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Treating Allergies and Hay Fever with Chinese Medicine
ian rawlinson and oliver td
It is well known that Sonoma County is an especially bad area for people who suffer from hay fever and allergies. Many people who have never suffered from this condition find that they start to have allergies when they move into the county. Common causes for hay fever are plant pollens, household dust, molds and animal dander.

Hay fever varies a great deal from one person to another. The most common symptoms are sneezing, itching eyes and nose, and a watery nasal discharge. For many people symptoms are worse in the spring, while others are plagued during the summer or autumn months. It is a debilitating and exhausting illness and can make life miserable for many months of the year. Fortunately, hay fever can be treated effectively with Chinese Medicine. A combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs can either greatly reduce or completely resolve the condition.
Causes of Hay Fever
From the perspective of acupuncture and Chinese herbs there can be several underlying reasons why hay fever occurs. In Chinese medicine the diagnosis is made according to a number of distinguishing features such as whether the patient's condition is predominantly hot or cold. A hot type of hay fever includes symptoms of red and inflamed eyes and a colored mucus discharge. Conversely, a cold condition includes symptoms of a clear nasal discharge and a sensitivity to cold. Different herbs and acupuncture treatment are given according to which category of hay fever the patient's symptoms fit.
Acupuncture Treatment
Initially in treatment local acupuncture points may be used to help reestablish the flow of the vital life force or chi. Points may be used where there is the greatest discomfort. The treatment principle is to open the congested area to enable the chi to flow easily. Sometimes there may be an energetic block between two meridians. Several meridians either start or end around the sinuses. Inserting very fine needles into these points helps to ensure that the chi can flow easily between the meridians.
Herbs
There are many different herbal remedies that can be used to alleviate hay fever. One formula that can be very helpful is Bi Yan Pien. This formula contains herbs that are effective in clearing either hot or cold conditions. One of the herbs in this formula, Xanthuim, is especially effective in opening the nasal passages. Another herb included is Forysthia, which has a cooling effect and contributes to clearing heat from the sinuses and killing infections.
Treating the Cause of Allergies
acupuncutre illustration-man showing three heater
Chinese medicine also examines the underlying nature of the patient's condition and aims to treat the fundamental cause of the illness rather than simply alleviating the symptoms. Whether the allergy is hot or cold in nature, it can arise simply because the patient's vital life energy or chi has become depleted or out of balance in some way. Long term treatment would be directed towards discovering the underlying cause and rebalancing and strengthening the chi.
Home Remedy
A home remedy which complements acupuncture treatment and herbs is to irrigate the sinuses with a saline solution to help keep the sinuses clear and to fight infection.

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