Spring is in the air: agony or joy?

Spring is in the air. The flowers are blooming, take a deep breath.

What’s that? You’re having problems with spring time allergies? This is the time of year many people suffer from outdoor allergies. With changes in the climate scientists are finding more plants and flowers blooming earlier than ever. Why do some people have allergies and some don’t?

Quite simply from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) standpoint it is a deficiency in the person’s Wei Qi. Now I know you are thinking, “I just got familiar with the word Qi now what the heck is Wei Qi?” Qi is Energy and Life Force. Qi is in everything and everybody. Our bodies have several types of Qi that have certain duties. Wei Qi is the Qi of our immune system. It lives along the skin surface. It is the Wei Qi’s job to keep exterior pathogens from entering the body and creating illness. Examples of those exterior pathogens can show up as allergies to plants and animals as well as colds and flu’s be they viral or bacterial.

What can you do to strengthen your Wei Qi, you ask? Good Question! Let’s look at this in a few aspects.

Diet & Herbs

Raw Honey– If you suffer allergies to pollen and grasses find some Raw Honey from your local area. Take a teaspoon three times a day. There are trace amounts of pollens in raw honey and it will help build up your immunity to those pollens in your area.

Astragalus known as Huang Qi in TCM can be found at any health food store. This herb is an adaptogenic herb and superior tonic. It can adapt to the stressors put on the body and to ones specific needs for building the Wei Qi. It is a superior tonic, because it is one of best herbs for strengthening the Wei Qi against assault of exterior pathogens while remaining non-toxic.

Also, make sure there are lots of fruits and vegetables on your plate (cover at least half the plate with fruits and vegetables). They contain vital vitamins and minerals that keep our immune system strong.  Lay off the sugar, it breaks down the immune system.

Body Awareness

Other things you can do is to try and keep your body temperature neutral. Never sit or stand with wind or air directly blowing on you.

In Chinese medicine we say the pathogens have specific areas they like to penetrate. In the summer be mindful that the wind is not blowing in the eyes, nose, mouth and ears, along with the neck/throat area. In the winter we take notice to cover the back of the neck, upper back and lower back.

However, in our modern world of indoor air conditioning and heating in our homes, cars and places of work, etc. we have to consider stabilizing these areas at all times. In southern California we can have hot days, but by walking into a market or mall we are suddenly in a cold air conditioned environment.

You don’t want to put your bodies’ thermostat into overdrive so bring with you layers of clothes so that your Wei Qi doesn’t burn out. It is easier experience a state of joy when we are feeling great, so take charge of your health. Treat your body with kindness and respect.

Remember joy is not perfection. Joy is a frame of mind. Don’t let what is not working right in your body or life stand in your way of living a joyful life. You are in charge of your joy. Go be joyful in the beautiful spring air.

And always remember to seek medical advice from your medical doctor before making any changes to your health or diet regimen

*Photo Credit:

Spring flower by janoma.cl, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  janoma.cl 


About the JOY Coach

Nora Sullivan-Houndalas

Nora Sullivan-Houndalas is a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She practices in Los Angeles. Her practice includes Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, and Meditation. She is also a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor. You can contact her at: yatross (at) aol (dot) com.

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