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.
Aaaaachooooo! Sound familiar? Many of us will endure frequent sneezing fits this spring as allergy season moves into full swing. Allergy symptoms range from sneezing to watery, itchy, red eyes, scratchy throat, nasal congestion and clogged ears. In fact, many times it is difficult to distinguish between a severe allergy attack and the common cold. If left unattended severe allergy symptoms could develop into painful sinusitis.
Your main defense with Allergy control is to control your allergy should be to naturally aid your body to fend off allergy symptoms. Accomplish this by keeping the immune system functioning at its peak through a variety of home remedies such as Omega-3 supplements, quercetin ascorbate, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. These techniques can eliminate or significantly reduce your allergic response.
Dietary changes can do wonders to decrease the immune response that your body goes through when allergies strike. Dairy products like milk and cheese produce sinus congesting mucus and actually make your body more sensitive to the allergens. Not only can you have an allergic reaction to the dairy product, but the protein in the dairy also causes the immune system to work overtime. Without Allergy control your overworked immune system turns what could have been just a mild annoyance into a full-blown allergy attack.
Inflammation is the basic component in an allergic response. Foods and supplements containing Omega-3 fatty acids have a multitude of useful functions, one of which is decreased inflammation in your body. By increasing your intake of Omega-3 foods such as fish oil, you will greatly decrease your reaction to the allergies. Some great fish choices for Omega-3 fatty acids are sardines and salmon (preferably wild). One study showed that children who regularly consumed oily fish were 74% less likely to develop asthma. You can also get Omega-3’s in capsule or liquid form. Make sure you get a pure source; you don’t want to consume mercury or PCBs along with it. For vegetarians, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil or algae are alternative sources. Another way to reduce the inflammation is to eat plenty of antioxidant rich fruits such as berries and cherries. However, the superior source is fatty fish. Fish contain the very important forms of Omega-3 called EPA and DHA. Flax seed oil contains a form called ALA, which can be converted in the body to EPA and DHA, but the conversion is slow and not as efficient. Algae on the other hand produce DHA but not EPA.
An effective allergy control method to clear out sinus irritants is nasal irrigation. A very popular method is the Neti Pot, a small pot that looks like Aladdin’s lamp. It is filled with saline solution, which you pour into your nose. It flows into one nostril and out of the other. It sounds a little messy, and it is, but provides great results. The pots generally come in plastic, stainless steel and porcelain. For hygienic reasons, I would recommend the stainless steel or porcelain.
And of course, if you smoke, STOP! Smoking worsens allergies and lowers your immune system. Not to mention that smoking causes lung and mouth cancer and heart disease. Ready to quit smoking? Acupuncture Works!
Allergies’ close brother, Asthma, can also be helped by allergy control tips and all of the above.
The principal controller of the immune system is the nervous system. The nervous system is more complex than the most powerful computer known to man. In a nutshell, the nervous system controls all aspects of health as well as every other function of the body. If there is interference to the nerve flow, the function of the body part controlled by the nerve will be impaired. The major cause of interference to the nerve is what is known as the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). This is a combination of events including the misalignment of one or more vertebra, chemical irritants, muscle spasm and even stress.
The main components of the VSC are:
Positional Dyskinesia (malposition/misalignment of a vertebra)
Fixation Dysfunction (restriction in any of the 6 motions that vertebrae move)
Neurophysiologic Dysfunction (neurologic interference brought on by the subluxation).
Myologic Changes (weakness, adhesions, degeneration of muscle).
Inflammation (Interarticular inflammation).
Vascular Changes (alterations of arterial and venous drainage of spinal column)
If the VSC is present in your body, it can interfere with the nerves that power the immune system. This may cause a variety of symptoms ranging from mild allergies, to full blown asthma. Detection and treatment of VSC’s are paramount to a properly functioning body and a nervous system free from irritation. As a Chiropractic Physician my experience confirms that one of the best ways to treat VSC and keep the nervous system free from irritation is to have your spine examined and if needed, adjusted by a chiropractor. The chiropractic adjustment realigns the vertebra to remove pressure off the nerve restoring its function. The adjustments also make you less sensitive to the effects of histamine, the chemical involved in many allergic reactions. Chiropractic care can positively affect the immune system by increasing white cell blood count and decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol which inhibits the immune system. Allergy Control at Home:
Control Dust Mites
Wash bedding often and dust surfaces.
Vacuum once or twice a week to reduce surface dust mites. Wear a mask and make sure your vacuum has an air filter to capture dust.
Reduce pet dander
Avoid pets with feathers or fur. Keep pets out of the bedroom.
Shut out pollen
Keep windows and doors closed. Use an air filter and clean it regularly.
By Dr. Thomas Cristello, DC with Juliette Aiyana
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Dr. Cristello maintains a Chiropractic practice in the Flat Iron District of NYC. Visit his website for more information www.drcristello.com or call (212) 375.9802
Bronfort, G, Evans RI, Kubic P, Filin P . Chronic Pediatric Asthma and Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation, a Prospective Clinical Series and Randomized Clinical Pilot Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 24(6), 369-77.
Graham, RL and Pistolese RA. . An Impairment Rating Analysis of Asthmatic Children Under Chiropractic Care. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 1(4), 1-8.
Hodge L, Salome CM, Peat JK, et al. . Consumption of Oily Fish and Childhood Asthma Risk. Medical Journal of Australia, 164, 137-140.
