Hay Fever is – TCM Perspective

Dr. William Ly

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is a hypersensitive reaction to pollen present in the air by the immune system within our body. This inflammatory condition mostly occurs during Spring and Summer due to the large amount of pollen being released into the environment by plants and trees.

Pollen is not considered to be a harmful stimulus and not everyone who is exposed to the pollens develops a reaction but an individual who has an allergic tendency, is more prone to develop the symptoms of hay fever. Symptoms may include runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and skin, congestion and pressure in the sinuses. The severity of these symptoms and signs may also vary from individual to individual and can have a dramatic impact on one’s health and wellbeing.

In my clinical experience, genetic pre-disposition, improper eating habits, chronic stress and lack of sleep are the main common causes of depletion of the protective Qi, the life force (similar to immune system) that protects us from pathogens. Excessive intake of oily and sugary foods can also further weaken the immune system and further exacerbate the symptoms. Hence adjustments to lifestyle can help improve overall health and assist in avoiding symptoms.

Some general lifestyle suggestions are:

–          Seek qualified health practitioners for immediate support and relief

–          Regular exercise & good clean nutrition

–          Meditation or breathing technique to relieve stress

–          Have adequate amount of sleep (8 hrs)

The treatment principle of Chinese Medicine is mainly to expel the external pathogens within the body and strengthening the protective Qi. It is ideal for one to seek acupuncture or herbal medicine treatment 1-2 months prior to spring time. In doing so, it can often help prevent the onset of hay fever symptoms or reduce the severity significantly.


Here are some suggested acupressure points you can use to help provide basic relief at home:

Massage the below suggested points gently in a clockwise direction. For each point, complete this process for only 5-10mins on a daily basis. All of these points if massaged will assist in the clearing of external pathogen as well as strengthening the overall Qi within the body.

Triple Warmer 5: This acupressure point is located on the dorsal side of the forearm, 3 finger breadths above the wrist between the ulna and radius bone.

Triple Warmer 2: This acupressure point is located on the dorsal side of the hand, proximal to the margin of the web between the 4th and 5th fingers, at the junction of the red and white skin.

Large Intestine 4: This acupressure point is located on the dorsal side of the hand, roughly between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones. This acupressure point should not be used during pregnancy.

Stomach 36: This acupressure point is located 4 finger breadths below your knee caps and located between the head of the fibula and tibia tuberosity (the two long bones of your lower leg).


If you have any health concerns, please always seek tailored health advice from your qualified health practitioners.

William Ly

Dr Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncturist


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