Traditional Chinese medicine pays close attention to the yearly seasonal changes and the effects they have on your health. Spring represents a time of growth, movement and change. Moving from the harsh features of winter into spring can be a positive force revitalising your energy. However, not all that spring brings is as cheerful as the early morning chirping song birds. Victoria was called ‘The Garden State’ for a reason….With the many beautiful trees (full of pollen) and spring typically being windy, many suffer the nasty symptoms of hay fever.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever, or rhinitis, is an allergic reaction to pollen or dust. It causes a histamine response by the body which elicits the unpleasant and annoying symptoms of sneezes, a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, not to mention headaches and sinus congestion.
You can temporarily treat these symptoms with anti-histamines and nasal decongestants and they may just make getting through the day bearable. But there are some Chinese medicine approaches which can help prevent the hay fever attacks from occurring in the first place. Pardon the cliche, but prevention is always better than the cure. In fact, the best time to start preventative treatments is in autumn and winter before spring and hay fever springs on you!
Both acupuncture and Chinese herbs can with great benefits be used to strengthen the immune system and thereby treat the root cause of the hay fever as well as alleviate the nasty symptoms.
Avoid the Annoying ‘A-A-Achoo’ with Acupuncture
There are several specific acupuncture points used to treat hay fever. They are located close to the sinus cavities and on the hands and feet. Acupuncture is a fantastic pain free and drug free treatment. As little as one or two acupuncture treatments can often deliver great relief.
Some Common Sense
- Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration places significant stress on the body and may exacerbate hay fever symptoms.
- According to Chinese medicine, environmental wind can cause undue pressure on the sinus cavities. Avoid being out in the wind excessively, particularly if there is a lot of flora blossoming and the pollen count is high.
- If you’re suffering from sneezing and itchy eyes, try flushing the nostrils and washing the eyes with a mild saline solution. This will help prevent any further discomfort and avoid a possible sinus infection.
Later in spring heading towards summer when the weather begins to get a little warmer, try drinking chrysanthemum or peppermint tea, particularly in the afternoon. These herbs are cooling, will nourish and calm your liver, help keep you hydrated and calm some of the most common hay fever symptoms.
Gardenvale Traditional Chinese Medicine
Here is an interesting systematic review which demonstrates the positive results for acupuncture treating allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: A systematic review and meta-analysisAuthors: Feng, Shaoyan; Han, Miaomiao; Fan, Yunping; Yang, Guangwei; Liao, Zhenpeng; Liao, Wei; Li, HuabinSource: American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy, Volume 29, Number 1, January/February 2015, pp. 57-62(6) Publisher: OceanSide Publications, Inc