Recently my Chicago acupuncture office has been receiving calls from people who are looking for allergy relief. Apparently we can blame the Polar Vortex for this, too. Our recent brutal winter has led us to a “pollen vortex”, not good news for people who suffer with allergies. Because it was sooo cold for sooo long, trees and other plants were dormant longer than usual, so tree pollen season is overlapping with grass pollen and mold season. Ugh. Allergists in the Chicago area believe this “pollen vortex” has caused more allergens than usual for this time of year to be released into the air. Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist with Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, in Chicago, measures the levels of pollen in the Midwest for the National Allergy Bureau. In March of this year, Dr. Leija predicted this “pollen vortex”, and said it would be created by “the pollens all coming in at the same time. The season will probably be shorter, but people with allergies will be more miserable.”
At the end of May, Dr. Leija said, “The pollen vortex and that noxious cyclone of allergens is here. All pollens except ragweed are now simultaneously at recordable levels triggering unhealthy reactions in those with sensitive breathing systems.”
Those with allergies suffer many unpleasant symptoms, including: itchy, red, watery eyes, inflammation, itchy throat or skin, congestion, postnasal drip and sneezing. The increased pollen count increases these symptoms. Allergy sufferers release histamines (which cause the symptoms) in response to the allergens, hence more allergens = more symptoms.
Luckily, Chinese Medicine offers great relief for allergic symptoms. Specific acupuncture points for the sinuses often bring quick relief, open the sinuses, relieve congestion and reduce inflammation. Regular treatment can calm the histamine reaction, strengthen the immune system, balance the body and often dramatically decrease the unpleasant symptoms. Chinese herbal medicine and cupping are also wonderful for allergies. Chinese herbs can help decrease or eliminate allergies without the side effects some people experience when they take allergy medications. Cupping helps clear excess phlegm and heat in the body.
If this “pollen vortex” has been taking a toll on your health, you might want to give Chinese Medicine a try.