Chronic Seasonal Allergies: What’s the deal?

As I write this post, we are starting the turn to autumn.  If you are starting to experience the return of allergies, you may be starting to ask yourself the above question as the Ragweed counts start to climb.  The fact that we’ve hardly had any rain to speak of here in 2011 has left the pollen counts a bit friendlier (though we still have all the molds to deal with, believe it or not).  Still, this can be the beginning of some tough times for people here in one of the worst cities for allergies in the nation.  First, we have Ragweed for the fall.  Then there’s Cedar, which can provide the most intense suffering for people, then the spring when everything blooms, molds all the time, etc., etc…  Needless to say, there are a lot of allergies to reckon with in Austin.

Many of you have likely noticed that you may be allergic to more things over time, or that your particular seasonal allergy is getting worse every year.  Many report that they might not even notice allergies until their 7th or 8th year in Austin.  Have you ever wondered why?  Chinese medicine can help to explain.

Experiencing Allergies on a seasonal basis really means that you’re only experiencing symptoms on an intermittent basis.  At some point, some kind of particulate matter entered into your body.  You had your first allergy attack.  Perhaps your eyes were runny and itchy, your nose might drip or you felt fatigued with a lot of sneezing.  All of this means that your body is using its Wei Qi (or immune system energy), to try and kick that pollen/mold/etc. back out of your body.  If you were already very healthy and did everything right (proper diet, exercise, seeking out immediate treatment for your condition), then you might not have to deal with allergies in the future, or only mildly so.

For those of you noticing your allergies getting a little harder to deal with, or experiencing more allergies throughout the year, this means that your body never successfully kicked out that original invasion.  In efforts to conserve energy, your body will give up fighting the pathogen and instead put it into latency inside your body, safely waiting until your energy is strong enough to get rid of it at a later point.  Unfortunately, many of us never find that space to recuperate.  There are many reasons for this: we have to work long hours, vacations can be hard to come by, there’s always something to do besides sleep, eating healthy requires a LOT of diligence, etc.  So every time that particular season comes around, we are just piling on to the load; it becomes harder to deal with each go around.  Now, our immune systems are weak at this point and we still haven’t found the opportunity to rid ourselves of the original invasion.  When your seasonal struggle comes on, you are adding fuel to the already burning fire, which can make for worse symptoms.  It’s also the precursor to being more sensitive to other allergens.

If this is you, the good news is that your allergies can still get better.  Healthy lifestyle, Acupuncture and Herbs can help tremendously.  If you can, it’s best to start address all aspects of your health before your allergy season starts.  If you do this, you can get your body to have a strong immune system while being able to detoxify what is already in your body.  Then you will notice your allergies are much improved during peak season.  You’ll also notice that your body and mind feel better in many ways.

If you’re stumbling upon this post too late and you’re already suffering, Chinese medicine will help tremendously with the acute symptoms.  Just remember that extra focus will need to be given to rebuilding your system once everything has settled.

Let me know if you have any questions.  In the meantime, best of health and happiness to you all!

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