Allergies and The Elements: How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can help

Sometimes a different way of thinking of things can broaden our understanding of the way things work.  In western medicine, we think of specific allergens that aggravate our allergies, such as pollens, grasses, cat dander.  In Chinese medicine, we look at the elements.  This can be more information for us to reduce our exposure to what aggravates our symptoms and help us make sure we minimize factors contributing to allergies.

Sometimes a different way of thinking of things can broaden our understanding of the way things work.  In western medicine, we think of specific allergens that aggravate our allergies, such as pollens, grasses, cat dander.  In Chinese medicine, we look at the elements.  This can be more information for us to reduce our exposure to what aggravates our symptoms and help us make sure we minimize factors contributing to allergies.

See if it helps to notice if certain elements make your symptoms worse or induce a runny nose or attack:

Cold

Cold element can come in different forms: cold weather, being cold in the body from cold food such as ice cream or iced drinks, cold in the body from low thyroid, cold in the body from exposure to cold such as swimming in cold water or sitting on cold concrete.  I know that can sound silly to us westerners, but pay attention, and see if you are affected by cold in any way! Sitting on cold concrete can also be a major cause of low back pain!  If you get allergy symptoms all of a sudden at night when your feet get cold, or after exposure to cold, then cold element is one of the causes, and warmth—herbs, foods, hot packs, kundalini breath of fire, will help eliminate cold from your system and reduce symptoms.  Heat would be an actual treatment to help balance the condition.

Wind

Wind is anything airborne, actual wind, and anything blowing, such as air conditioning or fan.  If you have an aversion to wind, or do not like wind, it would most likely be helpful to minimize your exposure to wind. This means to wear a scarf on windy days, or to cover ears, head and neck.  Wind can cause symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, cough, tight neck and shoulder muscles, or headache to a person who is susceptible to wind.  There are reasons that can be addressed for people susceptible to wind, but for this article, it just means pay attention and cover up. Do not let AC blow right onto your face or neck.

Heat

Some people have too much heat in their systems (which can also be addressed after a differential diagnosis) in which case heat will aggravate allergy symptoms and a big part of treatment would be to minimize heat. As with any of the elements, heat can come from outside or inside the body.  Outside examples of heat are hot weather, too much hot yoga, getting overheated in anyway such as over exercise or dehydration, or putting too many heating things in the system such as alcohol, sugar, smoking, spicy food, preservatives, fried foods, fast foods, medications, recreational drug use, overexposure to computer and TV, and caffeine.  These are all adding heat to the fire and will aggravate and increase allergy symptoms for a person who has allergies.  Internal sources of heat are hormonal changes, emotional build up and stress, liver toxicity, not enough sleep, not enough exercise, high blood sugar, and emotions such as anger and frustration. Clearing heat from the system with mindfulness and breathwork, herbs, acupuncture, or certain practices will really help reduce allergies and increase energy and vitality.

Damp

The main allergy symptoms of dampness are lots of congestion, brain fog, mucous, heaviness in the head and body, depression, and fatigue.  Dampness is rain, foggy weather, mold in living environment, work in water, pools, or ponds.  Internally it can come from certain foods such as fatty food, hydrogenated fats, dairy, fast food, sweets, overeating, eating late at night, poor digestion, history of taking antibiotics.  Dampness can cause weight gain, joint pain, mental and physical fatigue, digestive problems, bloating, and allergies.

 

Hopefully you find this interesting and helpful in supporting your body and reducing allergic attacks alonmg with our natural antihistamine supplements.

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