Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Are you an allergy sufferer? Why?

Late winter and early spring is the beginning of allergy season here in the Washington, DC area. In fact many people to whom I have spoken tell me that they experience allergies for the first time in their lives after moving to the climes.

So give me your tired, your red and runny of eye, your sneezing ones, your miserable ones.

Are you one of those sufferers who have red watery eyes, runny noses/stuffed noses, and sneezing fits? If so, are you taking allergy shots weekly? Are you taking antihistamine drugs that are making you drugged out and spacey? I know it can't be fun.

I remember when I was young; I used to watch my younger cousin suffer terribly with allergies. It seemed like he suffered all year long. I felt so sorry for him and secretly thanked G-d that I did not have seasonal allergies.

Well I would like to clue you in on what Chinese medicine has for you and what it can do for you. First off one should start with acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments a few weeks prior to the onset of the season. We do this in order to strengthen the lung energies. Hold on to your seat, as I try to explain how Chines medicine views what the lung energy does for the body. Chinese medicine sees the lungs as the delicate organ. It is so designated because it is the most easily affected by and exposed to the environment in which one finds oneself. By breathing the lungs are exposed to whatever is in the air. Sure there is hair and mucus that line the nose and throat, whose job it is to filter the air you breathe. However microscopic particles like viruses, allergens and the like blow right past these natural defenses and right into your lungs.

In the view of Chinese medicine part of the job of the lungs is to defend the body against invasion by these microbes and allergens. This special defensive energy is called the wei qi (pronounced way chee). If the lung qi/energy is weak, the wei qi will be weak and then you guessed it, your sick or sneezing. That is why we start be strengthening the lung qi. It is always smart to train the army and equip it properly before sending it out to defend the borders.

After strengthening the lung qi, we need to reinforce the wei qi and we do this by using an herbal formula called Yu Ping Feng San or Jade Windscreen. This formula acts like sort of an armor all coating to protect the body from invasion. Although it is not fool proof, many of my patients love what it does for them and without the side effects like drowsiness.

I would also add acupuncture and an herbal formula to help with reducing phlegm production and make dietary recommendations to cut down on foods that produce phlegm.

This is a muti-faceted approach to deal with the cause and effect of seasonal allergies. This is a much wiser and much sounder approach than just dealing with the symptoms. If this approach interests you, give my office a call and set up an appointment soon.

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