We are entering into the allergy season, when those unfortunate seasonal allergy sufferers with Hay fever are tormented with symptoms such as streaming, itchy irritated eyes and nose!
Spring / Summer without Hay fever & other allergies
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to help your clients get some sun this summer and to enjoy the warm weather, the beautiful colours and scents of summer blooms, without being bothered by allergic asthma or hay fever. This article is intended to help your client’s avoid and ideally become symptom free from allergic rhinitis, hay fever and asthma by teaching you an abdominal acupuncture protocol which can be combined with other systems of acupuncture, massage and Buteyko breathing techniques to minimise the effects of allergic triggers such as pollen, dust, moulds and animal dander.
I am an acupuncturist and Buteyko breathing teacher, I no longer suffer with allergic asthma by using these simple and powerful methods of controlling or eradicating symptoms. If you or your client’s are suffering with chronic or acute asthma / hay fever you will need to give a few sessions of acupuncture to stop the allergic symptoms. Please feel free to contact me with any queries. Enjoy the summer.
Follow these simple tips and you should be able to enjoy a summer without red irritated eyes, a runny nose, sore throat and or wheezing.
What is hay fever & what causes it?
Hay fever is an immune reaction to allergens such as pollen, moulds, animal Dander etc., which are released and carried in the air in high concentrations in warm dry, windy, weather. Pollen is often still present in the air on cold days but usually in lower concentrations, wet weather tends to soak up these airborne particles and prevent them from floating through the air and entering the body. If there are no allergens entering the body the allergic symptoms are minimal or non- existent. It is important to control your (or your client’s) exposure to allergic triggers by following the advice below.
These microscopic pollens, animal dander, mould or dust particles over stimulate the immune system which sees them as a threat and tries to neutralise them by a cascade of events which involves many reactions including the release of Histamine from immune system mast cells. This chain of events results in the mucus cells of the nose and the cells around the eyes producing increasing amounts of mucus and tears, the throat and airways can become irritated and blocked also as the immune response tries to stop this apparent threat posed. The resulting symptoms can be similar to those of a cold or flu, and have a dramatic effect on the sufferer’s quality of life.
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s interpretation.
Hay fever and similar type allergies are usually caused by wind and often dampness usually combined with cold or heat. There is usually an underlying weakness with the Spleen and Lung resulting in the formation of dampness and phlegm. Abdominal Acupuncture and patent herbs can quickly address the causes to eliminate the wind damp and other causative factors while nourishing the underlying weakness of the lung & spleen. Abdominal Acupuncture is particularly effective at strengthening both pre – natal (Kidney) and post – natal qi (Spleen / Stomach) and addressing immune system issues.
Avoid the Triggers / Allergens
Breathe through your nose (see below for nose clearing exercises), it filters the air, if necessary use petroleum gel at the end of the nostrils to trap excess allergens.
Avoid areas of high concentration of what you are allergic to. (Find out what it is you are allergic to).
Keep windows closed and use air conditioners where necessary.
ï Use tumble dryers or dry clothes indoors when the pollen count is high. ï Wear wrap round sun glasses when out to avoid allergens entering the eyes.
ï If it is dust mite get rid of areas they accumulate in such as carpets & thick curtains or keep a barrier between them and you, use dust covers on your bed. ï If you have a problem with mould be sure to keep areas that mould grows clean.
Shower before bed to avoid allergens on you getting on bed clothes and aggravating you at night. ï Regularly clean animals that cause your allergies, you can even vacuum (use HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners) excess animal dander from pets (careful with cats!!) and carpets.
Abdominal Acupuncture Treatment
It is obviously important to address the underlying causative factors as mentioned above, Asthma is often due to weakness in the Kidney function of assisting the Lung’s to inhale by drawing the Qi downwards.
Abdominal prescriptions to enhance the Spleen and Kidney function and harmonise the immune function.
