Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Acupuncture clears the air

Acupuncture clears the air
Tue, Mar 31, 2009
The Straits Times

By Gerard Yeo, SINSEH SAYS

Qn. My nose is often blocked due to the deviation of my nasal septum. Can TCM improve my sense of smell and minimise inflammation in my nose?

Ans. The nasal septum is a bone structure in the centre of the nose which separates the airways and nostrils.

A deviated septum occurs when this bone shifts from its position and obstructs the passage of air through the nostrils.

This may cause the sufferer to experience sinusitis, infection and nose bleeds.

This condition is caused by a deficiency in the functions of the lung, spleen and kidney, as well as excessive heat accumulated in the lungs. A weak immune system and pathogenic factors such as wind, cold, heat and phlegm also play a part.

Chinese medicine, acupuncture, cupping therapy and tui-na massage can improve your condition by strengthening your organs and dispelling the pathogenic factors.

Chinese medicine such as Dahurian angelica root (baizhi), biond magnolia flower (xinyi), grassleaf sweetflag rhizome (shichangpu), Manchurian wildginger (xixin) and cablin patchouli herb (huoxiang) are prescribed to relieve nasal congestion and to improve one's sense of smell.

Baical skullcap root (huangqin), white mulberry root-bark (sangbaipi) and cape jasmine fruit (zhizi) rid the lungs of heat, while thunberg fritillary bulb (zhebeimu) and heartleaf houttuynia herb (yuxingcao) reduce mucus and phlegm.

Chuling (zhuling), coix seed (yiyiren) and oriental waterplantain rhizome (zexie) reduce inflammation, while tangshen (dangshen) and largehead atractylodes rhizome (baizhu) improve your immune system.

You should abstain from cold, spicy and oily food as they create heat and dampness, which weaken your immune system. Instead, take porridge and vegetables such as radish and winter melon as they reduce dampness and phlegm.

Exercises such as taiji, yoga and brisk walking, together with sufficient sleep, improve your immune system and prevent cold and flu.


Information provided by Ms Lim Lay Beng, a TCM physician at YS Healthcare TCM Clinic at The Adelphi.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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