EXCESSIVE SWEATING DEFINED BY EASTERN MEDICINE
Healthy Living Blog
By Rachelle Tetreault DAOM,L,Ac
In Eastern Medicine, sweating can be considered pathological if too little or too much occurs when not provoked by weather or circumstance. Sweating cools the body and releases toxins. However, if the body is too deficient, it may show excessive diaphoresis (sweating) or if excess of stagnated energy, too little.
Sweating is a normal physiological function. However, if excessive sweating occurs without an environmental or physical condition, then it is seen as a pathological type which is created by a disharmony between yin and yang. Under normal conditions, the body radiates heat and toxins are released from the superficial layer of the skin. Certain disorders are seen with excessive sweating. These consist of hyperthyroidism, pulmonary tuberculosis, paroxysmal hypoglycemia, and even shock.
Eastern medicine etiology for abnormal sweating results from several pathogenic factors. These can range from excess heat, damp-heat including liver or stomach fire. The excess heat in these organs can affect body fluid and actually force it out via surface pores. Another source is yin deficiency with what it known as empty fire. Excessive blood or essence loss is the cause and is often seen in perimenopausal women with hormone imbalance creating hot flashes and/or night sweating. Deficiency of lung energy is a cause for abnormal sweating and usually is more constitutional deficiency (genetic) and accompanies a chronic cough. Deficient lung energy fails to diffuse to the surface and interstitial layers located between the muscle and the skin. The pores in this unconsolidated protective layer actually opens and abnormal sweating occurs. Lastly, a disharmony between what is known as protective energy and nutritive energy can be a source. This is usually seen in weaker patients with a pre-existing deficiency or condition. Abnormal sweating is often placed in one of these basic patterns and there the root cause can be determined.
Knowing the pattern, treatment is used to both prevent and treat the root cause which improves the whole body’s health and regulating the immune system to work optimally. Different types of sweating reveals the nature of the issue as well. Spontaneous sweating is usually caused by overall energy deficiency. The patient will have fatigue, weakened immune system, and pale tongue. Night sweating is usually caused by yin deficiency and hormone involvement affect liver blood and yin. Chronic abnormal sweating in general will injure the yin or body fluids and lead to further deficiency of the body. However, sweating due to internal accumulation of excess heat is a complex pattern of both excess and deficiency. Both must be treated.
Eastern medicine not only recognizes the physiological effect that sweating serves and manifests but also recognizes the significance of it with the body as a whole. Sweat is considered the fluid of the heart. Too much may deplete the heart energy and yin or body fluid creating heart dysfunction. Any type of abnormal heat in specific body organs can create damp-heat or even deficient heat. Damp-heat is also seen on the tongue coating and is usually derived from liver fire or stomach heat. Deficient heat can also force out body fluid and is more of a yin deficiency. Body fluid and the energy,also known as qi, of the body are physiologically interdependent. This energy or qi is the commander of the blood as well as our body fluid however body fluid is the actual carrier and transporter of this energy. Excessive sweating leads to energy depletion and results following loss of body fluid. This can be both life-threatening and critical if both energy depletion and yin exhaustion result.
With cases of both deficiency and excess sweating, acupuncture is used in specific techniques. The reducing method is preferred and fire cupping is often used on Dazhui acupoint following needle removal. With deficiency cases, moxibustion is often used on Du meridian and both Du and Kidney meridians are nourished with acupoint placement.
This method helps treat the root cause of overall deficiency. Patients will notice improvement in overall energy and vitality. The regulation of the immune system with harmonizing the body as a whole helps replenish the deficiencies and allows the body to restore normal sweating. It is both preventative and nourishing allowing proper restoration of both protective and nutritive energy throughout the body.
Call today for overall balancing and health. Eastern Medicine works well with Western medicine but it alone is known for its exceptional preventative care and root cause treatment for lasting results. Treating the body as a whole and not as one molecular component is the way to obtain optimal health and vitality. Assessment is included with treatment and all are individualized according to patient need. Call or text 772-353-1397 to begin your journey to true health!