Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective to prevent spring allergies before they start.
Let’s face it, spring allergies can be a drag. Instead of celebrating the blossoms and warmer weather many people suffer for weeks or even months with runny noses, watery, red eyes, and sneezing post nasal drip.
Many seasonal allergies sufferers turn to medications to prevent the symptoms of spring allergies throughout the season despite the common side effects of drowsiness, dryness, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, and digestive disturbance. There’s also immune system suppression and the risk of becoming medication-dependent to worry about. Worse still, the Western treatment of allergies treats only the symptoms and not the root cause. Those seeking a natural and effective alternative need search no further than Chinese medicine.
In Chinese medicine the strategy behind treatment is alleviating the acute symptoms as well as correcting the root energetic imbalance causing those symptoms. The symptoms of seasonal allergies are most often related to underlying disharmonies involving wei qi, or defensive energy, phlegm or dampness, and the lung, spleen, and kidney energy systems, all of which are explained in detail in the article, “Stop Your Sniffling: Treat Seasonal Allergies with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs“!
Another one of my favorite ways to prevent and treat seasonal allergies is with quercitin ascorbate. Quercitin is like nature’s Benadryl but with out the sleepy side effects. It is best to taken 2-3 times per day with food.
Visit my Online Shop to find home care products and that are my favorites for preventing spring allergies.
Dave quit his job to escape the stress. No amount of money is worth selling your soul for work nor is it worth not being allowed to manifest your soul’s work.
No. It was not because he was smoking crack as the media rumor mill tried to convince us. Did they think the only reason someone would walk away from a multi-million dollar job is because they were on crack? Or did they think that the only reason a black man would do that was because he was on crack? The media does a great job of manufacturing public thought especially when it is racist or sexist thought. And that is one of the reasons Dave quit- as you will read below.
Dave Chappelle joined the few who realize that putting up with certain pressures from work are not worth it. Stress is not worth the money, physical illness or emotional distress it can induce. It is not worth doing things which you consider unethical or uncreative.
Stressed? Try Acupucture, It Works! Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.
I watched Dave on Oprah and Inside the Actor’s Studio. He talked about the pressure his company placed on him to do certain things with the show that he completely disagreed with. He specifically mentioned a skit shown on the “Lost Episodes” which he believed only confirmed racial stereotypes rather than, in his usual style, mirroring them to us so we can stop using them. I saw the skit and I completely agree with him in spite of the audiences vote. Dave took the bold stance against popularity and financial gain. Dave stands for creative awareness and freedom, cultural awareness and freedom, and self-awareness and freedom.
Many of my patients are ill because of work related stress. They suffer fatigue, anxiety, headaches, frequent colds, insomnia, skin conditions , infertility, weight gain or loss and digestive problems such as IBS, and the list goes on. We
all live in a society in which we must work to survive. So the very thought of quitting our jobs to find something more spiritually fulfilling can be scary. We worry about our bills, family responsibilities and financial freedom. But the truth is that we cannot have any of those things without our health in body and mind .
As I work with patients who are suffering from physical and emotional pain and illness we discuss lifestyle choices. Many of them decide to make the bold decision to change their lifestyle so that they can free themselves of this suffering. They make personal revelations about how daily choices effect their relationships with friends, family, co-workers, partners- or how choices block them from developing deep relationships because they are working 60 (or more) hours per week .
Lifestyle change is a branch treatment within Chinese medicine. For some people, lifestyle change does not need to be as drastic as leaving a job. Maybe you can cut work to part-time or take breaks during the work day, stop eating lunch at the desk and go outside to eat, exercise, or use earned vacation time no matter how many pressing client jobs are on the plate. Your employers give you vacation time for a reason. If they get upset because you use the time you are entitled to, that is their problem, don’t make it yours. The government made labor laws for a reason. These laws protect our rights to breaks during the work day .
Are there ways you can reduce your stress, cultivate a sense that you are working toward the greater good for your self, your family or society? Take some time to think about this for yourself. Maybe even journal your thoughts and reflect on them. How much do you lose because of your job? And how much of that is worth the money? Do you know now why Dave Chappelle quit his job?
Stressed? Try Acupucture, It Works!
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs 41 Union Square West, Suite 519 New York, NY 10003 (212) 894.0767
Steam inhalation therapy with essential oils is a simple and effective home remedy for headaches, sinus congestion, sinus pain and infections, respiratory ailments due to allergies, asthma, the common cold, influenza and bronchitis. Depending on the essential oils you use, steam inhalation can also calm the mind, nervous system and spirit.
What You Need:
Tea kettle or pot
Glass or Ceramic bowl- medium to large
Essential oils (see chart below to help you chose)
A bath towel
Boil filtered or spring water in a tea kettle until it steams.
