What Does My Hay Fever Have To Do With My Gut?


If you suffer from hay fever and other seasonal allergies, you are probably all too familiar with the symptoms… runny nose, itchy watery eyes, sinus pressure, congestion, sneezing, and coughing. And, like most allergy sufferers, you have probably experimented with every allergy medication under the sun, in an effort to find relief.

The common “triggers” for such misery are the pollens and grasses that bloom from spring through fall. There is however, a growing body of scientific research that suggest the “smoking gun” in terms of causality, lies in our gut rather than our noses.

Allergies and other types of inflammation result when our immune system overreacts to the external environment. Allergy symptoms are a good indication that our bodies are out of balance.

In a Science Daily report, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine conducted research that describes our bodies as a complex “ecosystem” of microbes, viruses, and bacteria that are intricately interconnected forming a “microbiome.” In fact only 10 percent of our cells are human, and the remaining 90 are microbes (We are talking numbers, not the mass!). Each person has a uniquely different “ecosystem” of microbes, and our health is interconnected with the microorganisms within our bodies. Friendly bacteria shields us from harmful invaders, while unfriendly bacteria, when it is not kept in check, can create havoc with our immune system.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study examined the effects of intestinal bacteria on our immune system. It found that intestinal bacteria plays an important role influencing and controlling allergic inflammation. The study suggests that we adopt a “Superorganism” approach to understanding immune system health and disease.

Understanding allergies systemically, and treating the root causes of inflammation can alleviate, or even eliminate seasonal allergy symptoms.

Using food as medicine to maintain intestinal health can be an effective way to treat allergies and improve one’s overall health. There are many foods that can aggravate allergic reactions, and many foods that can prevent intestinal, and other types of inflammation. Many people who suffer seasonal allergies also have food sensitivities.

I find the scientific research to be exciting because it often supports the Traditional Chinese medicine approach to health and wellness; taking a look at the whole person, and examining the relationship between the individual and their environment. The goal in Traditional Chinese medicine is to identify imbalance, and restore the equilibrium (unblock the flow of Qi, pronounced “chee”), so that the body can heal itself naturally. Using food as medicine, and working to restore intestinal health can have a significant influence on seasonal allergic reactions.

The reality is, that most people don’t make changes of any kind until something is so wrong, or uncomfortable, that they must do something about it.

This is especially true for seasonal allergies. The best time to get to the root of the problem is before allergies flare up, and before you reach for whatever over-the-counter antihistamine that will only provide temporary relief.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to seasonal allergy congestion. However there is much to be gained by addressing the problem from a systemic and holistic approach. Acupuncture, acupressure and dietary changes offer safe, natural, and effective allergy treatment.

This month, I am offering an allergy 3-pack special offer to help you get started. I’m also hosting a workshop on Acupuncture, acupressure, and food as medicine, to answer your pressing question about allergies and the Traditional Chinese medicine approach to surviving and thriving throughout allergy season.

Yes you CAN get your allergies under control…

…before they take control of you.

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The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Xia Xin, L.Ac., CSMA


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