We're continuing to count down 10 Top Health Tips for Everyone to get you into a healthy groove in 2012.
Dairy is a big problem in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and a very common cause of all sorts of health ailments in our patients – everything from digestive issues to coughs to fatigue to skin issues to joint pain can be greatly improved when dairy is eliminated from the diet. From an acupuncture perspective, the energy system in charge of digestion controls your body’s processes on a day to day basis. This digestive energy is weighed down by dairy and has a hard time effectively processing it in a way that we can use. Also, when this digestive energy is weak, it is not good at transforming food into energy and transporting that energy to all the places it needs to go in our body (our organs, our meridians, our tissues, our minds).
Therefore, "dampness" develops in our bodies. Dampness is an abnormal processing of fluids, and it slows down how energy moves inside us. It is a direct result of a weakness in our digestive energy. Dairy DIRECTLY causes dampness in our bodies – so not only does dairy weaken one of our core energetic systems, but it also directly adds to accumulated sluggishness in our bodies. This can cause a compromised immune system, inflammation, and chronic illness.
Writing this as a lover of cheese, I understand how sad the thought of eliminating dairy it. If you need some dairy in your diet, try to adjust so that you are eating smaller quantities. Goats milk and goat cheese is better than cow’s milk, and yogurt is a relatively healthy dairy because of the cultures. If nothing else, avoid dairy when you have a cold or respiratory infection, if you are experiencing any sort of skin problems or inflammation, and if you have joint pain that is worse in rainy or damp weather. Your body will thank you, trust me.