Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?
Allergies are an overreaction by the body’s immune system to a certain substance. The body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. An anti-inflammatory reaction takes place in an attempt to eject the substance from the system. The irritant or allergen can be pollen, dust, mold, pet hair, or certain chemical products like perfume.
You can imagine that by triggering the immune system, your body is working in overdrive to defend against these allergens which also leaves your more susceptible to illness.
Some common symptoms of hay fever are:
- itchy & red eyes
- itchy & runny nose
- nasal congestion
In Chinese medicine, the body’s protective later, our defense mechanism against outside influence is called ‘wei qi’, and connects with the lungs.
The lungs are responsible for proper function of the entire respiratory tract.
Because of this, it is important to boost or build up the lungs before you are exposed to allergens. Acupuncture helped with allergy symptoms by calming the body’s exaggerated immune response.
Ideally, acupuncture treatments are started 4-6 weeks before allergy season. Of course, if your allergy season has already begun or if you are allergies all year round, then starting treatment immediately can still provide great relief. And if you are currently taking allergy medications, then acupuncture and herbs can help wean you from them.
One of the ways you can prepare for allergy season is by consuming tonifying or immune boosting herbs 1-2 months before.
Before and during allergy season, herbs like astragalus (huang qi) or atractylodes (bai zhu) can be steeped to make a nourishing tea that boosts immunity.
During allergy season, herbs like magnolia flower bud (xin yi hua) are great for nasal congestion or chrysanthemum flowers (ju hua) for itchy eyes.
Quercetin is a natural antihistamine and can be found at any vitamin store.
Try using a neti pot daily and eucalyptus essential oil in the bathtub to clear out the sinuses.
Spring time is coming and It is possible to enjoy the outdoors if you take some pre-emptive measures for your well-being.