Treating spring & summer allergies in the fall
Fall has clearly arrived, at least it has here in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures are in the 50s; it’s mostly cloudy with showers. This is the time to cover our neck and back with an extra layer of clothing and wear hats in order to avoid catching colds. It’s also important to eat foods that are in season, such as root vegetables, in soups and stews. Fall is also the time I treat patients who have allergies in the spring and summer.
In Chinese medicine, Fall corresponds with the lungs. The lungs are associated with breath and respiration, as well as with the “Wei qi,” translated as the defensive qi (your vital energy). This defensive qi wards off potential colds one can contract during the change in seasons. If your lung qi is flourishing, you’re less likely to get ill. If you do get ill, your body is able to ward of the disease fairly quickly.
By focusing my acupuncture treatments now on strengthening the lung qi, come spring time the lungs are better equipped to do their job in fighting allergic reactions. In addition, I prescribe herbal formulas that include either huang qi (astragalus root) or ren shen (ginseng root), based on the patient’s pattern presentation. These herbs effectively strengthen areas of the body that are depleted and also strengthen the body’s defenses against disease.
I like to think of these treatments as similar to seasonal tune-ups for a car. I focus on getting you healthy now to help prevent severe problems in the future. If you are someone who gets allergies in the spring or summer, consider a tune-up acupuncture treatment right now in the fall! Sorry, I am not offering shuttle service at this time.