It's the last day of July and spring is just around the corner, which means hayfever has started for some people. Usually when symptoms worsen that people seek alternative therapy for relieve from congestion, itchiness, runny nose, headache, profuse phlegm, cough and so on. Although Hayfever occurs just before and throughout spring, the best times to treat it is actually in WINTER and SUMMER.
Why is that?
In Chinese Medicine, hayfever is caused by a combination of pathogenic wind, cold and a compromised body system to respond to the pathogen correctly and fend the body from allergen attack. The main cause to hayfever is the body’s susceptibility to “cold”, and treatment is best in summer when the yang (or warm) energy is abundant. For others, there’s underlying internal conditions resulting in symptomatic changes as the weather warms up in spring, presenting hayfever symptoms along with sore throat and/or very itchy and inflamed skin. These “heat” symptoms improves in the cooler weathers, hence the best treatment is in winter.
Deciphering Chinese Medicine Classical Texts:
When there is “sufficient healthy-qi inside the body (then it) will prevent the invasion of pathogenic factors", and “when pathogenic factors accumulate, the body must be deficient in the healthy-qi”. The immune system (healthy qi) is weakened due to an imbalance and weakness of the internal body system. When improper clothing is worn during winter (such as low-neck tops, not enough layering etc), you are allowing wind-cold energies (pathogenic factors) to enter the body and further damage the healthy-qi.
The lung plays an important role of distribution and working with the healthy-qi. Since “the lung opens to the nose”, then if lung (qi) is “…depleted, then the nose will be blocked, and the breath does not flow freely, with shortness of breath”. The lung and kidney have a close inter-promoting relation and assist one another in respiration, therefore prolonged illness “in the kidneys…causes sneezing”.
Thirdly, improper diet (such as eating ice-cream while sitting in front of the heater during winter) will affect the digestive system in generating proper nourishments to assist in making the lung and immune system strong.
Therefore, hayfever is not only caused by external factors such as pollen from grass, trees, flowers and weeds. There is also an imbalanced internal body system and it affects the immune system. As a result, its defence mechanism becomes hyperactive. For this reason, treatment of hayfever in Chinese Medicine is to “strengthening the body resistance, and expel pathogens” simultaneously.
What should you do now?
Prevention is always less complicated than dealing with fully manifested hayfever symptoms!
Fortunately, there’s still one month left before spring. So it’s best to make the most of it before hayfever season really kicks in. Let’s boost the positive energy in the body and maintain a clear nasal cavity for this year’s upcoming spring. You can speak to us or visit a Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture clinic near you.