When I suffered from candida I tried many different holistic therapies and I also tried Chinese medicine. I found many of these therapies and treatments really helpful but it depends a lot on the practitioner. If you read my blog you will see for example that I wasted a lot of money with an acupuncturist with no real results. But I found another Chinese acupuncturist who was amazing! I know that followers of Chinese medicine and acupuncture believe the diet plays a big part in our health and wellbeing. They believe that candida and thrush is caused by too much ‘dampness’ in the body. In fact Chinese medicine believes that dampness causes many illnesses including cancer, allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigure to name just a few. If you want to learn more about the Chinese approach I strongly recommend The Complete Book of Chinese Health & Healing: Guarding the Three Treasures which I think is amazing.
I think too much dampness in the body is affecting me again so to avoid a return of the candida I need to reduce the dampness in my body. I am basing my theory on some of my symptoms but if you feel this could also apply to you then I strongly recommend that you seek advice from a qualified Chinese medicine expert as there are actually two different types of dampness and they are treated slightly differently I believe.
Some of the symptoms of internal dampness in the body:
- feeling of heaviness
- swelling or water retention
- distended abdomen
- phlegm when coughing
- loose /sticky bowels
- intestinal rumblings
- low energy
- easily gaining weight
- ear infections
I have several of these symptoms and I’ve always believed there is a link between candida and ear infections. Now I think ‘internal dampness’ creates the conditions for candida to thrive in the digestive tract, mouth, ears and vagina (thrush). I’m not saying all ear infections are caused by candida, of course not. But I do think some ear infections are caused by it and doctors have confirmed this to me. They tend to recommend ear drops which are anti bacterial AND anti fungal if they are not sure of the cause.
Certain foods cause dampness (or mucus) and so I shall be avoiding these foods. These include:
- milk and dairy products
- sugar and candy
- too many raw fruit
- icy or cold food or drinks
- greasy or fried foods
For those of you on the anti-candida diet this list won’t be a surprise as its very similar to the foods that you need to avoid to kill off the candida. But it also helps me to eat plenty of warm food and drinks to help alleviate the ‘dampness’.
I am going to try to use my diet to rebalance my body but if that doesn’t work I will return to the Chinese acupuncturist for advice. Dampness is believed to be caused by a deficiency in the functions of the spleen which in itself is caused by many factors e.g. damp weather, worry, over work, etc.. So I am also going to try to alleviate these factors too although I cant change the weather! I wish!
Broadly speaking foods which alleviate dampness in the body include root vegetables and warming spcies e.g. turmeric, cinnamon, and cloves. Aduki beans, rye, celery, lettuce, alfalfa, turnips, raw honey and corn are also believed to be very helpful.
On a mental level I am also suffering from not thinking clearly and thinking the same thoughts over and over. I feel quite ‘stuck’. This is common when suffering from internal dampness. I was taught to address this by visualisation. What works for me is to practise imagining a warm, fresh breeze flowing through my mind and body, warming me up and blowing away all dampness. I put on some relaxing music, make sure I’m warm and cosy and close my eyes while practising this visualisation. Yes I’m sure it sounds nuts but visualisation and meditation exercises helped me enormously when I was ill with candida so I definitely believe it helps.
Finally if you think you may be suffering internal dampness then I recommend seeking advice from a Chinese medicine expert or doing your own research.
Do you think you suffer from internal ‘dampness’? Do you have any suggestions to share? If so please click the ‘replies’ link at the top of this post.