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SPRING IS COMING and so is the HAY FEVER season.

With the warmer weather on its way, longer days of sunshine, flowers blossoming, and the winds are starting to blow in from the north, this heralds the beginning of spring.

For some this is a time to celebrate coming out of a cold, wet, and dark winter, however others are dredging it as it means hay fever season.

Hay fever is a chronic inflammation of the nose, throat, eyes, and sinuses. It is an allergic reaction to specific pollens, being released in the air by flowers and plants beginning to pollinate, usually in spring and summer. For hay fever sufferers, the symptoms can range from itchy eyes, blocked or runny nose, sinusitis, sneezing or trouble with breathing easily.

During the hay fever season, this can be a difficult time of year for some as you constantly feel ill which can interfere with your daily functioning.

From a Chinese medicine point of view, hay fever is usually seen as a deficiency of Wei qi (the body’s immune system), and a deficiency in the Lung qi. However, there could be several underlying reasons why someone is suffering from hay fever, therefore it is always important to treat the whole person, and not just treat the symptoms.

Treatment can involve using acupuncture, cupping, and herbal medicine, as well as making small dietary changes, including exercises.

For the most, effective results its best to start treatment early before hay fever season. Prevention is best.

Things to do at home:

- Stay out of the wind, if possible.

- Cover your neck and shoulders, as this is where that evil wind enters the body and causes stiff neck and headaches.

- Avoid hanging washing outside on really windy days.

- Eat warm and cooked foods. Raw, cold and dairy foods are seen as causing damp, obstruction, and digestion loves warmer and cooked foods as it doesn’t have to work so hard in digesting it.

- Avoid sugar, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, nightshade fruit and vegetables, and wheat products, as they may also trigger inflammatory responses. Listen to your body, and observe which ones are triggers for you.

Come and see me if you would like to discuss how we can start to prevent hay fever now.

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