Most of us are really looking forward to saying “farewell” to winter and welcoming in spring with open arms. The sunny weather, putting away the shovel, and getting warm, fresh air can’t come soon enough. For some people, however, spring can be a difficult season due to seasonal allergies. Pollen, mold and dust can create much discomfort, especially for those with chronic sinus problems.
In Chinese medicine, each organ has specific qualities and functions. For example, the spleen has many functions in Chinese medicine that are quite different from Western medicine. In Chinese medicine, the spleen likes to be dry in nature. However, factors like seasonal allergies, a diet with too much dairy, sweets, and fried foods dampen and weigh down the spleen.
So, you’re probably thinking, “a damp spleen?”
“What’s the big deal?”
Well, the big deal is that the spleen has a main role of transforming and transporting the food we eat into energy (qi) and delivering that qi to other areas of the body, allowing it to function at full speed.
When a person suffers from seasonal allergies, mucus and congestion can occur (dampness), which impedes the function of the spleen. Headaches, sinus pressure, post nasal drip, tooth and jaw pain, and digestive issues can often result. When one of the meridians is out of balance, people can often crave foods that can make symptoms worse. If the spleen is out of balance, a person will often crave damp producing foods like dairy, excess sugar, or fried foods, which can increase mucus production, making sinus congestion that much worse.
The good news is that there are many things you can do. Many people take allergy pills, which alleviate some of the symptoms. But, if you’re looking for a more natural way to combat these pesky symptoms, you may want to consider acupuncture. There are over 400 acupuncture points on the body. Each of these acupuncture points has a specific job. And, I’m sure you’ve already guessed it — yup — there are points that address dampness as well as points that work toward building the immune system.
As we gear up for spring, and you or someone you know suffers from allergies, you may want to consider acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture can help you ditch the tissues and nasal sprays, and allow you to really enjoy the spring weather.
Afterall, we certainly deserve an enjoyable spring season after the winter we’ve just experienced!
ABOUT CHRISTINA NOONAN, MAc., LicAc.
Christina, a senior staff acupuncturist at the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture, where she received a masters degree in Japanese and Chinese Acupuncture styles. She is a Diplomate in Acupuncture by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, Christina is also certified by the Auricular Therapy Certification Institute, and has completed an extensive Integrated Oncology program from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. Her clinical interests include infertility, gynecological issues, migraines, digestive conditions, and anxiety.