While we all enjoy living and working in Austin, breathing in Austin can sometimes bring unwanted cedar fever. Austin is listed on many "Best Cities" lists. But, unfortunately, Austin is also considered one of the top "allergy capitals" in the US. There are allergens in the air throughout the year in varying amounts in Central Texas, but Cedar Fever is often one of the most annoying.
"Cedar Fever" is actually a misnomer, as it is actually the pollen from the juniper tree (juniperus ashei) that attacks with a vengeance from December to February every year. Cedar Fever is caused by inhaling these pollens, which are mainly dispersed by the wind. If you are an individual sensitive to pollen, you will experience an allergic reaction. Out of the more than 67 million Americans who suffer from allergies, 24-40 million suffer from airborne allergies.
General symptoms of Cedar Fever include:
* clear and watery nasal discharge and congestion
* itchy eyes, nose, and throat
* watery eyes
* low grade fever
Many people with allergies seek out "alternative" medicine when they find that over-the-counter drugs or even prescriptions don't help, or they aren't worth the side-effects. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective allergy-fighting methods which have been around for centuries, and are recently gaining recognition. The most well-known traditional Chinese medical procedure, acupuncture is the practice of inserting thin needles into the body at specific points to relieve pain or treat a disease. Acupuncture triggers spontaneous healing reactions in the body, and scientific studies have proven its efficacy for treating inflammation, pain, depression and a host of other disorders.
Prevention is key in Chinese medicine. By planning ahead by getting regular acupuncture "tune-ups" and taking herbs, one can drastically reduce the frequency and severity of allergic reactions as well as common colds. According to traditional Chinese medicine, wei qi (defensive energy) or our immunity is located at the exterior surface of the body and protects us against pathogenic factors. When wei qi is strong, pathogenic factors cannot penetrate the body. When it is weak, a variety of infections can occur. In China, Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used to relieve allergic symptoms successfully for centuries. Luckily, we're finally catching on and integrative medicine is becoming more available in the mainstream.