Excess heat is an imbalance where the internal body climate has too much heat in it. This may be an imbalance that happens in the entire body or is isolated to a specific part of the body or organ. Excess heat may occur because of dehydration, hot weather or intense emotions.
-Spicy, fried or hot food and drinks
-Smoking (cigarettes, hookah, marijuana)
Excess Heat itself is not a concept from western medicine although there are a couple diagnoses that are related to conditions of excess heat in the body – for example fever and heat stroke .
There is also the social concept of excess heat in the body recognized in expressions such as “hot blooded” “hot tempered” “hot head” “fiery temper” “runs hot” and the like.
The concept of Excess Heat correlates to TCM patterns with Heat, Blood Heat, Toxic Heat, Summer Heat. The imbalance Excess Heat is a simplified concept that does not designate where the Heat is located or what the cause of it is — for example full or empty, kidney deficiency heat, which organ system.
-Cool the body down
Effective. It may work alone, however, it is important to eliminate the source of the imbalance so that the problem does not continue.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Steam, though warm, helps trapped excess heat to escape from under the surface of the skin by opening up the skin pores and letting the heat out. This is similar to natural processes the body uses to cool down such as sweating (heat evaporation using water from the body) and a fever (increase in blood flow to the external skin layer to release internal heat through radiation).
key words: thermoregulation, vasodilation
WHAT TO EXPECT
People often report an immediate decline in severity of symptoms. After one to two months the symptoms may resolve entirely – however this depends on if the source of the excess heat is eliminated (see helpful practices and food therapy recommendations). If the source of the issue is not resolved weekly steaming can still be helpful for managing the severity of excess heat.
STEAM THERAPIST RECOMMENDATION
It is helpful to work with a practitioner to find out the right steam setup, duration and herbs. A Peristeam Facilitator can help with this. Usually someone with excess heat would never steam longer than 10 min duration, would not steam with an electric burner and would use the cooling herb formula (though they may need the hemostatic herb formula instead). In some cases the duration might even be shorter.
Steaming three times in a row and then weekly is a great schedule. If not seeing results with this schedule it would be recommended to have a consultation with a Peristeam Hydrotherapist.
For best results dedicate three full months to steaming and following all of the additional recommendations.
-Herbal Bath with Cooling Herbs
-Reduce any Coffee, Hot Yoga, Hot tubs, Alcohol, Smoking and other things that make the body hot
-Moisturing/Cooling Food Guidelines (hydrate, eat 50% fruit and veggies, yin tonics)
-Reduce Coffee/Alcohol/Spicy Foods
STEAM FACILITATOR (Peristeam Facilitator)
Important for getting the right steam setup, herbs and duration.
STEAM THERAPIST (Peristeam Hydrotherapist)
If general steaming does not help, a consultation with a Steam Therapist is recommended.
Acupuncture is a great add-on for naturally trying to correct the Excess Heat imbalance. Needling helps heat escape the body and internal herbs help to cool the body down.