By Carrie Tanenbaum, LAc
many people spring and summer are seasons for allergies. Allergies, or allergic
rhinitis, are due to an over-reactivity of the immune system to certain
allergens. During spring and summer, allergies are generally induced by
wind-born tree, grass or weed pollen, and can cause such symptoms as: sneezing;
nasal congestion; runny nose; watery, itchy, or red eyes; headaches; fatigue;
and sometimes coughing and wheezing. When allergens and antibodies react in
individuals with allergic rhinitis, their nasal mucosa becomes swollen and may
obstruct drainage from the sinuses causing sinusitis in many people. Thus, sinus
infections are a frequent complication and consequence of allergic rhinitis.
While spring and summer are the seasons of the year that bring us outdoors,
many people are unable to enjoy these warmer months due to uncomfortable
symptoms. Chinese medicine can help bring relief of symptoms, correct imbalances
of the immune system, prevent the occurrence of infection, and allow healing of
tissues of the sinuses.
From a Chinese point of view, allergic rhinitis is due to a deficiency of the
Lung and Kidney's Defensive-Qi systems, combined with retention of chronic
"Wind" in the nose.
Allergic rhinitis often starts in early childhood, with a constitutional
weakness, but it may also start later in life, with a progressive decline of
Kidney-Qi. Lung and Kidney Qi Deficiency is the root of the problem, therefore,
with herbal medicine and acupuncture we strengthen and nourish these organs. The
manifestation of the disease is Wind invading the Lung channel in the nose. This
accounts for the acute attacks. With herbs and acupuncture, we clear the Wind,
reduce congestion, and open the nasal passages. It is necessary to treat both
the root and the manifestation in order to produce lasting results.
The Western treatment of allergic rhinitis relies mostly on the use of
antihistamine agents. Unfortunately, antihistamines only treat the
manifestations of the disease and not the root. In addition, they cause side
effects such as dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, dryness and
Chinese medicine offers allergy sufferers a way to strengthen their bodies
and significantly reduce their symptoms, without unpleasant side effects. You do
not have to spend another season living with allergies.