Every winter, I geta cough, and it’s terrible. I am very afraid of it, this season as well. Are there any preventions at home?
In Chinese medicine point of view, we would say you have a “cold” condition. It is better to take a rest, keep warm and drink some ginger soup. This “warm” remedy is designed to help and balance the coldness in your body. As simple as this treatment sounds, it goes to the heart of what Chinese medicine is all about – restoring the balance of the body.
In order to restore a balance of hot and cold, dampness and dryness, and other unbalanced conditions in the body, doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine will give you acupuncture treatments, or herb remedies to help you to get better. However, as a doctor of Chinese medicine, I simply believed that if you include the right foods in your diet for your specific condition, you can overcome a variety of illnesses. Therefore, I will not only give you acupuncture and herbs, but I also will advise you what type of food you should take to enhance the therapeutic results.
In fact, every food has an effect on the body’s metabolic temperature. Some food, such as tofu or ice cream, produce a characteristic internal coldness. Others, such as ginger or lamb, generate internal heat. If you eat too much of either too cold or too warm food, you are increasing the chance of turning your condition into imbalanced.
In addition, the illness can caused by hot or cold pathogens. For example, the common cold, which is marked by a dry or sore throat, fever, and sweating, can be caused by too much heat. The way to help and correct the underlying imbalance is to eat more cooling foods, such as pear, cucumber, tomato, pork and chicken. On the other hand, if you have symptoms such as severe aversion to cold, low-grade fever, no sweating, headache, muscle aches, stuffy nose, cough with clear white phlegm, you have a common cold & flu in COLD type. It indicates that you have too much cold in the body and requires “warming” remedies. Recommended foods will be mostly from “hot,” “warm,” and “neutral” foods, including garlic, ginger, green chives, pepper, pumpkin, apple, onion, and mutton (lamb). Of course if symptoms persist, it is best to consult a TCM practitioner.
From winter to spring, I usually have a runny nose and sneezing because of a change in temperature. Could you recommend some ways to treat at home?
It is most likely that you have hay fever. Hay fever is the most common seen seasonal disease around the world. It mainly happens during the spring and summer time when the flowers are blooming. Persons who are allergic to the pollens will have symptoms such as persistent sneezing, runny nose, chill sensation, block nose, excessive watery mucus, cold hands and feet, low energy and fatigue, and poor digestion. Similar symptoms when you are having a cold. But the difference between hay fever and a cold is hay fever occurs repeatedly when there is a sudden change of temperature or environment, and the symptoms comes and goes quickly.
How does it happen? Allergies and hay fever is often caused by immune over-reaction. As our body defenses act to protect us from viral and bacterial invasion, is is also weakened. Not only our body become vulnerable to colds and flu, it also fails to distinguish between real and false threats. Consequently, it triggers an over-reaction to factors such as temperature changes, dust mites and pollen.
Chinese herbal treatment often provides effective treatment to allergies and hay fever through its holistic and individualised approach. The main role of Chinese Medicine in this case is to modulating the immune system to reduce its sensitivity and clearing ‘wind’ in order to address the symptoms including itchy eyes, running nose, sore throat and sneezing.
The general prevention for hay fever is to include a lot of the following foods in the diet:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Deep yellow and orange vegetables
- Bamboo shoots
- Beet tops
Eliminate the following from the diet:
- caffeine and dairy products
- Bananas and citrus fruit
- Chocolate Food colorings (tartrazine)
- Red meat
In addition, it is necessary for you to find out your allergic triggers (such as tree pollens, flower pollens, dust, dust mites or animal furs) and then avoid them either when you are at home or out side.
Recently I suffer from eye strain (pain around eyes or at the back of eyes), due to too much computer work. Could you recommend some ways to treat at home?
Eye strain nowadays is mostly related to overuse of the eyes due to sustained computer work or reading. In a Chinese Medicine point of view, eyes are closely related to the Liver. So when the Qi and Blood are weak in the Liver meridian, the eyes are malnourished and all the uncomfortable symptoms appear. The associated symptoms included painful eyes, eyes dryness, blurred vision and sensitive to the light.
There are a few tips to reduce and prevent the symptoms, they are:
[awp_icon name=”icon-checkmark” scale=”1″ type=”normal” align=”none” color=”#b5b544″] Give the eyes enough rest. Every 20 minutes of reading or computer work, 20 seconds of rest is needed. Every time when you take a break, close your eyes and take a rest or blink your eyes to relax the muscles and to moist your eyes to avoid dryness.
[awp_icon name=”icon-checkmark” scale=”1″ type=”normal” align=”none” color=”#b5b544″] Eyes exercises. Looked at the distance objects for 3-5 minutes and looked back to the closed objects for 3-5 minutes and repeated this exercise for 3-5 times to improve the circulation around the eyes and relax the muscles.
[awp_icon name=”icon-checkmark” scale=”1″ type=”normal” align=”none” color=”#b5b544″] Hot patch. A warm towel applied on the eyes for a few minutes can also relief the discomfort by improving circulation.
[awp_icon name=”icon-checkmark” scale=”1″ type=”normal” align=”none” color=”#b5b544″] Gentle massage. There are a few acupuncture points around the eyes. They are:
- Zanzhu at the inner end of the eyebrow;
- Yuyao directly above the pupil in the center of the eyebrow;
- Sizhukong in the depression at the outer end of the eyebrow;
- Tongziliao on the outer side of the orbit;
- Chengqi directly below the pupil between the eyeball and the infraorbital ridge;
- and Jingming at the inner corner of the eyes.[/boxibt]
[awp_icon name=”icon-checkmark” scale=”1″ type=”normal” align=”none” color=”#b5b544″] A gentle massage around the eyes and the eyebrows can cover all the points and improve the circulation and relax the muscles around the eyes. But do not apply direct pressure on the eyeballs.
[awp_icon name=”icon-checkmark” scale=”1″ type=”normal” align=”none” color=”#b5b544″] Herbs such as chrysanthemum flower (Ju Hua) and lyceum fruit (Gou Qi Zi) are commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat eye problems. They enter the Liver meridian and benefit the eyes. In addition, herbs such as red dates (Hong Zao) and longan fruit (Long Yan Rou) are both nourishing the Qi and Blood. So, regularly drink them as herbal teas can reduce the tiredness and brighten the eyes.
[awp_icon name=”icon-checkmark” scale=”1″ type=”normal” align=”none” color=”#b5b544″] Consume a variety of vegetables and fruits which rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B and anti-oxygen. From the recent research, Vitamin A and B are the essential nutrients for the eyes, so when there is lack of these two vitamins, the eyes are not functioning properly and uncomfortable symptoms arise. In addition, antioxidents can prevent the damage to the eyes.
- Vitamin A: Papaya, mango, pumpkin, sweet potato, fish liver oil and carrot
- Vitamin B: grain, milk, beans
- Anti-oxygen food: tomato, spinach, cauliflower, corn, kiwi[/boxibt]
Chinese Medicine does not treat disease by symptoms. It treats the whole body conditions; So everyone’s condition can be varied. Therefore, if all the above methods are not helpful, then it is necessary to seek for medication treatment.