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Dr. Alex Tatevian has maintained a monthly acupuncture column in the health section of the Federal Hill Gazette since 1999.      
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  Federall Hill Gazette; March 2003

Weather and your health

   Remember the aches and pains from shoveling the snow in your driveway? You were not alone, and don’t blame the plowman for doing a bad job and forcing you to dig out. Bad weather negatively affects your health.
    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) calls extreme weather conditions the Six Evils, more commonly known as: Wind, Cold, Heat, Dampness, Dryness, and Summer Heat. For example, TCM classifies trigeminal neuralgia as “Cold-Wind Syndrome”. In ancient times, sophisticated instruments like barometers and anemometers weren’t yet available, and weathermen didn’t entertain us on TV every night. Humans were the most reliable barometers, forecasting changes in the weather.
    Some people were born more sensitive to weather changes; others acquired that sensitivity after an injury or illness.
    Today we know more about what weather factors affect us the most: humidity, barometric pressure, wind direction and velocity, temperature, precipitation and dew points. These factors are used to calculate the Aches and Pain Index that you can see on the Weather Channel website.
    You might feel more aches and pains when a storm is coming. Storms bring a significant decrease in barometric pressure that leads to the expansion of the joint capsules, just like the accumulation of fluid in an arthritic joint. The pain receptors embedded in the capsule send pain signals as they do in arthritis. The result is that it feels like arthritic pain, even if you don’t really have arthritis. If you do have arthritis, and your joints are already swollen, it makes matters even worse. Therefore, the pain you have is not in your head, it’s in your joints. We can find shelter from the elements in a storm, but not the barometric pressure.
   Sun storms are precursors to electromagnetic storms on Earth. Both affect the central nervous system, and may cause you to feel forgetful, tired, distracted, belligerent and anxious. Some studies show a link between electromagnetic storms and car accidents, traffic jams, and road rage.
   Another famous quote, “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it“. Sadly, there is not much we can do except stay warm, dry, don’t drive, take it easy, and have a legitimate excuse for being lazy one day.
   Alex Tatevian, DA
   We welcome all questions that you may have.
   You can ask your questions on-line at DoctorGetWell.org, e-mail them to getwell@doctor.com , or send them to:
   Alex Tatevian, DA
   Acu Well Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
   141 Airport Road, Warwick, RI 02889
   Phone (401) 738-9355
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