Recently, numerous people have been complaining of early hayfever following a particularly weird and extremely rainy Winter. If you would like to understand what Chinese medicine has to offer hayfever (or Allergic Rhinitis) sufferers, read on!
Toward the end of August, we are fast approaching that beautiful time of year that looks and feels like the whole world is waking up – referred to as “Bud Burst”, when the flower buds burst open and let forth all that pollen.
When the sun comes out everyone becomes more cheerful as we get our burst of vitamin D, but just before that happens, it’s great to work on strengthening your “Exterior” or “Wei Qi” (pronounced “way”) which is the Chinese Medicine term for the first layer of the Immune system. We consider in Chinese medicine, that prevention is better than cure, so prior to an attack is perfect timing to protect yourself.
How does Chinese medicine view hayfever?
TCM has thousands of years of historical documentation about its systems of organisation when it comes to the layers of energy that make up a human soul. Disharmonies in these layers are said to cause disease and they can come from inside as well as outside the body. These disharmonies can be caused by Hot or Cold and in this context, Wind Heat or Wind Cold. A TCM practitioner will examine your symptoms to work out which of these is causing the problem.
Is your hayfever Hot or Cold?
In Warm Disease theory, Wei Qi is the outermost layer. So when the wind ruffles your feathers, it probably means that your Wei level is being disturbed and if it’s not as strong as we would hope, it can’t keep the wind out. Wind entering the Wei level initiates an immune response which can result in hayfever, among other health issues.
Wei level is also known as Tai Yang in the 6 level theory of Cold Invasion or damage, (Shang Han), and is explained in ancient metaphor as “The Army”, or at least the infantry at the front with the shields. Using the military analogy, in a battle, we may consider the Shield Wall as the first line of defence against an invading force to get a better idea of strength and weakness when it comes to Exterior Wind invasion.
What does TCM suggest?
So to strengthen the Wei Qi by training the Shield Wall with herbs, acupuncture, massage, diet therapy, heat therapy and cupping are the things we do to help fend off the Wind that creates hayfever and set our sights on a healthier you.
A couple of years ago, Dr Bec wrote a fully referenced article about allergic rhinitis, so if you are interested in having a look at the research confirming acupuncture’s efficacy for this very common problem, please check it out here.
If you would like to book a time with Dr Rebecca Tolhurst (Physician of Chinese medicine) to assess where you are at with your own personal army, please call or text 0422353446 or use the online booking system.