Seasonal Advice

Seasons, climate and diseases

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The external and internal factors and irregular climates as a main cause of disease:

Humors accumulation and pacifications seasons

The natural seasonal climate change helps increase and decrease the taste and quality of the food and temperature. Therefore seasons accumulate the humors that share the same qualities and make them decrease when their quality and temperature are opposite. The general aspect of this phenomenon shows the three stages of accumulation, manifestation and pacification throughout a year. These stages are called gsog ldang-gzhigsum in Tibetan. For example seasons dominated by the fire element, like summer and autumn, could increase the temperature of the fire energy of the food and increase its quality. Dominant water and wind elements produce a cold season like summer in Asia and winter in Europe that can respectively increase the Wind and Phlegm humors. Therefore the climate is a very powerful factor for health. Not paying attention to the seasonal changes and one’s own constitution, but only following a diet and behavior based on one’s desires, could make increase or decrease the humors that can lead to disease. This process is called ‘accumulation stages‘

For instance:

Wind humor

The Wind humor accumulates in late spring as the qualities of the body, food, and season all change to a rough and light nature and then increase the Wind humor. But the sharpness and oiliness of the spring sunrays suppress Wind and does not allow it to manifest. In Asia, the accumulation of the Wind humor will manifest mainly through psychological, emotional and other psychosomatic symptoms principally during the rainy season. In Europe these symptoms are generally manifested by cold and chilly weather like in late autumn and winter. Wind humor is naturally pacified in autumn in Asia and in late summer and beginning of autumn in Europe, by the oily and sharp sun quality that reduces the wind energy.

Bile humor

The Bile humor accumulates in the summer through the qualities of the body, food, and season natures; their quality becomes oilier and sharper, and then it increases Bile. However, the summer dampness and humidity suppresses the Bile and does not allow it to manifest its symptoms. The Bile accumulation will manifest in autumn (late summer and autumn in Europe) by sun stimulation of the Bile quality. The symptoms mainly manifest through nausea, bad digestion, headache, and other Bile symptoms. The Bile is naturally pacified in winter by the winter cooling and heavy water energy that reduces the Bile heat.

Phlegm humor

The Phlegm humor is accumulated on the two winter seasons (especially later winter) by the quality of body nature, food, and season; they all have a more Phlegm increasing nature. The external coldness concentrates the Phlegm inside which all becomes like ice (energetically like solid) in body constituents. The coldness does not allow the Phlegm symptom to manifest because the liquid has become like solid. Phlegm will manifest itself in the upper spring season under the influence of the sharp and warm sunrays that melt the winter-iced phlegm like melting a glacier. The symptoms may show for instance as rheumatism, arthritis, weak circulation and poor digestion. Phlegm will be naturally pacified in the later spring season by the sun and food qualities whose heat, oiliness, and sharpness dry the Phlegm humidity.

Irregular climate change (Namdus-minyomspa)

Unusual weather or irregular climate change may be very unfortunate for the health. Generally it is changed by means of the human being’s unawareness on the environment. For example the weather is already so much changed and it is still changing with the various industrial works, greenhouses, electric smog, wars, ecological disturbances such as modifying river channels, new dams building, etc. It could be a cause of very profound change in the rhythm of seasonal law, world temperature and individual health. It is a powerful instrument that could lead to deforestation and famine. Everyday petrol and benzene are burned, used by cars, machines, and industries, and millions of barrels of oils are taken out from the desert countries; we are burning and destroying our own motherland; the place where we were born, where we live, eat, and survive. Oils are like our body fats that should be the reserved energy that protects the fertile soil. An over consumption of the oils consumes the world energy, which will suffer from famine, draught, infertility, calamities and irregular seasons. The poor energy circulates through the underground earth channels and manifests draught and unusual weather and climate that produce malnutrition and diseases. Many people should protect the natural resources because there is a reason behind that[1]. Minerals, metals and oils are the mystic power of Mother Earth and they sustain the life of the beings and of organic matters. A Buddhist prediction in cosmology and metaphysics says:

At the last, the world will burn and be destroyed by seven suns”[2].

It probably does not mean that in future seven suns will arise at the same time in the sky, but it might mean that the temperature will increase and become seven times stronger than at the present time. Scientists, geologists, meteorologists and climatologists’ alarm call about global warming is the sign of the new negative development of the future.

The Tibetan medicine’s concerns about the unusual climate change in the world or local area is that it could bring serous consequences to health. For example, if the winter becomes warm and summer cold, it could disturb the body rhythms and humors, and so produce unusual disease, or it could lead the body to lose the immune system strength due to bad energy cycles. It could also bring natural calamities and disasters that ancient ancestors believed to be the result of evil spirits provocation[3], and that may manifest in the form of microbe infections, fever, bacteria etc. and produce aggressive animals and psychology changing phenomena for the human being.

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  • [1] During the time of the 13th Dalai Lama, the former Tibetan government attempted to explore the oils exploitation, but local people opposed the project because it could be the cause of ecological damage and bring disaster to the health of people and agriculture. In a health point of view, this can be seen as wisdom and great knowledge on ecology instead of lack of understanding. See Shakapa’s “Political history of Tibet, p. 49-51 vol-1” pub. by Tibetan cultural printing press, Dharamsala H.P. India 1986
  • [2] Outer Kalachakra and Abhidharma
  • [3] Tibetan Medicine describes that microbes and viruses (gNyen) infections are provoked by spirits.
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