Turn off the heat and remove the kettle using a potholder.
Take care to slowly pour the steaming water into a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add a few drops of essential oil to the water.
Place the towel over the top of your head so that it drapes over the sides of your head.
Close your eyes, lean over the bowl allowing the sides of the towel to create a tent over the sides of the bowl.
Inhale and exhale through your nose.
You will notice the scent fades in about 3-5 minutes. You can perform this treatment over again if you like.
As mucus loosens from steaming, clear your sinuses by gently blowing your nose into the tissues and discard them. As the water begins to cool down from hot to warm, place your washcloth in the water, ring it out and place it on your chest or the back of your neck. The warm compress will help release chest tightness and congestion, relaxes and loosens your neck muscles. Ahhhhhh.
How To Choose The Oils
For upper respiratory and sinus congestion try one of each or combine the following:
Peppermint 3-5 drops
Eucalyptus 3-5 drops
Camphor 3 drops
For Headaches unrelated to sinus problems:
Headache which are sharp or throbbing and may be combined with neck and shoulder tension try:
The common cold and flu arrive hand in hand with cold weather. It is well known that antibiotics do nothing to cure rotavirus infections, and that the overuse of antibiotics triggers a resistance to their effectiveness on occasions when we desperately need them to work.
Chinese medicine has successfully treated the cold and flu for thousands of years with Chinese herbs and acupuncture treatment. Our treatment either stops the cold and flu within one to two days or significantly reduces symptoms and duration. Chinese medicine also helps resolve sinus congestion, infections and coughs.
In this article, l discuss how Chinese medicine diagnoses and treats colds, flus and their related symptoms, as well as home remedies, self-care techniques, healing recipes and more. Remember the best cure is prevention so eat well, get enough sleep and get acupuncture and herbs for prevention.
Chinese Diagnosis & Treatment of Colds & Flus
In Chinese medicine (CM) we recognize several categories of the cold and flu. The symptoms of each category are different ; therefore, CM uses different treatments for each.
Wind cold invasions are often characterized by fever but no sweating, possible fever and chills, body aches, an aversion to cold, nasal congestion with clear, runny mucus, headache and possibly fatigue and/or cough.
Wind damp invasion symptoms are fever, chills, headache and a feeling of head heaviness, body aches, fullness and heaviness of the chest, stomach and or lower abdominal pain or fullness, nausea and or vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes patients with a wind damp invasion only have fever & chills without sweating, a stiff neck and upper back ache.
Wind heat invasions are often characterized by fever, slight chills if any, sore throat, stuck, thick nasal congestion that tends to be yellow or green color and possible sinus infection, cough, irritability and fatigue. The nature of the cough may vary. For example there may be a very productive cough with stringy white sputum, or productive or hard to expectorate thick yellow or green sputum. Occasionally, the cough is very dry, hacking and may produce blood streaked sputum. Coughs can be accompanied with wheezing. Each cough type is treated very differently. The treatment strategy will dry a wet productive cough or moisten a dry hacking cough to achieve relief.
Your practitioner will combine several treatment strategies such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and herbal cough syrup, cupping, Chinese massage gua-sha (a gentle scraping techniques applied to the skin to release wind from the muscle layer. It is usually done with the smooth edge of a spoon and feels wonderful). Additionally, your acupuncturist will teach you home remedies such as steam inhalation for nasal & chest congestion and coughs as well as medicinal food recipes.
True secrets regarding Immunity Boosting are a step away…
Oh, winter. Yes, it’s that time of year again. Coworkers in the office are out of (or in) the office with a cold or the flu. It seems like everyone on the subway and on the street is sneezing, coughing, sniffling, and blowing their nose. You see it every year, or you might be one of those people I am talking about. Do you tend to get sick multiple times during a season? Do seasonal bugs hit you hard and put you down for the count for weeks at a time? Do you have a hard time getting over a cold resulting in you having the sniffles all season? These patterns can tax your quality of life to a great extent. You may miss a lot of work because you are at home in bed. The holiday cheer that you were dead set on spreading has been put on the back burner along with that lengthy shopping and baking list for family and friends. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a winter where you are not continually catching the latest strain of the common cold or flu? Maybe you would catch a cold only once during the winter like the others. Well, have no fear – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is here.
What is the Immune System and Immune Response?
The immune system provides an individual’s body with the ability to fight disease. It is a complex of organs – including highly specialized cells and even a circulatory system (the lymphatic system) separate from blood vessels – all of which work together to clear infection from the body. The organs of the immune system, positioned throughout the body, are called lymphoid organs1. You may have felt your lymph nodes around your throat swell when you are sick because they are working overtime to battle the acute infection that is in your body. This is part of the immune response, how your body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful to the body2.
