Winter is coming! Some of the days this week have been very cold, but watching people’s response to the change in temperature has been interesting. Some say they love the cold weather and in fact prefer it to Summer. Others (myself included) live for the heat of the sun and dislike our cold, damp climate.
Hot or Cold decides your treatment
When treating patients this cold/heat dynamic is important. Indian and Chinese medicine takes the propensity towards heat or cold into account when developing formulations. In Naturopathy many of our recommendations are developed based on whether someone is hot or cold.
If you’re Cold we warm you
There are a number of signs and symptoms that indicate whether you have a cold constitution. The first is the obvious one – you shy away from cold, you bundle yourself up; don’t like draughts etc. But other symptoms your practitioner will look at include your skin – is it pale, or does it have a bluish tint? Do you have cold hands and feet; are your veins visible or deep below the skin? How often do you go to the loo and does your nose run? These are all symptoms associated with cold days, except in this case the person has them regardless of temperature.
If you’re Warm, we cool you down
In contrast someone with a warm constitution will wear a t-shirt whilst others are wearing hats and scarves. They may have high colour, flushed cheeks, inflamed skin or a fiery temperament. Outbursts of anger can be a sign of heat in the body. Heat dries, so the person may be constipated or thirsty.
How is Cold and Warm treated?
Both Ayurveda and Chinese medicine use constitutions in determining the treatment plan.
In both traditions, food has an important medicinal role. Some foods are warm and others are cold. Cold foods include salads, raw food, apples, pears, lettuce, spinach, tomato to name a few.
Examples of warm foods are mango, nectarine, peach, raspberry, pumpkin, squash, ginger, nutmeg and many more. Depending on the person’s constitution and, if they are out of balance, a treatment plan will include a dietary plan to match their constitution.
When selecting herbs the therapist will carefully select warm or cold herbs depending on the constitution. Giving a warm person a warm formula could aggravate their condition and similarly with cold. This is the reason why a consultation takes time to understand the person. All formulas are individual and work best if they match the needs of the client.
What is your Constitution?
If you want to know your constitution make an appointment with us at Fresh Perceptions Health, Dublin. We will carry out a full assessment and provide recommendations on how best to support you. As always everything we do is based on diet, herbal solutions and common sense.