This Spring, Beat the Hay Fever with Easy Remedies

Spring is a truly beautiful season, particularly in Australia where you can expect blooming flowers, chirping birds and plenty of sunshine. However, those who suffer from hay fever may find this to be the worst time of year, one that is characterised by sneezing, itchy throats, watering eyes and difficulty breathing. Many people rely on antihistamines (or worse, steroids) to manage the symptoms, but are searching for a natural and long-lasting alternative for treating their hay fever symptoms, and even preventing them from flaring up in the first place.

Acupuncture is one of the most popular natural treatment options for hay fever, with numerous studies demonstrating its efficacy at treating hay fever symptoms. To understand how acupuncture can assist with hay fever, we first need to understand how traditional Chinese medicine understands the condition.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs are thought to be in charge of the immune system, which is called Wei Qi or Defensive Qi. As the name suggests, Wei Qi maintains our harmonious relationship with the environment, but when weakened, leaves us vulnerable to allergens that can get stuck in our sinuses and wreak havoc on our bodies. Additionally, hay fever can even be exacerbated by internal factors such as anger, diet or lifestyle, as this can cause stagnation, heat, phlegm or dampness within the body, all of which is best treated with natural approaches rather than pills and prescriptions.

Acupuncture works by stimulating meridians throughout the body and encouraging the flow of Qi, or energy. In the case of hay fever, the triggering of certain acupressure points aids the body in expelling pathogens like allergens from the sinuses and promoting the flow of Qi. This restores balance to the body, reducing the symptoms experienced. The increased flow of Qi also boosts the body’s immunity, preventing it from being as easily compromised by allergens in the future. Once the presenting symptoms are managed, maintenance treatments are still recommended to prevent the symptoms from returning and allowing you to enjoy spring to the fullest.

Although individual results vary, numerous studies have found acupuncture to be highly effective for managing and preventing hay fever, particularly when paired with herbal medicine. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy found that acupuncture was as effective as certain allergy medications at managing the symptoms of hay fever. The Lishui Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine also found strong evidence for acupuncture and herbal medicine’s effectiveness at easing hay fever, with a treatment regimen of acupuncture and herbal medicine being 91.1% effective at alleviating hay fever or allergic rhinitis among test subjects. Those wanting to rely solely on natural remedies will also find acupuncture to be highly appealing, with the Charite-University Medical Center in Berlin finding that with increased acupuncture treatments, less antihistamines are required. This allows you to gradually reduce your dependence on antihistamines, and eventually switch to a treatment regimen focusing around traditional Chinese medicine, depending on the individual results you experience.

It’s important to remember that pollen isn’t the only cause of hay fever symptoms – otherwise, everyone would be suffering! Because of this, antihistamines can’t completely relieve the symptoms, meaning acupuncture and herbal medicine are well worth considering in addition to conventional remedies. The pollen is not the real culprit for our discomfort – it’s our weak immune systems. Acupuncture works to strengthen the immune system by enabling the correct flow of Qi throughout the body, thereby tackling the root cause of hay fever instead of simply keeping sneezing at bay like antihistamines do. Additionally, traditional Chinese medicine works to address the other causes of inflammation, such as excessive heat in the body, which goes beyond supressing your allergic reaction with antihistamines or steroids.  

In addition to seeking acupuncture from a reputable, qualified acupuncturist, you can also try home remedies to ease symptoms when they are at their worst or prevent them from exacerbating. Some natural home remedies include:

  • Try horseradish and garlic capsules, which are a traditional combination of natural ingredients known for their decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Use a Neti pot to flush out the pollen from your sinus cavity
  • Use eucalyptus oils or sprays throughout the home, such as an in a humidifier or just misted around windows
  • Eat pungent foods like garlic, ginger, horseradish, chilli and wasabi, which can open up your sinuses

If you would like to spend springtime soaking up the beautiful weather outdoors without feeling congested and uncomfortable, consider trying acupuncture for long-lasting relief and immune recovery. 

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