Posted on March 5, 2015
The ragweed that sets off your sneezing fits isn’t likely to disappear from the planet anytime soon, but the stronger your immune system, the less likely such an irritant will have power over you. If you suffer from chronic seasonal allergies and sinusitis, acupuncture and herbs can be wonderfully effective—without the side effects of over-the-counter medications (nasal dryness and low energy).
The phlegm that clogs your nose (and your thoughts) and creates sinus pressure is our body’s reactions to the inflammation caused by an allergen. Believe it or not, it’s trying to help! Nevertheless, the cycle of inflammation and phlegm must be stopped. Lucky for us, our health is in our power, and we can reduce systemic phlegm and inflammation through some simple remedies:
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Herbal Supplement – Tailored for individual constitutions, herbal supplements are the best and fastest way to quell inflammation and drain phlegm. Best of all, an herbal supplement will often improve energy and promote restful sleep, so you feel better all around.
Acupuncture – Local acupuncture points can be life-changing for draining the sinuses, clearing congestion, reducing headache and improving energy. Combine acupuncture with your Chinese herbal formula and you’ll be in good shape.
– Avoid Dairy and Soy Dairy Products: They cause more phlegm! Avoid these products during the allergy seasons or when your symptoms are at their worst.
– Avoid Refined Sugar and Flour: Refined flours and sugars increase inflammation.
– Drink plenty of water: Phlegm is often a result of the body fearing dehydration – so drink up!
– Use a Neti Pot: This is a simple device used for centuries in India to effectively clean out the sinus cavities. It resembles a small teapot, and is filled with water and rinsed through the sinuses. Instructions and product information are available at local health stores or online.
Self-Acupressure Points for Nasal Congestion
Bitong (upper point): Located on each side of the nose, just under the nasal bones.
Gently press and massage using small circles, three times in each direction.
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Gently press and massage using small circles, three times in each direction.
Yingxiang – LI 20 (lower point): Located in the groove on each side of the nostrils,
at the widest point of the nostrils. From Bitong, slide down the nose to Yingxiang.
Again, press down and massage using small circles three times in each direction.
Repeat as necessary.
Hegu (LI-4): See drawing to left. Using the tip of the thumb press in towards the bone (metacarpal) associated with the index finger, and find the spot with the most tenderness. Press into the point and gently massage in small circles several times in each direction. This point can also be used for headaches, especially when the discomfort is felt in the face, forehead and sinus area.
Other ways you can boost your immune system:
– Increase your daily Vitamin C intake to 1 gram/1,000mg per day for its immune boosting and histamine-lowering effects.
– Increase your consumption of antioxidant rich foods, which will reduce existing toxicity and inflammation in the system. Berries (especially blueberries), pomegranates, plums, pineapple, kale, peppers, ginger, red beets, dried apricots, dried dates, prunes, nuts and seeds (especially dry-roasted peanuts), and parsley are all great choices.
– Take a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement daily to boost cellular nutrition.
– Take Fish Oil high in DHA daily to clear inflammation and support health.
– For more information on dietary suggestions: “Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition” by Paul Pitchford.
Clinical studies on the use of Chinese Medicine to treat Sinusitis and Allergies:
“Meta-analysis of clinical trials on traditional Chinese herbal medicine for treatment of persistent allergic rhinitis.” Allergy. May 2012
“Treatment of recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis with integrative East-West medicine: a pilot study.” Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. March 2012
“Traditional Chinese medicine, Xin-yi-san, reduces nasal symptoms of patients with perennial allergic rhinitis by its diverse immunomodulatory effects.” Int Immunopharmacol. Aug 2010
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Posted on January 23, 2014
Greetings and Happy Chinese New Year! It seems fitting to launch my website and post my first blog entry with the entrance of the Yang Wood Horse.
Posted on January 22, 2014
To guard against the cold and flu season, it’s important to eat warming foods. Soups, stews, oatmeal and congee are great choices. Avoid eating raw or chilled items and drinking cold beverages with ice. This is not the best time for a juice fast, but if you are juicing, add ginger to protect the stomach. Generally though, save cold, raw foods and juice cleanses for the Spring.