Hay fever, Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture.
Seasonal Rhinitis, or Hay fever is a common problem that people are experiencing more frequently. Hay fever is a group of symptoms that is often seasonal or perennial and includes sneezing, sinus congestion, runny nose, red or itchy eyes, nose or throat, and foggy headedness. In modern medicine Hay fever is often attributed to tree pollens (in Spring), grass pollens (in Summer) and weed pollens (in Autumn). Sometimes spores of various kinds, dust mites and funguses can cause irritation that is also labelled Hay fever or Allergic Rhinitis.
Hay fever can impact both men and women and start at any age. It can be common amongst young children and teenagers as well as suddenly developing in adults. The main method of western medicine intervention with Hay fever is to prescribe antihistamines which are readily available over the counter and can cause a wide range of side effects in some people including drowsiness. People seek out alternatives to treat Hay fever for a number of reasons ranging from antihistamines no longer working as tolerance builds up within their system to the side effects of antihistamines. Acupuncture is an amazing tool to help with Hay fever and produces excellent results.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been treating Hay fever for thousands of years. As with all illnesses, Traditional Chinese Medicine works holistically treating the whole person including the symptoms and underlying causes of the illness. Hay Fever within the TCM framework can be divided into a number of sub categories and we often find disharmonies within the Stomach, Lungs, Kidneys or Liver systems. As everyone presents slightly differently with Hay Fever it is important to try and work out what symptoms you present with. The following table can help you narrow down what organ systems are not functioning correctly within yourself.
|The Spleen is one of the organs responsible for a healthy digestion. When this organ is out of balance phlegm or mucous can accumulate. Building up the digestive Spleen (and stomach) systems can prevent the accumulation of mucous within the digestive system which is then sent up to the Lungs lodging in the sinuses.|
|Lungs||The nose relates to the Lung organ system and if it is out of balance you can have a runny or stuffy nose, cough, tightness in your chest, itchy nasal passages or painful/sore sinuses.|
|Kidneys||Hay fever often occurs during the spring time and the Kidney organ system is associated with the Winter months. If your Kidneys are weak you can get reoccurring colds/flus, are generally run down or the type of person that burns the candle at both ends this can weaken your Kidneys. The weakness during the winter time can flow over into the spring months with a lower immunity and therefor make a person more susceptible to Hay Fever symptoms during Spring.|
Traditionally it is said that Liver blood moistens the eyes. If you have liver disharmonies you may have red, itchy, watery or irritated eyes.
So what can you do to help yourself with Hay Fever?
The first port of call would be to come see a registered practitioner so they can holistically diagnose you and give you accurate advice and treatment.
- Acupuncture is amazing at relieving the symptoms of Hay Fever almost immediately. Most people only need a few treatments to notice a huge difference with their symptoms. This allows people to reduce medications, or simply have an extended symptom free time. I often recommend people come in the month prior to their normal Hay Fever season, as this can throw off their Hay Fever all together.
- Pre-Made Chinese Herbal Formulas are excellent between treatments and will help eliminate symptoms without any side effects. I have often recommended the China Med Hay Fever formula which is in capsule form and easy to take during the day.
- Diet is really important to help with Hay Fever. This is especially important during the Winter months prior to spring. Avoiding cold and raw foods as much as you can, this includes cold drinks and raw fruit / vegetables, coffee and alcohol. Traditionally in China during the Winter months you would eat cooked foods and warming foods to counteract the cold of the Winter and boost your Spleen and Stomach system.
- Chinese Massage over specific acupuncture points can offer temporary relief.
- Massaging, pressing and rubbing around the nose can temporarily relieve the symptoms of itchy eyes and nose including points such as Large Intestine 20 and Bi Tong (slightly higher at the bridge of your nose) can offer some relief.
- The point Large Intestine 4 between your thumb and pointer finger has an excellent action influencing anything on the face and is useful as a more distal point.
- Yin Tang between your eyebrows and massaging along your eyebrows (frontal sinuses) can help if you have itchy eyes or if you find you have pressure or pain along your eyebrows.
- Another great point is Du 23 which has an internal link to your nose. To find this point go along the middle of your face up from Yin Tang and just a tad inside your hair line and massage that area.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can have fantastic results with Hay Fever, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us at Mornington Chinese Medicine for further advice. Hay Fever is something you should never have to suffer through as there are so many fantastic and natural options to help prevent the symptoms from occurring.
To book an appointment with Simon Altman or to discuss how acupuncture can assist you with hayfever relief you can call us at the clinic on 5973-6886
Simon is available Monday 2pm-8pm and Saturday 9am-2pm and treats both adults and children.
Acupuncture point diagrams are used with permission and from the fantastic book by
Peter Deadman called A Manual of Acupuncture.