The immune system produces cells that travel throughout the body looking for foreign invaders & pathogens that are aiming to make you sick. There are cells that can destroy the pathogens and other cells that create anti-bodies so that you don’t get sick from that pathogen again. This is your body’s line of defense against illness, but the immune system can often be compromised due to other illnesses or other stressors creating immunodeficiency. Among many other reasons, immunodeficiency can come from wide-ranging reasons such as a disease, like HIV and some forms of cancer, or it can come from history of malnutrition. There are some biomedical drugs that can improve immunity, but they are pretty serious drugs that are only given when the person’s immune system is severely compromised. TCM is a way for a person who has lingering acute illness or chronic recurrent illness of a head cold or the flu to be able to kick it quicker or be sick less frequently.
Feeling under the weather?
Call (646) 504-2251 for an appointment.
TCM Immunity Theory
TCM has long been used as a preventative medicine and has been used to improve immunity in people. The wei qi is known as the defense qi that circulates on the surface of the body near the skin. When the wei qi is strong, one is properly protected from invasions of evil qi. One can think of the wei qi as the immune system and the evil qi as the common cold/the flu. When one’s wei qi is vacuous or depleted, one becomes sick because the external evil has invaded the body causing illness. If one’s overall qi strong in general, one will overcome illness quickly and return to health, but if the qi is vacuous, one will have recurring or lingering illness. This is where TCM comes into play. TCM treatments of herbs, acupuncture, and dietary therapy can be utilized to strengthen the qi.
Acupuncture Research Studies & Immunity
A very recent study regarding acupuncture’s effect on boosting immunity took place from July through November of 2007. The study looked at the effects of acupuncture on the body’s natural killer cell response to strenuous exercise in endurance athletes. The results found that the basal activity in these cells, which are key to overall immune health, increased significantly in response to acupuncture treatments.3 Another study looked at the effect of acupuncture on the regulation of cell-mediated immunity in the patients with malignant tumors. This is a slightly different way to look at immunity-boosting than we have been talking about, but the basic principle is still the same. This study found that acupuncture can heighten the cellular immune function of patients, providing a beneficial effect in anti-cancer treatment.4 Moxibustion is a technique used often in Immunity Boosting along with acupuncture. In a study looking at the effect of moxibustion, 42 between 55-70 years of age were selected and given moxibustion and acupuncture. The results showed that immune hormone content increased significantly after the warm needling.5
Chinese medicine has successfully treated the cold and flu for thousands of years with Chinese herbs and acupuncture treatment. Our treatment either stops the cold and flu within one to two days or significantly reduces symptoms and duration.6 Chinese medicine also helps resolve sinus congestion, infections and coughs. For more detailed information on treatments read our article Treatment of the Cold & Flu.
For prevention the ideal time is to come for TCMImmunity Boostingtreatment is the height of the summer, the total opposite of winter. Summer is the time when the yang qi of nature is at its peak and the yang qi of the body should also be at its peak level. If it is not, this could mean a vacuity of qi and in turn, of the wei (protective) or immunity meaning more illness for you in the winter. The hottest point of the summer (August for New Yorkers) allows for the strongest tonification of the yang qi. TCM can help to tonify the qi of the body and the wei (protective) qi to help the body be protected in the winter.
Chinese medicine has successfully treated the cold and flu for thousands of years with Chinese herbs and acupuncture treatment. Our treatment for Immunity Boosting either stops the cold and flu within one to two days or significantly reduces symptoms and duration. Chinese medicine also helps resolve sinus congestion, infections and coughs.
Don’t get stuck being sick all of the time; improve your quality of life by improving your Immunity Boosting through TCM.
My first experience with the medicinal use of cinnamon occurred when I was about twenty-one years old, living and working in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The small, family owned Evelyn’s Middle Eastern restaurant was one of my favorite spots for lunch. One wintry afternoon I visited the restaurant in search of some hot soup to help ease the flu symptoms that overcame me that cold, blustery morning. The oldest brother of the Iranian family greeted me with his usual warm smile and asked, “How are you today, Juliette?”
“Oh I amb nod feeling so well,” I answered through my congested nose and scratchy throat, tissue held in my gesturing hand. “I breally need sumb ub your dad’s famous chicken soup to help my flu go away.”
He promptly sat me at a warm table far from the door. Within minutes a steaming bowl of chicken rice soup, which my stuffy head could only imagine smelled delicious, appeared before my watery eyes. As I gazed into the wide bowl I noticed an ingredient I had never seen before in Dad’s famous chicken rice soup, a cinnamon stick. I asked the waitress/owner Evelyn, why there was a cinnamon stick in the soup. She told me, “It will help cure your flu.”
