Hay Fever, or Seasonal Rhinitis, is a reoccurring nuisance that impacts so many of us in Australia and it can be particularly bad down here on the Mornington Peninsula. Traditional East Asian Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been handling the symptoms of Hay Fever for over a thousand years using a range of techniques.
Some of these techniques you can do for yourself on your own, others such as acupuncture require a registered practitioner to get the best results possible. The causes of Hay Fever can range, with the most common being tree or plant pollen blown through the wind but can also be caused by dust mites, pet hairs, grass pollen and weed pollens.
Some of the symptoms you can experience if you have Hay Fever include:
- Itchy Eyes
- Watery Eyes
- Scratchy Throat
- Runny Nose
- Foggy Headedness
- Increased mucous production
- Irritability and short temper
- Blocked Ears
- Itchy Ears
So what can you do to help yourself? See a registered practitioner so they can holistically diagnose you and give you accurate advice and treatment.
Acupuncture is amazing at helping the symptoms of Hay Fever. Most people only need a few treatments to notice a huge difference with their symptoms. This allows people to reduce medications, or simply have an extended periods symptom free. I often recommend people come in the month prior to their normal Hay Fever season, as this can build up resistance and prevent symptoms from occurring.
Chinese Herbal Formula – there are some fantastic pre-made Chinese Herbal Formula that can be used to help relieve the symptoms of Hay Fever. My go to formula is the China-Med Hay Fever formula. It is the formula I personally use to control my own Hay Fever alongside acupuncture and dietary advice.
Diet is especially important during the Winter months prior to spring. Avoiding cold and raw foods as much as you can, this includes cold drinks and raw fruit / vegetables, coffee and alcohol. Traditionally in China during the Winter months you would eat cooked foods and warming foods to counteract the cold of the Winter, from a Chinese Medicine perspective this can boost your Spleen and Stomach systems and subsequently improve your general immunity. Traditional Diet Therapy would say have more foods like congees (rice soup), porridges, warming soups and stir fries.
Tui Na or Chinese Massage can offer temporary relief, this involves stimulating specific acupuncture points that relate to or influence areas that are irritated.
Local points include massaging, pressing and rubbing:
- Around the nose can temporarily relieve the symptoms of itchy eyes and nose including points such as Large Intestine 20 and Bi Tong (slightly higher at the bridge of your nose) can offer some relief.
- The point Large Intestine 4 between your thumb and pointer finger has an excellent action influencing anything on the face and is useful as a distal point.
- Between your eyebrows and massaging along your eyebrows (frontal sinuses) can help if you have itchy eyes or if you find you have pressure or pain along your eyebrows. The point between your Eyebrows is called Yin Tang traditionally.
- Another great point is Du Mai 23 which has an internal connection to your nose. To find this point go along the middle of your face up from Yin Tang and just a tad inside your hair line and massage that area.
Moxibustion can also be used underneath the knee at the point Stomach 36 which is great for boosting your immunity and also helping with Hay Fever. Moxibustion involves heating specific acupuncture points, in this instance Stomach 36. Moxibustion sticks or poles are an inexpensive option to deliver a relaxing home treatment and it simply involves lighting the Moxibustion Pole akin to a cigar, then without touching the point, holding the Moxa Pole above the point to deliver a concentrated stream of heat to the specific region or acupuncture point you are activating.
Stomach 36 is an Earth point on an Earth channel (Stomach and Spleen comprise the Earth element within Traditional Chinese Medicine) this point is traditionally indicated to help with digestion and immunity. From a distal acupuncture perspective this region is great to impact your frontal sinuses, that is the sinuses above and below the eyes. Moxibustion can be done on Stomach 36, as well as the points listed above that are used within Tui Na or Chinese Massage.
If you have any questions about Hay Fever, Seasonal Rhinitis or Traditional Chinese Medicine in general, please feel free to contact us at Mornington Chinese Medicine for further advice.
Hay Fever is something you should never have to suffer through as there are so many fantastic and natural options to help prevent the symptoms from occurring.
McDonald JL, Smith PK, Smith CA, Changli Xue C, Golianu B, Cripps AW. Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016 Jun;116(6):497-505.
Acupuncture Evidence Project (McDonald J, and Janz S, 2017). Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd (AACMA) http://www.acupuncture.org.au.
Simon is available for consultation at Mornington Chinese Medicine on Monday, Friday and Saturday.
To book please call 5976 6886.