It’s such a relief when Spring finally peeks its head around the corner and we start to see longer days, daffodils and sunshine. But for those who suffer from hay fever, spring also brings red itchy eyes, lots of sneezing and exhaustion. It’s not much fun, but there is a lot you can do to help manage your symptoms and even eradicate them forever.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen and is caused by the body’s immune system overreacting to pollen in the air. According to the NHS choices website it affects 1 in 4 people in the UK and is mainly caused by grass pollen, but different types of pollen affect different people. It affects most people between May and July.
By finding the root cause of your hay fever, your acupuncturist can help to reduce and even remove the symptoms of hay fever. A systematic review of twelve studies showed that for over 1,000 patients there was significant differences between control groups and groups using acupuncture in both cure rates and marked improvement rates. The best time to go and see your acupuncturist is in the winter to give your body time to rebalance before the pollen hits .
If your hay fever is caused by flower pollen, having a small amount of local honey daily will allow your body to be desensitised to the local pollen and normalise its reaction, according to the peas health website. This means that your body won’t overreact and your symptoms will improve. Local bee keepers recommend starting your daily honey fix at least 8 weeks before you normally start experiencing hay fever symptoms.
A barrier cream under your nose can be really effective at stopping the pollen from entering your nose, thereby reducing the symptoms. You can buy specific hay fever barrier creams such as HayMax from your local health shop or pharmacy, but something like petroleum jelly or coconut oil will work too.
When you are in the throws of sneezing and streaming eyes there are some acupressure points you can use to help reduce your symptoms.
Pressure Point 1 : LI-20
This point is found next to the side of the nose. It is useful to relieve sinus pain and nasal congestion.
Pressure Point 2: BL-2
This point is located at the beginning of the eyebrows in a little depression. It can help with red, itchy and watering eyes.
Pressure Point 3: DU-26
This point is really helpful for sneezing. It is found on the midline of the body between the nose and the upper lip. The point is two-thirds of the way above the upper lip.
1) Xiao L et al. Systematic evaluation of the randomized controlled trials about acupuncture and moxibustion treatment of allergic rhinitis. Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion 2009; 29: 512-6.
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