THE TRADITIONAL WAY
TCM TRICKS FOR HAY FEVER
his time of the year when the temperature suddenly drops below 20-degree centigrade and the weather becomes dry with bouts of smoggy days, many of us suffer from problems like a runny nose, throat irritation, sneezing, and itchy eyes.Symptoms of common cold, but if they continue for more than a week, it is more likely you are suffering from allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever. Typically triggered by environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, etc. - it is a sticky problem that does not bid adieu quickly. Although most common in spring, Beijing's dry winter and extreme air pollution traps microparticles in the air triggering the same condition.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a popular method for treating this issue. According to TCM a disease or illness is caused due to an imbalance of the five elements in our body. Dr. Kim, a well-known TCM practitioner at International Medical Center, says, “The concept of five elements sounds overwhelming. Thus, it is better to say that TCM believes that our bodies can self-heal if certain points of our body are stimulated, either with herbal medication or therapies that have evolved through centuries.”
TCOMMON COLD OR HAY FEVER?
A person suffering from a common cold will also complain either of body ache, rise in body temperature, or a cough with sputum. While the common cold vanishes in a week or ten days, even if no medicine is taken, allergic rhinitis takes longer to cure. It is also marked with stuffy or runny nose, but the fluid from the nose is usually clear.
DECIDING THE TREATMENT
Unlike Allopathy, TCM does not use steroids, and a single session might not be enough. Still, it does provide a complete cure without causing any side effects. Chronic or an prolonged condition takes a longer time to heal; hence patience is necessary. A detailed diagnosis is required to find the root cause. So be prepared to answer elaborate questions including sleep pattern and stress level at work. Doctors often alter medicines and treatment after every follow-up. Depending on the severity of the condition, therapy like acupuncture or cupping is suggested. One can also continue with Western medication along with TCM, but should keep in mind to avoid spicy, fatty, oily food, and alcohol. “Most important, one should choose TCM with an open mind and not be skeptical about it,” said Dr. Kim. Over-the-counter TCM pills are available at reputed pharmacies; however, it is always advisable to consult a doctor.
KEEPING YOURSELF HEALTHY
As prevention is always better than cure, Dr. Kim suggests using a mask and maintaining a clean oral and nasal cavity. "A clean nasal cavity is as important as good oral health. Use sterile water sprays or cleaning swabs to clean your nasal cavity every day, twice daily. Avoid foods that trigger an allergic reaction and always wash yourself when back home”, suggested Dr. Kim. Additionally, there are certain points known to TCM that can help: 1) Point between the eyebrows where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead, 2) the corner edge of each nostril and 3) the webbing between the thumb and index finger (not for pregnant women). Press hard enough for a few minutes until you feel some soreness and then massage in a circular motion.
Hay fever isn't grave but extremely irritating. Only proper treatment can relieve the discomfort and it is always advisable to consult a doctor if the symptoms persist.
Dr. Sunny Kim from
International Medical Center