• Seasonal Allergies

    Seasonal Allergies

    © article written by @siobhanseville, Clinical Director at Dundrum Station House Acupuncture Clinic, @tcmireland

    Seasonal allergies

    Spring is here – the sun is shining, the temperature is getting warmer and outside everything is beginning to spring back to life.

    This is when, for some people, their seasonal allergies start to come to the forefront. Instead of enjoying the good things the spring brings, their head hurts, they are not feeling themselves and they wake up most mornings feeling as tired as when they went to bed.


    What is going on here?

    The body is working hard to deal with the allergies, even if your not displaying the symptoms.

    This is the time of year when nature is coming into full life, plants and flowers are growing and releasing pollen. The hedges and grass are growing so they are getting there first cut after the winter, sending the lying dust of winter into the spring winds. Our bodies can overreact producing substances to counteract allergens, including histamine.


    The cause of these allergies

    In Chinese Medicine, several patterns of disharmony are involved in the case of allergies. In all cases, Wind is part of the cause, usually combining with another pathogenic influence such as Wind / Dampness, Wind / Cold, or Wind / Heat.

    Typical from patterns involving Wind, these allergy symptoms often occur without warning. In seasonal allergies, such as hay-fever, the most common cause is Wind and Dampness. This combination together produces a sudden onset of symptoms including sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, runny or blocked nose, sore throat, and a heavy sensation in the head.


    Helping the body with appropriate dietary changes

    Food and drink intake plays an important part in helping to control seasonal allergies. Dairy products and cold foods all tend to increase the mucus, putting these types of food top of the list of foods to avoid during allergy season.

    When digestion is efficient, there is less of a tendency for mucus to build up. Simple herbal teas that contain dried chrysanthemum flowers and cassia seeds can help to lower the histamine production.

    Also recommended is a compound called Quercetin to reduce the histamine production. Quercetin is an flavonoid (plant pigment) commonly found in fruits and vegetables, especially onions, citrus, and apples. Other sources include dark berries, grapes, olive oil, green teas and red wine.


    Treatment with acupuncture

    It is quite effective to treat seasonal allergies with acupuncture. There is often a quick response and patients can get some relief during the first treatment while lying down with the acupuncture needles in place – especially from the head pressure/tension and the nose blockage.

    After an initial treatment, patients come in for “top-up treatments” on a need to basis. Some patients come back once or twice a year for a booster, or a few weeks before their usual onset of symptoms, while others may need to come for treatments more often.

    If you have any specific questions you want to ask us about your condition, signs and symptoms, please feel free to contact us by clicking here.


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