Hay Fever (Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis)
With a change of season around the corner, we are coming into the summer while some of us are looking forward to the sunshine and holidays for people who suffer from hay fever it can be a dreaded time of the year.
Hay fever is an allergic response to different allergens including pollen, cigarette smoke, chemicals, dust, food and chlorine. The allergens start an immune response in the body leading to too produce antibodies. The antibodies fight’s the invasion of the allergen but a side effect of the process results in the release of a variety of chemicals into the body including histamines. The histamines cause the allergic response in the body resulting in irritation in the nose and the lining of the sinus cavities.
The symptoms of hay fever can include:
- Head cold
- A runny nose or nasal congestion,
- Eye irritation
- Itching in the nose or eyes
- Post-Nasal Drip
- Facial Pressure or Pain
- Stress can also have an effect on your body’s auto-immune response which can exacerbate hay fever symptoms.
- Hay fever can also trigger more serious conditions such as Sinusitis and Asthma.
Acupuncture is part of the system of Chinese Medicine which can be used to relieve both the symptoms and treat the underlying imbalance of a disorder. Chinese Medicine sees the causes of the allergies as an imbalance within the body. Imbalances in the body can be caused by environmental factors, stress, poor diet and nutrition, hormonal changes and emotional factors. Treating both the cause and symptoms can increase the chances of success. Conventional western medicine in the case of hay fever treats the symptoms use antihistamines, decongestants, steroids and nasal sprays can relieve the symptoms but does not treat the underlying cause.
During an acupuncture treatment the lung and large intestine channels is the focus of the treatment to boost the bodies Wei qi (Defensive qi) and ease the symptoms. The channels are also paired and a block in either channel can impact on the other. Two acupuncture points that are frequently used during a treatment for hay fever is LI 20 and Lu. 7.
LI 20 is located on the face in the nation-labial groove on either side of the nose. If you smile, then move your finger outward from the base of your nose and you will feel the point when you reach your cheek bone. Massaging this point can alleviate symptoms.
Things to Try
- Patrick Holford recommends consuming high quantities of 2 Mg -4 Mg Vitamin C (preferably in powdered form) which can improve your immune response and is anti-inflammatory which leads to immediate improvements.
- Eat some raw garlic to help build your immunity
- Butterbur supplementation
- Increase your consumption of foods high in vitamin C such as strawberries, peppers and broccoli.
- Eat local honey
- Maintain an allergen free environment
- Use natural cleaning products such as baking soda and vinegar
- Have a shower and change your clothes after being exposed to any substances that may be causing the problem. E.g. after being exposed to smoke, gardening
- Steaming may alleviate symptoms e.g. in the shower, putting your head over a bowl or using a facial sauna.
- Avoid going for walks in the morning when the pollen count is highest
- Avoid wheat, dairy and alcohol
- Identify any food allergies or intolerances
- Reduce stress levels through meditation, taking time to relax and ensure you get enough sleep
- Reflexology can reduce your stress levels, improve your immune response and support your respiratory system to reduce the symptoms of hay fever. During a session, the therapist will work on specific reflexes including the adrenals, ears, nose and throat, lungs. The treatment improves blood circulation and encourages the body to eliminate toxins.
For more information on how acupuncture or reflexology can help you feel free to contact me by telephone or email.
Sources of Information:
Halford, P. (2014) ‘Good Medicine Safe, Natural Ways to Solve Over 75 Common Health Problems’ UK: Piatkus
http://www.acupuncture.com/Conditions/hayfever.htm Article by Solveig Nielsen-Brown
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for information purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a medical practitioner. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine.