the next storm rolls in and you can’t even think straight- consider what your body might be telling you and see if you can ease the pressure.

You can find more information on the possibilities on my website at

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