Points used are ‘Bringing Qi Home’, Ren 12 (Zhongwan), Ren 10 (Xiawan), Ren 6 (Qihai) and Ren 4 (Guanyuan), combined with St 25 (Tianshu) and the abdominal four gates; St 24 (Huaroumen) and St 26 (Wailing). All needles should go to a depth of at least 0.5 cun and deeper to 0.75 cun on larger clients
Fig 1 The Turtle hologram used to represent the body at the Heaven Level in abdominal acupuncture.
Bringing Qi Home (also known as ‘Guiding Qi to the Source’), serves to promote the postnatal Qi (from the Spleen) to strengthen and benefit the pre-heaven Qi (Yuan) and thus send it home to the source, i.e. the Kidneys. It opens the middle Jiao and descends the Lung Qi. St 25 (Tianshu) is the front Mu point of the Large Intestine (the lungs paired organ), St 25 (Tianshu) is capable of regulating the 3 Jiao’s and can clear heat and damp through the Large Intestines.
The abdominal four gates makes Qi and Blood rich and distributes Zang Fu organ Qi smoothly throughout the body and helps to regulate the immune system.
Refining the treatment for individual needs
The abdominal Lu 1 which is located 0.2 cun inferior and lateral to St 24 (shoulder point) will assist in calming and nourishing the lungs it will help to clear excess mucus and heat from the Lungs and stop asthma and runny nose and irritated throat, which is often seen in Hay fever. The depth here should only be 0.2-0.3 cun. This can be combined with ahshi points about 0.2 cun superior to Ren 12 (Zhongwan) to treat the nose, and with ahshi points around 0.3 cun superior and lateral to Ren 12 (Zhongwan) to treat the eyes, the depth for these ahshi points will be quite superficial.
If the eyes are irritated itchy and sore use the extra point for eyes located 1cun lateral to Ren 7 (Yin Jiao), depth will be 0.5 cun, unless they are quite large, in which case it will be deeper.
You could also use abdominal Du 14 (Dahzui) located approximately 0.2 cun below Ren 10 (Xiawan) to clear wind, heat and remove pathogens while regulating the Wei Qi and sending clear Yang Qi to the head the depth here should be around 0.4cun. Extra point Dingchuan is located 0.5 cun lateral to Du 14 (Dahzui) and so ahshi points should be located around 0.2 cun lateral to abdominal Du 14.
The abdomen can of course be used to utilise the function of points along the UB channel that will assist in resolving the problems with the lungs and clear wind including UB11 (Dahzu), (UB12 Feng Men) and UB 13 (Fei Shu) which is indicated for all manner of Lung conditions including Asthma, Bronchitis nasal congestion etc. All of these points will be found along the Kidney meridian between Ren 10 (Xiawan) and Ren 9 (Shuifen) the depths here will be about 0.4 -0.7 cun.
Points on the deep (Earth) level Bagua
The point Left Ab 4 (knee) is in the Qian Trigram (Metal) Lu / Li, of the Bagua, this point should be needled at a 45 degree angle towards the umbilicus and should go to a depth of approximately 1.0 - 1.5cun. This will treat asthma, cough and fullness in the chest, it will also help to nourish the Lungs. Ab 1 on the left can also be used to treat the Spleen and is especially useful where there is excess phlegm, the depth here should also be in the region of 1.0 - 1.5cun and the needle should be angled at 45 degree towards the umbilicus. Ab 4 on the right resides in the “Gen” Gua of the Ba Gua and it dominates the upper Jiao and, therefore, treats problems of the Lungs also the depth and angle of the needle will be as above for the Bagua level!
Fig 2 The Bagua used to represent the Zang Fu organs at the deep, Earth Level in abdominal acupuncture
Treatments should be given twice a week and ideally before the onset of the allergy season. The prescriptions used can be rotated some to use all the UB points mentioned with the other Lung points and then rotated to include ahshi points such as nose and / or eyes when symptomatic. Always use Bringing qi home or Heaven and Earth. I would start with opening the Ren or conception vessel using Lu 7 on the left for Men and right for Women combined with Kid 6 on the opposite side. If you use Dr. Tan balance methods use Yangming : Taiyin protocol points around the elbow to help prevent and / or relieve allergies!