A Quick Overview of Damp in Acupuncture Terms…

If you are reading this article, then you have probably been told that you have a Damp pattern by your acupuncturist.

In which case, your acupuncturist will probably have told you that Damp patterns are like ticks, once they have burrowed themselves into you, they are really difficult to get rid of.

This is why it’s important that you act in tandem with your acupuncturist. Your acupuncturist will be tackling the Damp using your body’s energetics.

YOU can help yourself by doubling-up on the Damp by tackling it from your side as well.  By choosing more consciously what you eat and drink, you can avoid taking on board things that worsen the Damp AND choose to take on board things that fight the Damp.

So…. you might well be asking what led your acupuncturist to realise you had a Damp pattern. The following section shows a few of the usual clinical ‘Signs And Symptoms’ that are typical of a Damp pattern. You don’t have to have all the symptoms to have this Damp pattern. In fact, only a couple of them will often be enough to diagnose Damp.


signs and symptoms


Signs And Symptoms

The manifestations of Damp are particularly varied. In general though they are:

  • Heaviness of body or head
  • Muzzy feeling in the head
  • Red swollen eyelids, eyes oozing fluid, styes
  • Mouth ulcers, swollen red lips
  • Throat and head sputum
  • Poor appetite, fullness after eating
  • Fullness of chest or epigastrium
  • Sticky taste
  • Urinary difficulty and possibly burning
  • Cloudy urination
  • White sticky vaginal discharge, painful periods, infertility
  • Scrotal sweating, genital eczema or itching
  • Skin vesicles, papules, greasy sweat, oozing skin lesion
  • Joints are swollen and painful
  • Numbness and loss of sensation
  • Sticky tongue coating
  • Oozing eczema
  • Loose stools
  • Thick sticky coat on your tongue
So this leads to the question of what actually causes a Damp pattern.


cause and effect


Causes of Damp

Damp can result from external factors that ‘invade’ the body resulting  in Damp as a consequence.  The external factors can be:

  • Damp weather
  • Damp house
  • Wearing wet clothes
  • Wading in water
  • Working in damp places
  • Sitting on damp ground
It’s important to realise that these external factors depend on a person’s state of health. Wearing wet clothes does not mean you will automagically get a Damp invasion. Nor does simply sitting on Damp ground! If you are run down for any reason, then that’s when you will be more prone (and not certain) to a Damp invasion.Damp can also result from an internal problem in the body affecting its ability to transform and transport Body Fluids. Both internal and external factors are interlinked as either one can cause the other to happen.The following section describes the characteristics of Damp.


Characteristics Of Damp

It is:

  • Sticky
  • Hard to get rid of
  • Heavy
  • Slows things down
  • moves downwards


What Can You Do Now?

So how can you take a positive role in improving your health?  How can you help your acupuncturist clear the Damp in your body? The best way you can do this is twofold.

The first way is to avoid the external conditions that are likely to cause Damp. Look at the list of the external causes of Damp above and try to avoid those as much as possible.

The second way is to help your body fight Damp with the things you put in your mouth. That is what is covered in the following section.



General Dietary Guidelines

High Level Dos And Do Nots

Your stomach has to work hard to digest certain foods. This puts a strain on it and and can cause it to work less efficiently which may lead to Damp in the long term. Based on this:
  • Cut right back on raw foods or cold foods.
  • Try not to eat rich foods
  • Don’t be tempted by sweet foods or drink
  • ‘mooo’ve away from dairy foods
The following list of foods is more easily digested by the stomach, so these are good to eat:
  • Beans
  • Grains
  • Seafoods
The stomach likes a warm environment, so consume:
  • Food that has been heated through
  • Naturally warming spicy food


Specific Foods That Fight Damp


  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Job’s Tears
  • Rye
  • Sorghum


  • Alfalfa Sprout
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo Shoot
  • Caper
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Daikon (Mooli)
  • Kohirabi
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Scallion
  • Turnip
  • White Fungus


  • Blue/bilberry
  • Cranberry
  • Papaya


  • Aduki
  • Kidney bean
  • Lentil

Nuts & Seeds:

  • Nil


  • Anchovy
  • Eel
  • Mackerol


  • Quail


  • Nil

Herbs & Spices:

  • Aniseed
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Horseradish
  • Nettle
  • Pepper (Black)
  • Pepper (White)
  • Tamarind

Oils and Condiments:

  • Nil


  • Raspberry Leaf

Common Supplements:

  • Nil


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