(26th Issue | Sept, 2019)


Guiding Needle Acupuncture has the following mission: “To elevate the consciousness, robust health and vitality of humanity.”


Dampness is the over-retention of moisture in the body either as water or phlegm. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness, swelling or water retention, distended abdomen, mucus discharge, nodular masses, loose bowels, turbidity of fluids, sluggish energy and excessive body weight.

The body's ability to process fluids is a major contributor to wellness. When we observe nature, we can easily comprehend what excessive, prolonged rainfall does to grain fields; the water accumulates in low elevation areas, saturating the soil and if this standing water does not drain, it prevents the crops from growing and often causes rot. This situation is similar to a clogged drain.  Now, picture this image inside your body. An unhealthy accumulation of fluids in body tissues, also known as dampness can’t perform the same functions as normal fluids in healthy tissues. 

Dampness can accumulate because of one’s constitution, diet, lifestyle choices and environment. Constitution is generated by the health of the parents (particularly at the time of conception), as well as the health of the mother during pregnancy. A constitution can influence how one is predisposed in personality and health. Knowing your constitutional strengths and weaknesses is a good first step to maintaining robust health and vitality.

Dampness is frequently caused by combinations of over-nutrition, lack of exercise, endocrine imbalance and exposure to damp environments.

Over-nutrition causes damp retention when dense foods are difficult to break down in the digestive system, contributing to a weakening of the digestive system. Dampness results from the body's failure to burn off or transform moisture. Dense foods that take longer to break down in digestion include; beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, sticky dried fruits, animal products, tofu, tempeh and whole grains. If the digestive system becomes compromised, it doesn’t perform very well. A congestion can occur, recirculating fluids that should’ve been eliminated, and this can lead to over-retention of moisture in the body's tissues and organs such as the lungs, sinuses, skin, digestive system, and joints.

Restorative and functional exercise moves blood, lymph, and body fluid circulation preventing a build up of moisture in the body. I highly encourage and recommend frequent cardiovascular, strength and resistance training as dampness prevention.

Every time you stand up from lying horizontal, the adrenal glands regulate blood pressure via the production of adrenalin causing vasoconstriction; the narrowing of the blood vessels resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels, large arteries and small arterioles. When the systolic blood pressure rises upon standing vertical from a horizontal position, this result confirms that the adrenals are producing enough adrenalin for the purpose of vasoconstriction and proper blood pressure regulation. This function also prevents prolapse, promoting circulation in the body, preventing dampness. When the adrenal glands are overworked and malnourished they produce insufficient adrenalin and the systolic blood pressure drops when standing up from a horizontal position due to a lack of vasoconstriction. The bottom line is that adrenal insufficiency aggravates dampness and fluid circulation.

In Alberta, we live in a climate that’s frequently damp and cold. By simply living in this region, our bodies are exposed to dampness contributing to this exposure.

Prolonged dampness can cause or contribute to conditions such as:

• Allergies.

• Loose stools, diarrhea.

• Digestive problems.

• Sinus congestion and infections.

• Respiratory problems.

• Fatigue.

• Edema.

• Heaviness in the body.

• Cysts.

• Yeast infections.

• Arthritic conditions.

• Headaches, mental fog.

Proactive measures you can take to prevent and eliminate dampness:

• Avoid cold food and drink, consume food and drink at room temperature or warmer. *See video explanation herein. 

• Exercise regularly.

• Dampness is treated by avoiding dampening foods, by strengthening the body and by including bitter foods and foods which counteract dampness. Effective foods include: aduki bean, alfalfa, anchovy, barley, celery, corn, daikon, garlic, green tea, horseradish, jasmine tea, job's tears, kidney bean, kohlrabi, lemon, mackerel, marjoram, mushroom (button), mustard leaf, onion, parsley, pumpkin, radish, rye, scallion, turnip, umeboshi plum.

• Avoid damp-forming foods: dairy products, pork, fatty meats, roasted peanuts, concentrated juices especially orange and tomato, wheat (flour, pasta, pastry, bread), yeast, beer, bananas, sugar, sweeteners, tofu, saturated fats, deep fried foods, processed foods, cold raw foods and drinks.

Phlegm refers to a condition of dampness where moisture is retained as phlegm or mucus. Phlegm-resolving foods include: almond, apple peel, clam, daikon, garlic, grapefruit, lemon peel, licorice, marjoram, mushroom (button), mustard leaf, mustard seed, olive, onion, orange peel, pear, black and white pepper, peppermint, persimmon, plantain, radish, seaweed, shiitake mushroom, shrimp, tea, thyme, walnut, watercress.

When you apply acupuncture as a regular therapy for several weeks, your body naturally and gently begins to undergo positive changes. The changes induced by acupuncture are literally like new pathways your body remembers.

Acupuncture is one of the most powerful ways to naturally stimulate your body’s internal healing process; repairing and restoring all cells and tissues. Acupuncture harnesses the vast healing intelligence your body contains to help you heal faster. Acupuncture opens and regulates microcirculation bringing more blood flow to the organs, glands and tissues that need the most support, those tissues naturally work better. When all the organs and endocrine glands are balanced and functioning at ideal levels, fluids are metabolized with ease. This means more hormonal balance, proper blood pressure, less inflammation, efficient waste excretion, better circulation and nutrient absorption. Excess fluids are expelled via urine, tissues return to normal size and function at peak levels.

Acupuncture, infrared therapy, moxibustion therapy, exercise, lifestyle choices, food therapy and Chinese herbal medicine are all important in resolving dampness and phlegm retention. Nutritional modification plays a crucial role in symptom resolution and addressing the root of health concerns. I encourage the use of food and drink journaling; take note of what you consume and how it makes you feel. 

Enjoy the convenience of scheduling appointments online in real-time, 24/7

The Guiding Needle Acupuncture wellness process is designed to help you achieve your personal health and wellness goals. First time patients, begin by conveniently scheduling a comprehensive initial acupuncture assessment/treatment online. 

At your FREE initial 60 minute comprehensive acupuncture assessment, you meet one-on-one with Thomas to discuss your case in a no-pressure environment. This gives you the opportunity to see if Thomas' services are an ideal fit for you, and Thomas will have the opportunity to determine his ability to help your unique case.

An acupuncture treatment fee of $85 applies for treatment following this free initial 60 minute acupuncture assessment.

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Thank you for choosing Guiding Needle Acupuncture as your provider of quality traditional Chinese medicine. I choose to be of great service to you, your family and friends now and for future years to come. May the blessings be.

Thomas Nerbas R.Ac, PFT

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Guiding Needle Acupuncture

#50 - 17 Boudreau Road
St. Albert AB