Spring: Allergies No More
By Dr. Melissa Carr, B.Sc., Dr.TCM • April 4th, 2012 • 6024 Views
For many, spring is welcomed as a chance for better weather. For others spring is dreaded as the start of allergy season. I’ve been in both boats and I can tell you that you needn’t suffer forevermore.
Seasonal allergies are often called hay fever and different pollens bring about spring, summer, and fall allergies. Pollens are tiny grains that are released by flowering plants to cross-pollinate other plants for reproduction. When they are carried through the air, they can land on our eyes, skin, and noses and be inhaled into our lungs.
An allergy is an over-reaction of the immune system to a substance that is generally not harmful. Allergies can cause runny noses, sneezing, itchy and/or watery eyes, breathing problems, and skin rashes.
Spring allergies can start as early as January and last until approximately April, depending on the location and the climate that year. The culprit is the pollen from weeds or from trees such as oak, maple, cypress, birch, ash, hickory, elm, poplar, walnut, and olive. Summer allergies are generally from grass pollens and fall allergies are predominantly from weeds.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the main active organ systems are the *Liver and Gallbladder. Physiologically, the liver assists in detoxification of the body; the production of bile to assist in the digestion of fats; regulating blood sugar by converting excess glucose into glycogen for storage; the production of cholesterol (yes, cholesterol is important); and storing iron, amongst other things.
The TCM Liver does these things as well as regulates the cycles of the body (think sleep-wake cycles, hormonal cycles, and bicycles—just kidding on the last one); control the tendons and ligaments; relate to the eyes; and stimulate the emotions of anger, frustration, and irritability.
When managing allergies, I predominantly assess the state of 3 TCM organ systems: the Lungs, the Spleen, and the Liver. If someone has spring allergies, has hormonal or sleep balance issues, problems digesting fats, and/or struggles with expressed or suppressed issues of anger, I consider that we may need to treat the Liver. This may be done with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, supplements, foods, and possibly a cleanse.
Some things you can do to manage your allergies include:
1. If possible, try to avoid being outside from 5:00-10:00 a.m. as this is when airborne pollen levels tend to be highest.
2. Check the pollen count in your area and try to minimize your exposure when the count is high or...
Yoga, Wellness, health, tcm, spring, traditional chinese medicine, allergies, Dr Melissa Carr