Allergies and Oriental Medicine
According to Chinese (Oriental) Medical theory, the symptoms and signs that indicate a Western diagnosis of allergies relate to imbalances in the meridian and organ systems of the body. These imbalances may stem from a variety of causes including; stress, poor diet, constitutional weakness, pollutants and environmental toxins.
Overtime, if imbalances remain within the body, they will affect the functioning of the organ systems and the production of Wei Qi. The correct quantity and quality of Wei Qi circulating in the body is necessary for staying healthy. Wei Qi is similar to the Western concept of the immune system. It functions to protect and defend the body against foreign substances, that if not caught can lead to illness or allergies. When Wei Qi is strong and abundant we remain healthy. If it is compromised then we become vulnerable to foreign invaders such as dust, mold, animal dander, bacteria, viruses and pollen.
Oriental Medicine, which includes acupuncture and herbs, supports and strengthens the systems of the body involved in the production of Wei Qi. By strengthen the Wei Qi and facilitating the smooth flow of it throughout the body, symptoms and signs related to allergies could be greatly reduced or eliminated.
Foods: Adding citrus foods like oranges, tangerines and grapefruit to your diet can help clear sinus passages. Cooking with coriander can help boost the immune system during allergy season. Remember to avoid dairy and rich oily foods.
Tips: Pressuring two common acupuncture points for 30 sec can help alleviate some allergy symptoms. Start with Large Intestine 20 located on both sides of your nostrils in the groove that forms when you smile, it relieves congestion. Then Gallbladder 20 located at the base of your skull either side of the spine in the natural indentation, it helps with headache. For symptom relief the herbal formula Bi Yan Pian can help nasal congestion. A neti pot can be helpful in keeping sinus passage clear and flushing out airborne allergens. Many Yoga poses boost the immune system; an especially useful pose is Garudasana, the eagle pose. It compresses the lymph nodes in the armpits and groin enhancing drainage through the lymph system of the body which supports the removal of allergens and toxins.
- From standing shift your weight onto the right leg.
- Bring the left leg up and cross the left thigh over the right.
- Hook the left foot around the right calf.
- Bring the arms out in front.
- Cross the right arm over the left and bring the palms to touch.
- Lift the elbows while keeping the shoulders sliding down the back.
- Hold 5-10 breaths.
- Repeat on the other side.
Beginners: If you have trouble with the balance, rest your backside on a wall. If you can’t hook the left foot around the right calf, put a block under the left foot instead.
During allergy season Oriental Medicine can help alleviate headaches, stuffy nose, itchy eyes & throat and other symptoms, helping you to enjoy life during the warmer months of the year.