How’s that for a click-bait title!? Haha!
But seriously. Years ago I noticed that when I stepped into professional mode and starting shooting anything, I would break out in a crazy sweat. It didn’t matter if it was 90 degrees or 30 degrees or what I was wearing. It didn’t matter how physical I was being during the shoot. I would just start sweating almost instantly and mostly from my head. It’s still really embarrassing!
It wasn’t until I really got into networking with others in the photography and creative industries that I discovered that I wasn’t the only one! Other photographers have reported the same experience when they work. And recently I even spoke to a makeup artist who experiences the same creative sweatiness!
I reached out to my favorite Acupuncturist Aliya Schulze to find out if there was an explanation for this biological phenomenon and here’s what she had to tell me:
In Chinese Medicine the body is made up of two main components including qi and blood. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is also known as the life force and is basically the part of the body that is alive but you cannot see or measure. Blood is the physical part of the body and makes up everything you can see and touch.
A fundamental principle in Chinese Medicine is that everything has an opposite – usually referred to as yin and yang. Just as yin is the opposite of yang, qi is the opposite of blood and both transform into one another. When you are using qi such as with creative focus, this yang energy transforms in the body to its opposite pair yin, which transforms to blood. This can manifest as sweating and often is profuse in nature and appears on the forehead.
Qi (Creative Energy) = Yang à Yin = Blood (Sweat)
In other words, the intense creative focus I use while shooting a photography session is the result of a basic physiological process that makes me look like I’m sweaty and nervous, but is quite normal. So when you are working with photographers or other creative professionals and you notice they are extra sweaty, just know that it’s because they are pouring themselves into their work. And if you can, turn the AC up a notch for them, they’ll appreciate it!
Special thanks to Aliya from ZenMed Acupuncture for the information. Check her out for all of your acupuncture needs!