Chinese Medicine for Hay Fever Allergy season is in full swing, which means you may be stuck home feeling completely run down feeling like you just came down with the world’s worst cold right in the middle of the summer. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis is something that affects so many people this time of year, and it can certainly interfere with your overall quality of life. Chinese Medicine for hay fever offers a natural treatment methods that aim to get to the root cause of hay fever. Let’s take a closer look at what hay fever is, what causes it, and then some different remedies to help treat it, so you don’t have to suffer every time allergy season comes around. What is Hay Fever & What Causes it? Hay fever can lead to some of the same symptoms as a common cold such as a runny nose, sneezing, and sinus pressure. However, the difference is the hay fever isn’t caused by a viral infection, it is caused by an allergy to an environmental allergen such as pollen and dust mites. 90% of hay fever cases are related to pollen from trees and, while many people may opt for allergy relief pills to help treat symptoms, this approach fails to treat the root cause. Symptoms of Hay Fever Some of the most common symptoms of hay fever include:
Itchy or red eyes
Feeling run down and fatigued
Western vs. Chinese Medicine Perspective When Treating Hay Fever Western Medicine A western medicine approach to treating hay fever revolves around the belief that there is no cure available, and that allergy-relief pills can be taken as a way to help reduce symptoms. These medications include:
Antihistamines or Decongestants: Antihistamines can provide relief from symptoms but does not treat the root cause so hay fever may very well return the following allergy season. Decongestants simply reduce the amount of congestion until the medication wears off.
Nasal Sprays: Narrows blood vessels, reduces inflammation and swelling and can help relieve hay fever symptoms.
Chinese Medicine When using a Chinese Medicine approach to treating hay fever, it’s all about treating the root cause instead of just masking a symptom. In TCM theories, hay fever is related to Qi deficiency in spleen, lung and kidney; Because of its deficiency, the body is susceptible to environmental pathological factors (including wind, air, sun, and heat). As the immune system is reacting to an allergen, hay fever symptoms will present themselves, which are manifestations of the body trying to push excessive allergens out of the body, that can potentially cause illness to our body, e.g. cold, heat, wind and damp. Lung Qi nourishes blood and controls flow of fluid through the body (between skin and muscles include nasal mucus). When there is a weakness of lung Qi, body’s immunity becomes deficient. This deficiency can lead to a failure to expel pathogenic factors from invading from outside, cold and dampness caused mucus blockages occurs through the nose. Did You Know Even Stress Can Affect Hay Fever? Stress can lead to all kinds of imbalances in the body, with stress provoking an immune response that leads to an outbreak of symptoms, includes hay fever. “In TCM, stress is said to block Qi and Blood flow in your body. “ There have been studies done that have shown that those who suffered from hay fever and had high levels of stress had even more severe hay fever symptoms. While reducing your stress may not completely eliminate your seasonal allergies, it may help to lessen the symptoms.
Natural Chinese Medicine For Hay Fever While allergy season can be one of the hardest times of the year for hay fever sufferers, you don’t have to suffer all season long. There are so many natural remedies to help treat hay fever that you can implement into your healthy lifestyle.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is great, and there has been extensive academic research that has proven the effectiveness of acupuncture for so many different things, including hay fever. So, how does it work? Stimulating acupuncture points can help enhance Qi and blood, clearing away dampness, activating blood circulation in nose, eliminating stasis and regulating Qi. It not only provide relief of symptoms, may also prevent hay fever at the same time. Some people see a difference after just one session!
Acupressure: Similar to acupuncture, acupressure involves applying pressure to acupoints on the body’s meridians, and acupressure may be very beneficial for those suffering from allergy symptoms like sinus pressure.
Herbs to strengthen the immune system and treat the symptoms: There are also quite a few herbs that can be very beneficial for strengthening the immune system and treating hay fever symptoms.
The Bottom Line Allergy season can be rough for allergy sufferers, and it can make you want to stay inside all spring and summer. However, if you can get to the root cause of what’s causing your allergies, then you won’t be reliant on allergy reducing medications every single year. Consider taking a Chinese Medicine approach to combating your hay fever symptoms this year. You may be surprised to find that not only will these natural approaches ease symptoms, but you may not be hit with as many allergy symptoms this time next year.
Not sure how these treatments work? Let our Acupuncturist/TCM specialist explain to you.