Help Your Hay Fever: How Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Spring has sprung which means the hay fever season is here, but there’s no need to reach for chemical laden products when the pollen season strikes. At Grace we believe in a 360 approach to health, with preventative medicine at the core of everything we do. Grace Acupuncture Specialist and seasonal allergy expert, Simon Cheung, discusses how acupuncture can help combat your hay fever symptoms.
There are over a million asthma sufferers of all ages in Britain and at least twice as many hay fever sufferers. These facts highlight the impact allergies have on the nation’s health, and yet the problem is greater than ever with asthma and allergies become increasingly prevalent; extensive studies have shown that the number of people going to their doctors for both asthma and hay fever has doubled in the last ten years. While these conditions can be managed by medications in the short term – such as antihistamines and steroids to reduce sneezing, itchy eyes and a blocked or runny nose – it certainly is not a long term cure for allergies sufferers.
The Root Cause of Allergies
The basis of allergy lies in the immune system, which primarily protects us from invading viruses, bacteria and parasites. It is possible that with the decrease of infectious diseases in the developed world, the immune system is reacting increasingly to other foreign substances, for example pollen, which is itself innately harmless.
Essentially, allergy is a hypersensitive response of the immune system to normally harmless substances and instead of protecting the body, actually causes disease.
Most medications for allergies belong to a group called “Immunosuppressant’s”, which work by suppressing the hypersensitive response of the immune system. However, prolonged use of these can potentially cause immunodeficiency, meaning patients become susceptible to infections and illnesses.
The Principle of Traditional Chinese Medicine
According the natural law of Yin and Yang, harmony of both forces are needed for normality in nature. Hence, traditional Chinese Medicine treatments such as acupuncture can be used to return the body, including the immune system, back to a state of balance.
If one is to apply this principle to allergy, too much immunity needs to be “regulated” back to harmony that defines good health, rather than “suppress” it which could potentially case of immunodeficiency.
How acupuncture can help you
As always in our lives, prevention is better than cure. The best time to regulate the immune system just before spring (when tree pollen is active), and summer (when the grass pollen is active) and immune system sensitivity increases for seasonal hay fever sufferers. A correctly balanced immune system is vital for a healthy life. It is beneficial and sensible to choose a method of treatment that can balance these extremes rather than just suppress it.
I would recommend allergy sufferers to seek acupuncture treatment now before their seasonal allergies reach their peak. A course of four to six sessions can significantly reduce their suffering compare to previous years, and if the patient’s hyperactive immune system is regulated back to its normality, it may even alleviate the need for medications in the future.
Ultimately, acupuncture cannot be considered a cure for allergy, but by preventing the immune system from becoming over sensitive, it is an effective way to significantly reduce suffering.