Blue Poppy introduced our version of Li Dong-yuan’s Astragalus & Ginseng formula for the prevention of seasonal allergic rhinitis. However, numerous customers have asked us to also create a formula for the remedial treatment of allergic rhinitis. In response to this request, I have combed the Chinese medical literature for what I believe is the best formula for the treatment of allergic rhinitis during its acute stage. After reading scores of Chinese research reports on various formulas, I kept coming back to a formula which I personally have used in my own practice for a number of years. This formula is a modification of Bi Qiu Tang (Sniveling Nose Decoction) created by Dr. Wei Zi-zhang of the First Affiliated Hospital of the Guangxi College of Chinese Medicine. Our version, AllerEase is a 9:1 extract and is available in bottles of 60 500mg capsules.
This formula is based on the concepts that everyone who has allergic rhinitis has a defensive qi vacuity and everyone who has allergic rhinitis has deep-lying or hidden phlegm in their lungs. Although there are different opinions about the creation of defensive qi, after 23 years of practicing Chinese medicine, I agree with the authors of the Nei Jing (Inner Classic) that the defensive qi exists or issues from the middle burner. In my experience, it is the spleen qi’s upbearing of the clear which supplements the lung qi, and the lungs control the defensive qi. In addition, it is said, “The spleen is the root of phlegm engenderment; the lungs are the place where phlegm is stored.” If the spleen is or becomes vacuous and weak, it will lose control over the movement and transformation of water fluids in the body. These will collect and transform into dampness. If dampness lingers and is retained, it tends to congeal into phlegm over time.
In terms of Chinese medical theory, pollen, animal dander, airborne molds, and microscopic dust are all species of wind evils. Wind evils refer to invisible pathogens which tend to be airborne (although they do not absolutely have to be). If a person’s defensive qi is vacuous and fails to secure the exterior, wind evils may take advantage of this vacuity and enter the body. The lungs are the florid canopy as well as the tender viscus. Therefore, the lungs are typically the first viscus to be affected by invading wind evils. If these evils hinder and obstruct the diffusion and downbearing of the lung qi, then the lungs lose their control over the water passageways. Instead of fluids being downborne, these back up, if there is already phlegm rheum deep-lying in the lungs, this phlegm counterflows upward along with the lung qi. Thus there is sneezing, nasal congestion, and runny nose. Because the lungs open into the orifices of the nose, wind evils cause itching of the nose.
Although it is wind evils which cause the paroxysmal or acute stage of allergic rhinitis, the pattern that patients with allergic rhinitis present is one of wind cold. Wind describes the disease cause and cold describes the kind of phlegm rheum that is evident. The runny nose that is pathognomonic of allergic rhinitis is a clear, thin, copious watery phlegm. This is cold phlegm as opposed to phlegm heat which is thick, opaque, and tends to be yellow. While allergic rhinitis may transform into sinusitis, if there is yellow or green phlegm, then this is both a different disease and a different pattern. Simple allergic rhinitis always presents a wind cold pattern. Further, because the defensive exterior is, ipso facto, vacuous and insecure and because there is typically a continuous, unceasing runny nose, the lung qi is insecure and failing to astringe.
This means that the treatment principles for wind cold allergic rhinitis are to fortify the spleen and boost the qi, diffuse the lungs and dispel wind, transform phlegm and warm rheum, and open the orifices of the nose at the same time as astringing and securing the lung qi, and this is exactly what Wei Zi-zhang’s formula does. Within it, Dang Shen, Huang Qi, Bai Zhu, Yi Yi Ren, and Shan Yao supplement the lungs, spleen, and kidneys, the three viscera which govern water metabolism in the body. He Zi and Wu Wei Zi secure the lungs and specifically stop runny nose. Fang Feng and Jing Jie Sui gently dispel wind evils from the exterior while not damaging the defensive qi. Xin Yi Hua and Bo He open the orifices and free the flow of the nose, thus relieving nasal congestion. Chan Tui dispels wind and stops itching. Jie Geng guides the other medicinals to the lungs and also transforms phlegm. Gan Jiang warms the lungs and transforms phlegm. The combination of Yi Yi Ren and Ze Xie seeps dampness via urination and, therefore, helps Bai Zhu eliminate dampness. Gan Cao harmonizes all the other medicinals in the formula at the same time as helping fortify the spleen and supplement the qi. Thus this formula exactly fits the disease mechanisms of this condition.
This formula is not meant for long-term administration. Once the allergic attack has been brought under control, the practitioner should consider switching the patient to Astragalus & Ginseng in order to address the underlying disease mechanisms during the remission stage. However, during acute allergic attacks, one should consider taking more AllerEase than the recommended dose on the bottle. This dosage is only for FDA purposes. It is a minimum daily dose. For larger persons and for quicker effect, this dose may typically be doubled or tripled without harm. During acute attacks, one should suspend Astragalus & Ginseng. It is not necessary or particularly beneficial to take both formulas at the same time. AllerEase itself treats both the root and branches (or tips) simultaneously.
Of course, patients with allergic rhinitis will typically also have to modify their diet. One cannot expect huge results if they continue eating a lot of dairy products, sugars and sweets, and oily, greasy, fatty foods. Nevertheless, research in China has shown this formula to be extremely effective for the remedial treatment of acute allergic rhinitis. Thirty-three patients with wind cold allergic rhinitis and an underlying lung-spleen vacuity were given a single course of treatment with this formula and then followed for six months. In six cases, their symptoms disappeared and did not recur for the full six months of the study. In 23 cases, their symptoms recurred after more than three months but less than six months. However, repeat treatment was able to immediately eliminate their symptoms. Only four cases got no effect. Thus the total effectiveness of this formula was 87.8%. When combined with proper diet and Astragalus & Ginseng, one should be able to dramatically decrease any tendency to relapse. With the late summer and early fall allergy season soon upon, order a supply of AllerEase® today. You won’t be sorry you did.