Chinese medicine sees the common cold and flu as a dysfunction in the Lungs, often brought upon by an attack of Wind, Cold, or Toxic Heat. Symptoms can include:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
Your practitioner will ask questions to determine the path of the invasion and understand how to best treat your specific presentation. A combination of an herbal formula with acupuncture points to strengthen your immune system and release the exterior will help clear the virus. Other modalities, including cupping, which can help loosen the phlegm in the Lungs, and guasha, which can help open the pores to release heat, may be applicable to stimulate healing. We recommend seeking treatment as soon as possible in these cases.
Whether seasonal, environmental, or food related, Chinese medicine can work wonders on treating allergies. We will begin with a thorough intake to learn more about where the allergies originated, which organs are being affected (and thus, out of balance), and how we can treat the body to bring it back into homeostasis. Springtime allergies, for example, are often caused by an aspect of "wind" attacking the body. Here, we would choose acupuncture points and herbs to help dispel Wind, such as Fang Feng. Other herbs may be used to dispel dampness, like Xin Yi Hua. If you know you are prone to seasonal allergies, it is always our recommendation to begin your course of treatment four to six weeks before the start of the season to build up your immunity. Often when you wait until the congestion has built up, it may become more difficult to treat. Some common symptoms of allergies that Chinese medicine can treat include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Digestive disturbances
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Skin irritation
- Allergic rhinitis (often triggered by pollen, mold, dust, and animal dander)
Food Allergies in Adults and Children
Diet can be a main cause of allergies affecting both adults and children and many people live with day-to-day symptoms of fatigue and headaches without seeking treatment. At Vail Valley Wellness, we will commonly focus on the immune system and the adrenal-stress handling system. We can offer advice on dietary changes on an individual basis, but it seems to often be the case to limit the amount of sugar and dairy that is in the diet. By supporting the immune system, strengthening the digestive system, and diffusing the body's reaction to the allergens, Chinese medicine can work towards relieving some of the symptoms of food allergies including:
- Abdominal pain
- Mental confusion
In Chinese medical theory both sugar and dairy lead to phlegm and damp accumulation, which can give rise to Damp Heat in the intestines. This, in turn, can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and fungi, known as dysbiosis. When the gut has high amounts of bad bacteria it can lead to a higher level of gut permeability and once there is Leaky Gut Syndrome then the bacteria and food particles that leak out of the intestines will cause the immune system to respond. This is how food allergies end up "multiplying". It can also explain the systemic inflammation that often occurs with food allergies.
Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture can be used in conjunction with dietary intervention to effectively change the body’s reaction to the allergens. A clear bland diet is recommended to help heal the digestive tract. Since children's spleens have not yet been fully developed, cooking foods will help the child’s ability to digest the food. Rice is considered hypoallergenic so it is a good food source. Chinese herbs that are prescribed by an herbal practitioner will be given based on the patient's "pattern of health" at the time of the visit.