The Weather and Your Body


“When it’s going to rain, my joints get achy.”

“Don’t stay out in the sun too long . . . you’ll be exhausted afterwards.”

“If I ride in a convertible with the top down, I’ll get a headache”.

     Just how does the weather affect us? This is a relevant question right now, especially considering the extremes we’ve experienced in our national weather patterns as of late. Here in Atlanta, we had an ice event in January that took many of us by surprise with its duration – four long days of staying off of the roads, as suggested by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Springtime has been just as turbulent, with the string of tornadoes and baseball-sized hail that pummeled some local areas recently. According to reports, the upcoming summer promises to be a scorcher as well. So how do our bodies deal with all of this?

     East Asian medicine considers our bodies as a continuous part of the environment. Thus, if there are weather patterns going on outside, we can expect that our bodies notice and respond, even if we are not conscious of it. As the quotes above indicate, we are often conscious of the effects the weather has on us. Often times, disease patterns in the body are discussed using weather-related terms. For instance, a swollen knee or bloated abdomen could be described as a damp condition. Headaches and dizziness are sometimes considered to result from, or be made worse by, wind conditions that the body has taken on.  Dryness can affect the body too, leading to a wrinkled or shriveled feeling and appearance in the skin. There are many more ways that weather conditions can manifest in the body as well.

     Having acupuncture around the time that seasons change is a great thing to do for your health. Licensed acupuncturists are trained to consider the effects that weather will have on our treatment in most cases. Very recently, I noticed that most everyone seemed to be coming in with a stuffy nose, but that it wasn’t from catching a cold. It turns out that something was blooming in the air, and whatever it was, it seemed to be affecting even some of my long-term patients who never have allergy problems in the spring. Having acupuncture during such times can help our bodies to deal with such insults from the environment without having to just trudge through and wait for the patterns to lift. It can also help relieve the upper body muscle tension that tends to appear in some of our bodies when our least favorite season comes around each year. We should consider acupuncture as well as other natural approaches to help ourselves adjust to our environment in the most comfortable way possible. 

Kerri Winston, Ph.D., L.Ac., is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in Atlanta, Georgia's Buckhead area. If you are interested in learning more about how acupuncture can help you or your loved ones, please call 404-949-0550 or send email to