We all know that we can feel ‘under the weather’ at times, but does the weather really affect the way we feel and can it make us feel sexier?
Modern western medicine has been slow to catch up on the weather/health link, but the influence of weather is considered vital to the understanding of human health in many ancient healthcare systems, such as traditional Chinese and Indian medicine (commonly known as Ayruveda). In some parts of the world, such as Germany, doctors daily consult weather bulletins to help them to advise their patients with headaches and asthma.
Here in the UK, the Met Office is currently working with the NHS to help hospitals predict how many patients they may have to treat. It is well known that extreme heat and cold can impact upon our health, affecting blood pressure, respiratory problems such as asthma and circulatory conditions.
We still do not understand why people are sensitive to weather changes, but it seems to affect women more than men, the chronically ill, children and the elderly. For many of us, the effects of changes in the weather are more subtle. We all have days where we cannot concentrate, when we are more accident prone, when our joints ache, we can’t sleep or have a headache.
Very hot or stormy weather can cause the body to produce hormones that increase anxiety, impair judgement and reduce concentration. This may be as a result of electrical changes in the atmosphere affecting the moisture content. Often people find that if they have a scar, it will feel itchy or twinge. People who have arthritis can often predict the onset of a storm because of the way that changes in atmospheric pressure and humidity causes a release of chemicals within the body which exacerbate inflammation, making their joints ache, swell and feel painful.
A 2007 study conducted in USA found that the number of babies born nine months after a low severity storm rose, whereas the same did not happen after a blizzard or blackout. There is a sexual condition called fulgarophilia, an extreme sexual excitement that comes specifically from lightning.
This condition is rare, but we may feel more sexy during a lightning storm due to the feeling of immense power that a storm creates. Some people love the adrenalin of watching huge lightning strikes crackle across the sky, or it may make them feel more protective of their loved ones who may be feeling frightened, giving them a sense of power.
Many films portray storms as increasing sexual tension with characters kissing during a violent storm or in the pouring rain. Remember Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell at the end of ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’!