“Oh.” I replied with a smile. As I sipped the soup its cinnamon brought warmth and relaxation to my deeply aching muscles. The added spice opened my sinuses, my senses and my curious mind about other cultural herb remedies.
Fast forward about five years, I am twenty-six years old and suffering from another bought of the flu while living in the cold, damp winter climate of Seattle. On my regular weekly visit to the local acupuncture school’s clinic, the student intern, Julie, told me she could give me an herb tea to cure my flu. Having taken many of her Chinese herbal decoctions for other health complaints, many of which tasted gross but helped me tremendously, I said, “I’ll take it!”According to The Chinese Herbal Materia Medica, clinical research shows cinnamon to have an antibiotic effect against Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi. Cinnamon is also used for digestive disorders and recent studies show its effectiveness in regulating blood glucose levels in Type II, non-insulin dependent diabetics.1
I was delighted to taste this tea because it tasted like cinnamon, and I felt significantly better after the first couple of doses. Within two days I felt 90% better and cured by the third day. When I went back the next week I asked the intern, “What herbs were in that tea? It tasted so good.” She said, “Oh, I only know the names in Chinese but one of them was cinnamon”.
I nodded, “I thought so. I really liked it and it worked very quickly!” Soon thereafter, I was suffering from menstrual cramps which had
been medicated with the birth control pill for about eight years. But recently, The Pill stopped alleviating my cramps and my previous relationship ended so I wanted to stop the medicine. Nervous that I would go back to suffering the debilitating cramps I had before starting The Pill, I asked Julie if she could help. She gave me another decoction, also containing cinnamon. Much to my amazement, the tea was effective enough for me to bear the cramps. I began a regimen of taking the tea each month for one week before my expected period and by about the sixth month cramps rarely afflicted me. Eventually, I didn’t even have to take the tea anymore. By this point I loved cinnamon, I had become a Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young, where are you?).
The next year I enrolled in school to study Traditional Chinese Medicine, where I studied Chinese herbal medicine. I learned the ingredients of the Chinese herbal decoctions that Julie gave me in Seattle and discovered many other medicinal uses for cinnamon. Middle Eastern, North African, Mediterranean, Eastern and Latin cultures use cinnamon, especially in the winter season recipes, to warm us up. For example, Chicken Rice soup with cinnamon is common to both Middle Eastern and Eastern cooking and the use of cinnamon in stews such as pollo or carne guisada is customary in Latin cultures. Of course other warming spices, such as nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and curry, are also used all over the globe often in combination with cinnamon.
Looking for ways to incorporate Cinnamon into your diet?
Sprinkle it into hot oatmeal, onto baked apples or pears, brew it with coffee or place a cinnamon stick into a mug of hot apple cider.
Chinese medicine uses cinnamon for a wide variety of ailments ranging from the flu to menstrual cramps. We use the twig portion of the herb as well as the bark, for different ailments.
Cinnamon twig, Gui Zhi. Chinese materia medica classifies the properties of cinnamon twig as acrid, sweet, warm. Acrid and sweet it disperses the qi, and its sweet flavor benefits the flesh/muscle layer. Acrid and warm, it is often used for externally-contracted cold.
Chinese Medicine uses Cinnamon Twig To
Nourish and protect qi levels in energy deficient patients suffering from externally contracted cold when sweating occurs but the patient’s condition does not improve.
Warm the Channels and Dispurse cold in cases where wind-cold-damp causes painful stagnation in the joints, limbs and especially the shoulder. And for menstrual problems and/or fibroids caused by cold in the blood and lower abdomen.
Unblocks the Yang (moving, warming energy) for edema swelling due to cold phlegm or weakened qi movement. Studies show it has a diuretic effect (Bensky p. 30).
Warm Yang qi in the chest due to stagnation or deficiency.
Chinese Medicine uses cinnamon bark, rou gui because it warms the interior and expels cold. Rou gui/cinnamon bark is acrid, sweet and hot. Rou gui warms the Kidney energy and strengthens Yang qi. It can aid in cases where a person has an aversion to cold, cold limbs, frequent urination, weak back, impotence, abdominal pain and cold, reduced appetite, diarrhea and wheezing. It is used when a person has heat symptoms in the upper body (sore throat, dry mouth, etc.) and cold in the lower body (diarrhea, low back pain, etc). And it is used as a blood tonic for patients with Qi and Blood vacuity.
Call Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs in NYC for an appointment: 646-504-2251 Not in NYC? Schedule a Skype Wellness Consultation: 646-504-2251
– – – – – – – 1 Milot, B. (2004). Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipid Levels in Type 2 Diabetes. HerbalGram: The Journal of the American Botanical Council, 64, 23.