By January 16, 2023
January might seem like an odd time to start thinking about allergies but as anyone with allergies will tell you, it’s important to stay ahead of the symptoms. The new life and the pollen that comes with it in the spring can bring about runny noses, itchy eyes, and labored breathing. So, the time to start strengthening your immunity and bring your body back into balance is now to prevent allergy symptoms in the future.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Pollen, Mold, and Dander Allergies
Seasonal allergies can present in the fall or the spring, depending on the types of trees, pollens, and weeds you are allergic to. Other allergies, such as those to animals or mold, can present themselves year-round when you are exposed to the irritant.
Allergy symptoms include:
- Sneezing and a runny or stuffy nose
- Itching of the nose, eyes, or roof of the mouth
- Watery, red, or swollen eyes
- Itching or hives on the skin
Treatment of Allergies in Western Medicine
Allergy treatment usually involves seeing an allergist to learn exactly what allergens are causing the reactions and then trying to avoid them. The use of antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays can work on mild symptoms but come with many annoying side effects. Some people may use immunotherapy (small exposure to the allergens over time) for chronic allergy treatments, but the benefits stop as soon as the treatment does. For more severe allergies to food and insect bites, doctors prescribe epinephrine injections to prevent more severe anaphylactic shock.
TCM and Acupuncture to Treat Seasonal Allergies
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs can be used to help relieve these symptoms. But more importantly, they can be used to boost the Wei Qi and immune health to prevent these allergies from causing symptoms to begin with. Our Wei Qi is our external protective energy, and it is best to begin strengthening it at least two months before allergy season begins.
External and Internal Immune Health
In TCM, there are external and internal factors in immune health. Our Wei Qi is affected by the wind in the spring coming into our lungs and causing our allergy symptoms. By strengthening our external Wei Qi, we can protect ourselves from allergens before the symptoms start.
To strengthen our Wei Qi, we need to eat a healthy diet, take the correct TCM herbs, and use breathing and acupuncture for the lungs and spleen.
Start with a Healthy TCM Diet
Begin with reducing your intake of dairy products, sugar, and wheat which are all common contributors to allergy symptoms. Also, add probiotics to promote good gut health and ginger and cinnamon to warm the inside of you. Avoid cold foods such as salad and raw vegetables. Indulge in healing foods that support the liver such as salmon, scallions, eggplant, and broccoli in the spring.
The Right Herbs to Keep Allergies at Bay
Everyone’s allergies are different, and you may need to take different herbs than your neighbor. But here are a few universal herbs that help with allergies. Ginger has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is also recommended for reducing nasal irritation and swelling caused by seasonal allergies.
Take a Few Deep Breaths
Help clear your lungs and balance your Qi with a deep breathing exercise. Sit on the floor and cross your legs. As you exhale, bend forward from the waist as much as possible. Place your hands on the floor for support as you raise your body upright to inhale. Hold your breath for 10 seconds before exhaling back down. Do this five times to regulate the Qi of the lungs.
Studies have shown that acupuncture can help relieve inflammation that causes allergy symptoms to worsen. I can also identify specific points on your body to relieve the facial and nasal symptoms by stimulating the very ends of the meridians where your Qi flows. Regular treatments can lessen allergy symptoms along with boosting immune health by reducing stress, improving mood, and helping you sleep better. This all strengthens the Wei Qi to better stop the allergens from affecting the body, to begin with.
Call today to set up an appointment so we can map out a plan to stop your seasonal allergies before the start!
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.