Friday 2 April 2010

How the Weather is Like Your Health

I was driving to my clinic today, and I was awed by the beauty of Vancouver with its sunny, blue sky on this windy Tuesday afternoon.  It’s days like this that makes me appreciate living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  It also made me think of how the weather is like your health.  With Spring in the air and allergy season coming early for many patients, I thought about how sinus congestion is related to decreased lymphatic flow and muscle tension around the neck and upper back.

For comparison, I’ll first talk about the weather.  As I mentioned, it was a cool, windy Tuesday today, so windy it caused some power outages around Vancouver and hats flying off of heads.  The good thing is the wind is part of a high pressure system, and blows the clouds away, leaving a clear blue sky.  This made me think that this should be the natural weather for Vancouver, but when a low pressure system comes in, the clouds stick around and hence, we have rainy Vancouver.

Our health is like the weather; for example when we have congestion, either due to allergies or sinuses, the cold or the flu, our lymphatic flow gets backed up like traffic and our noses get runny like the falling rain.  Common causes for this decrease in our normal lymphatic system are muscle imbalances.  In many Osteopathic articles found by Google you will read how Osteopaths can improve your healing process by treating your rib cage, which is like the motor for your lymphatic system, as well as your diaphragm, such an important muscle in regulating the pressure gradient for your breathing and digestive system.  Also, we will release tension in your neck and your upper back, allowing better fluid drainage from congested sinuses back into your heart via your veins.

Thus, these muscle imbalances act like a low pressure system and the congestion, muscle aches and assorted symptoms we feel when sick are like the clouds and rain.  By improving your lymphatic drainage and boosting your immune system, Osteopathic treatment is like the wind that helps restore your body to its natural state, leaving your body feeling like a sunny day in Vancouver.  Of course, many treatments aim to remove blockages, some use needles, machines or small doses of tinctures.  As long as they help the healing process, patients can decide which therapy works best for them.  For me, Osteopathy makes sense because we are using manual medicine and not adding anything to your body, just letting it get back to its normal state by removing the muscle and joint imbalances.

Dickson Wong
Osteopathic Practitioner

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