Press Here… for Hay Fever
Chinese medicine links seasonal allergies with an energetic deficiency in one or more of the organ systems: Kidneys, Liver, Lung or Stomach. For example, itchy eyes are related to the Liver system, while a runny nose and stuffy chest point towards the Lung system. With the Kidneys being at the root of all energy in the body, and the Stomach affecting our ability to take up nourishment, deficiencies in these can propagate to other systems.
Acupuncture is popular for the prevention and management of hay fever. In clinic, we work on the root cause as well as the symptoms if it’s too late for prevention. Some home-care tips if you are trying to avoid over-the-counter medications:
- Conserve your energy in winter so you have enough left when you transition into spring. Hay fever symptoms will most likely be linked with the organ system left most deficient by the end of winter. This is why when nature slows down, so should you. Don’t overdo it. Go to bed earlier when the days get shorter. This advice might be too late for this season, but keep it in mind for next winter.
- Strengthen your energy. Receiving acupuncture for a boost before the season starts can help prevent hay fever or reduce intensity of symptoms. But it’s also up to you: work on strengthening your Kidney system, for example by having bone broth.
- Clean up your diet and optimise your digestion. Avoid dairy and refined carbohydrates. Limit cold and raw foods. Add ginger and cinnamon to your diet, and click here for a list of antihistamine foods and herbs. Look into probiotics – consider a daily spoonful of good quality sauerkraut or other fermented foods or drinks.
- Use a neti pot daily during bad allergy times. A nasal rinse will remove excess mucous, allergens and germs from your nose. Some swear by it for prevention too.
- Change your clothes when you come home and wash your hands, especially before you eat. When you’re out, pollen can easily attach to you with a little gust of wind. Sunglasses will offer your eyes some extra protection.
- Relax with a cup of mint tea with raw local honey. Firstly, because it can clear some of the irritation from the skin and lungs, but also because calming the mind will also be beneficial at a time when your defenses are on hyper alert.
- Practise acupressure. Liver 3 is an easy and effective point for home care, although general body points are best advised by your acupuncturist, according to your main imbalance. But you can start with the six local points in the image, to open your sinuses. You should feel your breathing ease. Remember you only press gently, what you want is to make contact.
1 – Large Intestine 20, either side of the nostrils: little fingers press as if aiming for opposite eyes,
2 – Stomach 2, below the centre of the eye: ring fingers press slightly down towards the mouth, and
3 – Bladder 2, at the inner end of the eyebrow: middle fingers press upwards, towards the top of the head.
Click here for more acupressure tips for allergy relief.