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Achoo! Spring Allergies

Are you sneezing and rubbing your itchy eyes? Is your nose running and your throat itchy? The pollen is thick on everything and I've been treating a lot of allergies in acupuncture clinic this week.

In Western Medicine these seasonal allergies are considered an over reactivity of the immune system to allergens. In Chinese medicine, allergies are when the defensive capacity of the Lung and Kidney meridian systems are not sufficient to protect our the exterior of our body from the pollen. Acupuncture is quite effective for helping to harmonize the body's capacity to cope with allergens. It is really helpful if you can boost these systems 3 months prior to allergy season to boost your defense system. But even if you haven't had a chance to do this, acupuncture can support your acute symptoms as by reducing itching in the eyes, and nose and tonifying the body systems that need to do their job.

What can you do at home? In addition to acupuncture here are a few things you can do on your own to help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies:

  • Neti Pot. It is helpful to rinse the pollen from your nasal passages 1 to 2x a day with a warm saline solution. Neti pots are available at many pharmacies now or on Amazon. Many types are available

  • Get to sleep early: Sleep and rest will ensure your body has the energy available to mount a good defense

  • Take a shower when you get home and change your clothes

  • Eat foods to boost your immunity (wei qi in Chinese parlance ;):

  • avoid cold foods (salads, ice cream, cold smoothies). Opt for cooked or lightly sauteed vegetables

  • Well cooked grains

  • Small amount of animal protein

  • Avoid excessively salting food

  • Reduce consumption of sweets and ensure enough healthy fats

Recipe: Artichoke and Bacon soup from Recipes for Self-healing, Daverick Leggett

4 slices bacon

2 onions

6-8 artichoke hearts (canned if fresh unavailable)

2 large leeks

1 teaspoons olive oil

Knob of butter


4 cups chicken broth

4 tablespoons of mashed potato (i used shredded from a bag)

Salt and pepper


Chop onions, leeks and artichokes and bacon in to small pieces. Sautee onions in the olive oil and butter, when softened, add leeks, bacon and artichokes. Stir and allow to sweat together. Add the chicken stock and cook for 15 minutes. Thicken with potato and then use a wand blender to puree the soup leaving some chunks. Add salt and pepper.

More Than Enough

The first lily of June opens its red mouth.

All over the sand road where we walk

multiflora rose climbs trees cascading

white or pink blossoms, simple, intense

the scene drifting like colored mist.

The arrowhead is spreading its creamy

clumps of flower and the blackberries

are blooming in the thickets. Season of

joy for the bee. The green will never

again be so green, so purely and lushly

new, grass lifting its wheaty seedheads

into the wind. Rich fresh wine

of June, we stagger into you smeared

with pollen, overcome as the turtle

laying her eggs in roadside sand.


IF you know someone needing support with allergies, pain, sleep, migraines or many other things, I would be joyed to support them in their health and wellness . Please feel free to contact me at

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