Spring is the time of upward and expansive movement. It’s an explosion of growth with buds on the trees sprouting and doubling in size daily. As with the season, we too have to healthily attune to the movement of the season.
So with the sun shining, birds chirping, why are some us blowing our noses, sneezing and itching our eyes?
As nature starts to bloom, the release of pollen into the air triggers for allergy sufferers, the itchy watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose and sinus pressure that makes Spring a real challenge. That fine, yellow powdery substance released by trees, flowers, grasses, and weeds is easily picked up by the wind and breathed in. For some people this activates a similar response that one experiences when catching a cold. Western medicinal treatments include desensitization, eliminating or avoiding the allergens and drug therapy with antihistamines, steroids, and other medicines.
Chinese Medicine understands seasonal allergies from an energetic perspective with the combination of functions of the Lung, Stomach and Kidneys at varying degrees of deficiency and imbalance mixing with the warm, energetic wind of springtime. Any function concerning the eyes will involve the Liver and any function of the nose and sinus will involve the Lung and Stomach.
What is easily overlooked is the role of energy harmonization from the previous season of winter. If there has not been adequate conversation of the Kidney energy through a lifestyle of rest and energy restoring practices, there will be problems with the cyclical change of energy with manifestation of physical symptoms rooted in Kidney imbalance.
Addressing the conditions of the season comes in the form of not just spring cleaning of our homes and gardens but also for our bodies. A cleansing diet to support the liver, clearing toxins and moderating heavy foods and stimulants can help. Fresh fruits and vegetables are most appropriate. Adding a bit sour taste to foods with lemon or vinegar can help with the cleansing and astringent effects.
Bolstering the Stomach function to regulate fluids and transform the nasal discharge is enhanced with minimizing damp forming foods such as dairy, wheat, and sugar.
The lungs responsibility of the air ways through the sinus and nasal regions is also assisted with specifically targeted inhalations of essential oils.
Whether its diet and lifestyle changes along with the support of acupuncture and herbs to enhance organ function, the challenges of seasonal allergies can be engaged with and surmounted so that our health is back in harmony with the seasonal movements.