Hay fever refers to allergic reaction of the nasal mucosa due to excessive sensitivity of the certain part of body to the allergen. It might occur all year round but mainly happens in Spring because pollens are the most common allergen.
There are a number of different ways to treat allergies with both Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Western Medicine generally uses anti-histamine tablets and nasal spray to treat this pathology, these can ease most of the symptoms but may not be so good at relieving the long term pathology. Antihistamine tablets may also have adverse and unwanted side effects.
To treat holistically, one needs to treat both the symptoms that irritate the patient, (red itchy eyes, constant sneezing, runny nose or blocked nose, sinus headache, disturbed sleep due to these symptoms,) and the root cause of the allergy, obviously to treat the root cause takes time and improvement is only seen from season to season, as the symptoms lessen, the immune system is strengthened. So a commitment from the patient is required.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can help a lot to cure hay fever from the root cause.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) understands allergies as a Qi deficiency. This deficiency is often related to a number of Zang fu organs, including: the Kidney, Liver, Lung and Stomach. The degree to which one of these organs is deficient will manifest in symptoms related to different organs. TCM understands that the eyes are the external gateway of the Liver, so a person with a healthy Liver always has healthy eyes. If your hay fever condition affects mostly your eyes, resulting in itchy, red, or watery symptoms, most likely your Liver is out of balance and not in harmony.
If you're someone with more symptoms related to your nose, it is always running or stuffy, or you have a frequent cough or tightness in the chest, these symptoms relate to the Lung organ being out of balance. Because hay fever occurs mainly in the Spring, sufferers do not connect its origins with the previous season of Winter. You may have had a busy Winter (had a few colds not rested enough) and weakened the Winter element (Kidney), therefore your overall health may have been compromised.
Traditional Chinese Medicine theory believes that one needs to live according to the seasons, therefore one must rest in Winter to prevent illness in Spring.
SOME USEFUL tips
- Acupuncture can restore and balance the function of the affected organs. Most patients need only a few treatments to see major improvements. This means that they can reduce the severity of the symptoms of remain symptom-free for the entire season without injections or drugs.
- Herbs: Chinese herbal formulas can help eliminate the acute symptoms without adverse side effects, and also be used to strengthen the body’s immune system.
- Qigong practice (energy-building postures and movements) and meditation are very beneficial because they help your organs to function at their peak, thereby conserving energy.
- Diet is also very important. Avoid cold and raw foods as much as you can throughout the year. Cold and raw foods have a cold essence that can impair the function of your Stomach, an organ that has an affinity for warm foods. Avoiding wheat, diary, alcohol and chocolate, which are known irritants, can also help.
- Making these changes can eventually help strengthen your Kidney Qi and address the root cause of your hay fever. By next Spring, you may find that amazing things have happened.