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Treating Allergies with Chinese Medicine

Updated: Mar 8, 2018

Learn some interesting Feng Shui, diet, and lifestyle tips for maintaining a healthy immune system and reducing your sensitivity to allergens.

Throughout the last century, our immune systems have been overwhelmed by the stress of modern life.  The various chemicals and pesticides that are being used in and around our bodies are beginning to take their toll.

This change has brought along with it various allergic symptoms from respiratory and skin problems such as hay-fever and eczema, to digestive disturbances.

In our clinical practice, we are seeing increasing numbers of patients suffering from such complaints.  After suffering through the symptoms, allergy shots, frequent use of antihistamines, and decongestants, many turn to us for help.

From a Chinese medical point of view, the immune system relies heavily on the lung or respiratory system, working in accordance with the digestive system.  The lung network is responsible for our defensive energy that protects us from foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, dust, and other allergens.  It is also responsible for nourishing the skin, or the protective layer of the body. Because the lung is supported and nourished by the digestive system, it is crucial to treat and maintain an appropriate diet based on one’s constitution to keep it in tip-top shape.  This is the only way to effect a cure.  That’s why when we treat allergies in the clinic, we always provide dietary recommendations when we use acupuncture and or Chinese herbal medicine to balance the lung, spleen, and stomach networks.  In this way, we are able to maintain a healthy functioning immune system. Dietary & Lifestyle Advice To achieve a healthy immune system, it is important to maintain a seasonally balanced diet rich in whole grains and fresh vegetables.  Consuming more brown rice, quinoa, and millet are a great place to start.  As for vegetables, eat more cabbage, beets, carrots, beet and carrot tops, and yams.  Broccoli, kale, spinach, collards, mustard greens, and other green leafy vegetables contain a lot of essential nutrients for healthy immune function. Helpful fruits are: papaya, cranberries, pears, pineapple, wild cherries, mangoes, and grapefruit. If your suffering from inflammation, incorporate ginger, onions, garlic, basil, black mushrooms, dandelion greens, and chrysanthemum flowers into your diet. As we mentioned before, the onslaught of chemicals and pesticides is a leading contributer to allergies, so don’t forget to wash your vegetables throughly!  Water intake is also essential.  Warm or hot water is best, and has been a common home remedy to strengthen lung function in Asia for many centuries. Switch from coffee to green tea.  It has natural antihistamines that can help balance the immune system.  Eating one teaspoon of local, unfiltered, unprocessed honey daily can also do wonders for allergies. Regular exercise, such as daily walks for 30 minutes or so is also essential in protecting the body against infection and illness.  It will also improve circulation and digestion, calm the mind, and relieve stress.

Using Acupuncture & Chinese herbs These are very helpful therapies to increase immune function and treat allergic symptoms.  We have many Chinese herbal remedies in stock to treat everything from seasonal allergies and hay-fever to eczema and skin rashes.  Chinese herbal medicine is also well known for healing digestive complaints due to various allergies. Feng Shui Tips Because we spend much of our time at home, it is important to eliminate substances that overstimulate the immune system in and around our homes. In the study of Feng Shui or Geomancy, we liken many aspects of our home to our physical body.  For example, we often think of the windows and doors in our home as the openings in and out of our body.  Therefore, it is important to keep the windows and doors clean and functioning well.  Open them and aerate your home regularly.  If your having trouble breathing, it may be that your home or work environment isn’t breathing either! Also, repair any damage to the outside of the house, especially any fences if you have them.  This is the first line of defense to your house and if this isn’t functioning well, neither will your lungs. If your having problems with congestion and mucous, take a closer look around the hallways and rooms of your house, as you will most likely find clutter and excess.  Take a moment to clean these areas and prevent dust, pollen, and fungal colonies from building up.  Your lungs with thank you for it!

References: The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine  Sun Zhen Ren Wei Sheng Ge Yun Ji Qi Jian She Sheng Xiao Xi Lun

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