Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Do Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis Need to do Acupuncture All Year Round?

Following my earlier allergic rhinitis & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) series with Ka Hang Leoungk, I had some queries which she kindly explained. I thought it would be interesting to share with all here.

Question:You mentioned that for hay fever patients, it is best to start treatment 8 weeks - 3 months in advance of the season. What about those with perennial allergic rhinitis like myself - allergic to dust mite or those to pets? Does it mean that they have to do it weekly all year round?

Ka Hang LeoungkWith perennial allergic rhinitis frequent, weekly or bi-weekly treatment may be needed in the beginning. However you may notice as your system strengthens that you don’t need the treatments as frequently. The problem with allergic rhinitis is like you said, there is no season, and if you are constantly in contact with the irritant you may still feel it but the symptoms shouldn’t be as strong as before. For some, acupuncture would be an adjunct along with other medication or remedies. From my experience after time, the treatments drop down to monthly sessions to help maintain with some periods of weekly sessions every now and then when needed. Sometimes Chinese herbal medicine may also be prescribed, in lieu of acupuncture or along with the sessions.

Friday, 24 January 2014

6 Natural Remedies for Allergy

Monday, 20 January 2014

Quick Way To Determine That You Are Allergic To Dust Mites...

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Fighting Flu and Cold the Natural Way with Homemade Remedies

Its the Achoo! season now. Not so much due to allergy, but more of the cold and flu season. Personally, I would drink loads of water, eat light, rest more, take raw honey (if there is a sore throat) and see a traditional chinese medicine (TCM) doctor if it does not get better after about 3 days. As much as I can, I will take the natural route in healing, both for myself and my family.

There are also DIY homemade natural remedies for cold and flu shared by many online. Some common ingredients used include elderberry, ginger, cayenne, essential oil, apple cider vinegar, honey etc. Other than raw honey, we also use these:

1. Essential oil (in particularly Lavender and Eucalyptus - the former is known to be antiviral and the latter aids in breathing)

2. Sambucol  (made from Elderberry. This is taken mainly by my boy, who simply loves it!)

3. Apple Cider Vinegar (I've been taking this + raw honey daily, read here)

Of all the recipes for homemade cold and flu remedies, I am most interested in making the elderberry syrup, because it is just so expensive to buy from retailers. Let me know if you have tried any of the recipes below and if they worked for you. Enjoy the DIY! :)

Here's a compilation of 10 websites with amazing recipes for homemade cold and flu remedies:

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Do You Suffer From Sinusitis and Gerd? A TCM Perspective...

Came across this article on stomach acid affecting sinuses in the local newspaper today (Mind Your Body from The Straits Times, 9 Jan 2014) and thought some readers out there with allergies might also have this condition. This article explains Gerd (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease) with sinusitis from a traditional chinese medicine (TCM) perspective. Click on article to enlarge for reading.

A quick summary:
  • Causes: deficiencies in liver, spleen, and stomach
  • Trigger: 
(a) Insufficient qi and blood cannot nourish the nose well, and pathogenic (disease-causing) factors, such as "wind", "cold"and "heat", can easily invade the nose and trigger Gerd with sinusitis.
(b) When the qi is stagnant in both the liver and stomach for a prolonged period, it can result in "heat'and blood stasis, and trigger Gerd with sinusitis.
  • What can you do? 
Other than using herbs to boost the qi, this is what you can do to improve your condition:

1) Avoid smoking, alcohol, coffee, tea and food which is deep fried, oily or spicy

2) Take easily digested food e.g green vegetables, porridge and fish

3) Chew and swallow food slowly, have small meals and stop eating 4 hours before bedtime

3) Keep warm and avoid changes in temperature

4) Keep to a smoke-free and good ventilation environment

5) Avoid negative emotions 

6) Do exercise such as brisk walk, swim and practise yoga

*Please consult your physician before consuming any herbs. Do not self-medicate.

Monday, 6 January 2014

6 Tips On How To Get Rid Of Dust Mites

Following up on what NOT to do for managing dust mites, here's some tips on what you CAN to do to minimize dust mites growth:

#1: Use an anti dust mite encasement for all your bedding, including pillows, mattress etc.

I cannot emphasize more the importance of this. Our mattress and bedding houses the biggest breeding ground for dust mite due to our body moisture and our dead skin which serves as food for them. So the anti dust mite bedding covers are effective means to block them out from you when you sleep. Using the anti dust mite encasement helped improve my allergic rhinitis condition tremendously, this is my experience.

You will be totally grossed out by the amount of dust mite living on your mattress if you have a look at it under the microscope. Check out this video.

#2: Use synthetic pillows and duvets instead of wool or feathered bedding.

#3: Wash your bedding and blankets weekly in hot water. Doing so with temperature of at least 130-140°F can kill the dust mites.

#4: Use a dehumidifier to keep relative humidity level below 50%. Remember: dust mite thrive in humid environment.

#5: Use a true HEPA vacuum cleaner to clean the house. Only those with true HEPA filter can help to remove particles that is the size of dust mite feces. Here's a guide on how to choose one.

#6: Use a damp cloth to wipe the dust. Dusting will stir up the allergen.