Since 1980, I’ve been involved with one occupation after another that requires intensive use of the eyes looking at data on a computer monitor. As I’ve gotten older, the use of monitor screens has only become more intensive for business and leisure, particularly since I started using an IPhone.
Okay, so now there are times when I suffer from night sweats that occur when the weather is at least mildly warm. These have occurred off and on for at least the last 10 years.
My night sweats, which only occur when asleep, can range from the skin of the whole body feeling moist to a having to change clothes 3-4 times per night because I would drench myself each time. The mattress cover would be so wet, I’d have to cover it with a towel to go back to sleep. Needless to say, it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient having your sleep disturbed this way.
Using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophy, one can make a connection between the chronic overuse of the eyes to a problem with having night sweats.
I’ll try to explain this concept in extra simplistic from as possible for a person not familiar with TCM and then give the basic Chinese herbal prescription.
In a form of TCM philosophy called “Five Element Theory”, there are 5 key organs in the body and each has a sense organ most closely associated with them:
1) Heart/Tongue (taste and speech)
2) Spleen/Mouth (appetite)
3) Lung/Nose (sense of smell)
4) Kidney/Ears (hearing)
5) Liver/Eyes (sight)
Because of this linkage, I can associate the overuse of the eyes to having an effect on the Liver.
It would help you to understand that the organs listed in TCM are not limited the Western physiological definition of the organs. Where Western medicine identified the Liver as a discrete organ, Eastern Medicine defines the “Liver” through thousands of years of empirical observations beginning with a human in the context of his or her environment (including things like the seasons, the stars, emotions, colors, and sounds, just to name a few).
A physiological connection can be understood through what is called the system of “meridians” or “channels” that course through the body via specific pathways, like energy highways that must be running in a well regulated manner for balanced health.
In ancient times, Chinese Taoist would meditate and observe a correlations between their knowledge of natural sciences and ultra keen observations. As a result, TCM has compile thousands of years of empirical data into a comprehensive medical system that includes herbs.
“Great,” you say, so why does one sweat due to a taxing of the liver?
This is because the liver, kidney and heart systems in chinese medicine have a substantial “yin” complexity in nature. “Yin” and “Yang” are dynamic opposites that are inherent in all entities and must be maintained in balance for good health. “Yin” is associated with moisture and calm while “Yang” is associated with movement and action (Yin and Yang are associated with a host of other things which I will not get into in this post).
Therefore, to tie up my point, the ability of the “Yin” to restrain the “yang” energy can result in the common symptom of night sweats.
In summary, taxing the eyes can put stress on the organs that are meant to produce calm at night and therefore a symptom of the imbalance occur through night sweating.
Congratulations to you if you read this far!
Speaking of herbs, here’s my self-prescription:
The way I treat this condition is to use a patent pill formula (Guang Ci Tang Brand) called Ming Mu Di Huang Wan. It is slightly different from the traditional formula but it works for me. It is a “Yin” tonifier (strengthener) with an emphasis on eye health.
FYI, for those of you interest in Chinese herbs:
Shu Di Huang
Shan Zhu Yu
Mu Dan Pi
Gou Qi Zi
Shi Jue Ming
(if you are interested in dosages of the traditional formula, refer to “Formulas & Strategies” by Bensky and Barolet or you can leave a comment and I will post it).