It may seem like a long way to go, but spring is actually around the corner – in fact, where I live we have already seen some spring-like temperatures! Oh spring, what a beautiful time of year! A time of renewal, growth, and – of course – change. Finally, we don’t have to bundle ourselves up in boots, scarves, and winter coats – opting for open shoes and lighter jackets instead.
But with the change of season – and wardrobe – also comes another change, this one affecting your health. Unfortunately, although the weather may be getting nicer, that doesn’t necessarily translate to better health right away. For many, springtime marks the onset of seasonal allergies, meaning, watery and itchy eyes, runny or stuffed nose, and horrible headaches. Allergies aren’t fun, that’s for sure, and frankly, they can ruin your joyful experience of spring.
Even if you don’t have allergies, you may experience some of these symptoms because the air has become more humid. As a result, when you step outside, it can still cause congestion and headaches.
Spring can spell bad news for those suffering from arthritis. With damp, wet weather characteristic of spring season, arthritis pain can worsen on rainy days. The good news is, pain often subsides when the weather gets better. Although there isn’t solid research to suggest that the weather affects pain, there are numerous patients who report worsened symptoms on ugly weather days.
I may have painted a picture of a bleak spring for your health, but the approaching season does offer benefits, too. For starters, we now receive far more sunlight than we did during the winter months. Sun is essential for vitamin D production, along with mood regulation. In the winter months, many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is often caused by a lack of sunlight. SAD can result in low mood and even depression. But when the sun is finally out, mood begins to improve.
Traditional Chinese medicine has long observed the effects of the change in season on health as well. Believe it or not, there are many reports of changes in health that occur around the time when spring arrives. Some of the effects include elevated blood pressure, emotional swings, tendon problems, eye issues, and digestive issues. These result from the Liver Qi which is energy emitted from the liver. When Liver Qi is unbalanced that is when symptoms can occur.
It’s important to be mindful of these health changes which can take place during the change of the seasons so you can take the necessary steps to prevent illness and protect yourself. For example, if you do have allergies you should see your doctor in advance to start some treatment for symptom reduction. If you spot any changes in your health during this transitional period, you should see your doctor, too. For many, the springtime is a good time to schedule a physical examination to ensure all areas of your health are functioning well.
Frankly, I’m most excited to not have to dress in layers and finally be able to experience the sun’s glow on my skin – safely, of course!
I hope you’re taking the necessary steps to gear up for spring because it will be here before you know it!
Until next week,