Have runny nose, sinus congestion, allergies?

by Hon Lee on March 7, 2018

For many sufferers of allergic rhinitis, there’s no need to hear a news report detailing the pollen count outside, as their runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes will let them know. Often these symptoms strike in the summer and spring, but some patients also have symptoms due to an allergy to dust, mites or dander, to name a few. This condition is more commonly referred to as hay fever, seasonal allergies, or just plain allergies.

Symptoms typically include sneezing, runny nose, postnasal drip, and irritated eyes, ears, nose and throat. Normally, when a healthy body comes into contact with foreign particles in the air (allergens), the immune system initiates a response to neatly and harmlessly dispose of the allergens—not so for sufferers of hay fever. In their case, the immune system becomes hyperactive and destructive to the body, causing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine recognizes allergic rhinitis as a condition that is provoked by external factors, although it generally occurs because the body already has a pre-existing deficiency. For example, some patients with a long-standing lung Qi deficiency are more susceptible to dust, dander, pollen, etc. in the air.

The Qi circulating in the lungs and its corresponding meridians is called lung Qi. When lung Qi is not strong, problems with breathing, coughing and general immunity may arise because the lungs are related to defensive Qi. As the name implies, this Qi functions in the same capacity as the immune system.

The nose is the sense organ corresponding to the lungs, so when there are blockages in the lung meridian, the nose also may be obstructed. Emotions associated with the lungs are grief and sadness. Sometimes after crying or an attack of allergic rhinitis, one may experience a stuffy nose, red eyes and irregular breathing, which reflects the strain on the lungs. A good way to counter these symptoms is to concentrate on deep, regular breaths which can help stabilize the emotions as well. In general, aerobic exercise is an excellent way to strengthen lung Qi, which in turn helps strengthen general immunity.

Things you can do at home

There are a few things one can do at home to help lessen the severity of asthma symptoms. According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, the environment plays an important role in the health of an individual. For example, if one lives in a cold, damp environment, it may prove to be problematic. Not only may the cold contribute to constriction of the bronchial tubes, but the damp air may foster mold or other airborne pollutants that can irritate the air passages as well.

While it may not be possible to move to another climate, it is possible to focus on removing dust, animal dander, and other pollutants from your home. If your home is damp, consider using a dehumidifier, as this will help in eliminating mold. Sometimes breathing in cold air can cause wheezing and trouble breathing, so covering your mouth and nose in an effort to warm your breath may be helpful.

For soothing relief on a cold day, try a nourishing, warm soup. Keep the ingredients simple, the less processed and refined your food is, the easier it is on your digestive system. According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, phlegm is produced in the stomach, but stored in the lungs. This is a direct reference to the importance of eating well and avoiding phlegm-producing foods.

Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising every day will help strengthen your immune system as well. If you are finding it difficult to lose weight and lack motivation to exercise, this is something your practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with. If an addiction to smoking is contributing to your symptoms of asthma, there are treatment protocols to help reduce cravings for nicotine and other substances.

Acupuncture treatments may be used year-round, even if your allergies only occur in certain seasons or in the presence of certain allergens. When your allergy symptoms are not active any underlying deficiency you may have can be addressed.

Want Relief from Headaches?

by Hon Lee on February 12, 2018

Self Care Tips

The next time you find yourself with a headache, or feel the tell-tale throbs of one about to come on, try a little self care. By using the heat and energy from your fingertips, combined with the guidance from acupuncture and Oriental medicine, you may be able to ease the pain and suffering from your headache. This is because specific points exist on the body that provide pain relief when activated by simple massaging techniques. When pressed with a moderate amount of pressure, these points can provide relief without any harmful side effects. This technique is known as acupressure.

Headaches present differently for each person, with varying degrees of pain, tension, and/or tenderness. So, a lot will depend on the location of the pain, as far as which points will require massage. However, locating the spots for massage is quite easy, as are the acupressure techniques themselves.

To begin, the first step is to sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed, and loosen any tension or tight muscles in the body. Performing acupressure while relaxed ensures optimal results.

Alleviate Forehead Headaches

One of the most important points for any kind of headache, but especially in the area of the forehead, is called Large Intestine 4, LI4. To locate it, start by putting your hand palm-side down.

Notice the line between your thumb and first finger. Follow this line to the bottom, by the base of the thumb. You should be able to see, and feel, a ‘mound’ of soft flesh on the side of the first finger. In the center of this mound is LI4, which comprises an area about the siz

e of a nickel. There are different types of acupressure that may be used at this site. It is important to note that this point is to be avoided by pregnant women.

One technique is to squeeze LI4 between your thumb and your middle finger, applying deep pressure for 5 to 10 seconds, then releasing the pressure for 3 to 5 seconds. This can be done for 2 to 3 minutes. In severe cases, this point may stay pressed with heavy pressure until the pain reduces.

A different approach to stimulating LI4 involves vigorously tapping the right and left side LI4 points together. To do this, place your hands palms-down with your thumbs tucked underneath and out of view. Next, hit your hands together at LI4, up to nine times, and then end by gently shaking your hands.
A variation on this technique involves rubbing the same area together for a few seconds, then stopping. This also can be done up to nine times. In addition to addressing the pain from a headache, performing these exercises at LI4 will also energize your hands and arms.

Relief for Headaches on the Side of Your Head

If your headache is on one or both sides of your head, which can include the temples, then applying pressure at a point called Stomach 8, ST8, may be the best selection. The English name of this point, Head Corner, gives us a clue as to where it is located. It is found about a centimeter into the hairline, above the outer corner of the eyebrow.Using a firm touch from your middle finger, press and hold for 10 seconds. Next, without lifting your fingers, make little clockwise circular motions for 10 seconds. Repeat this procedure in a counter-clockwise motion. This may be repeated for up to 3 minutes.

Relieve Pain and Tension in the Back of Your Head

For relieving pain and tension in the back of the head and neck, the area including and surrounding Gall Bladder 20, GB20, is an excellent choice. To find your right and left GB20, trace your finger up your spine to the base of your skull. You will find your left and right GB20 point about 2 inches outward from your spine, directly below your skull. The medical term for this part of the cranium is the occipital bone.

Cradle the back of your head in both hands and use your thumbs to firmly rub back and forth right below your occipital bones. Create some heat with a vigorous rub, then use your thumb pads to press into the area. This can be done for 2 or 3 minutes.

There’s no reason to wait until you actually have a headache to give yourself a healthy dose of self-care though. Practicing these exercises on a daily basis may help prevent headaches, or may lessen the severity of pain if one does occur.

To add a little zing to your massage, charge up your hands by rubbing them together quickly until you generate extra heat and energy to work with.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can provide lasting relief with few if any side effects

More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, 20 million of whom are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches. The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. A widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, acupuncture can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Oriental Medicine does not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, tui-na massage, and qigong exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend a number of questions:

    • Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
    • When do your headaches occur? (i.e. night, morning, after eating)
    • Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?

Your answers to these questions will help me create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation for Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi. This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs.

According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced. Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness.

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Sports Edge Acupuncture Clinic
1033 Sterling Rd #105, Herndon, VA 20170
Phone: 571-306-0533


Serving Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Northern Virginia..

Zip Codes: 22066, 20148, 20151, 201152, 20164, 20166, 20170,
20171, 20190, 20191, 22182, 221124.