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What message is your sweat giving you

One of our body's essential functions is sweating. Sweat is transformed by warm energy (Yang Qi) evaporating bodily fluids and pushing them out the body, which helps to cool the body, moisten the skin through the pores and regulate the internal and external. Sweating is related to our food, hormones, mood and your internal state.

Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. Either excessive or too little sweating is abnormal. In TICM, sweating more than usual means that your bodily function is imbalanced. Though sweating is good to eliminate pathogens especially while ill, excessive sweating depletes body fluids and blood which causes further internal imbalance to the cold energy (Yin).

In order to diagnose the root imbalance, make sure to know what time of day you perspire most, where and how much along with any accompanying symptoms. Common root causes are:

Damp heat: sweaty palms or feet. Sweat can stain clothing with a yellowish tint in the armpit area. This type can tend to be anxious and overthink often and can have Spleen imbalance. Work on draining damp heat with acupuncture or herbal medicine.

Weak energy (Qi): sweating in the morning with feelings of constant fatigue, poor appetite. Incorporate vitality and energy herbs. Include foods like chicken, honey, astragalus root, dates and sweet potatoes in your food intake.

Heart blood insufficiency: excessive sweating is draining of energy (Qi) and Heart Blood, accompanied with palpitations and insomnia. Usually people who sweat abnormally have Heart deficiency, more specifically, if it takes place at night there is a deficiency of Heart Yin. Use Hawthorn (Shan Zha) and Kidney herbs.

Acupuncture is great for treating excessive sweating because the needles help overstimulated nerves that trigger the sweat glands, and prevent them from being overactive. Make sure to limit the amount of hot and spicy foods, decrease or avoid alcohol and coffee and do not smoke.

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