AOMA Blog

Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments for Cedar Allergies

Posted by Yongxin Fan on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 @ 03:45 PM

Austin Cedar Allergy treatment

Are you familiar with seasonal allergies? If you live in Austin,Texas, you probably know more about periodic wheezing, sneezing, and sniffling than just about anyone! It’s not all doom and gloom, though.  According to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) 2016 fall Allergy Capital list, Austin is ranked at 46th place compared to 35th place in 2015(1). It appears things seem to be improving for us here in the live music capital of the world.  But while the rest of the nation generally only has two pollen seasons (fall and spring), Austin is unique in that we have three distinct pollen seasons, plus an intense winter pollen season. That is why some people call Austin the Allergy Capital of the World!

Mountain cedar pollen season extends from December to March, with peak levels usually hitting in January. Cedar pollen counts in Central Texas are among the highest pollen counts of any plant anywhere in the world. Cedar allergy, commonly referred to as "cedar fever," can be intense and debilitating. Cedar fever is a seasonal illness that affects people during pollination of the mountain cedar tree(3). As you may know firsthand, people experience severe symptoms when afflicted by cedar fever and can find that their daily activities are greatly impacted while it runs its course (2).

If you are new to Austin and have not yet experienced cedar fever (lucky you!) then you might have at least heard of this form of seasonal allergic rhinitis that comes with some extra symptoms.  On top of the usual hay fever symptoms (runny nose, itchy and watery eyes nasal blockage, and sneezing), some sufferers of cedar fever also complain of fatigue, mild headache, facial discomfort, sore throat, partial loss of smell, and ear pressure or a sense that the ears are plugged.The inflammation triggered by the allergen can even cause a mildly elevated temperature, hence the nickname “cedar fever!”

Western medicine relies on two forms of allergy treatment: medication and immunotherapy. Decongestants and antihistamines are the most common allergy medications, and they can help to reduce a stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, and itching. Corticosteroids are generally effective in treating inflammation in the nose in the form of nasal spray. Immunotherapy is a preventive strategy designed to ward off allergic reactions to substances such as pollens, etc. This involves giving gradually increasing doses of the allergen or substance to which the person is allergic. The incremental increases of the allergen cause the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance, which ultimately reduces the symptoms of the allergy. 

How TCM can help

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) relies on a more holistic approach to allergy relief.  By virtue of satisfactory clinical results due to a combination of acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese herbs, more and more people are realizing that seasonal suffering caused by allergens can be avoided without exclusively relying on invasive Western medical treatments. 

But, you might be asking, how does this work?

According to TCM, people who suffer from allergies experience what we term a wind invasion to the body combined with defensive Qi (vital energy) weakness of the body itself. TCM treatments are designed to treat both the root of the disease as well as the symptoms that you are experiencing. Acupuncture can treat allergies by controlling the body’s inflammatory reactions to allergens, and specific points that your practitioner selects, such as acu-points on face and foot, can relieve the nasal and facial symptoms by stimulating the far ends of the channels, or meridians, where Qi flows. 

Specific herbs can also help to reduce the inflammatory reaction and desensitize the body to allergens. Treasures from the Chinese herbal tradition, such as Huangqi (astragalus) can modulate immunity, while still others, like Cangerzi (fructus xanthil) and Juhua (Chrysanthemum flower) can lower histamine production to relieve the nasal and eye symptoms. Regular moxibustion, or heated herbal therapy, can boost the body’s immune system to prevent allergy symptoms in the first place.

Generally, people with allergies would be wise to begin TCM treatment one to two months before the allergy season, in order to allow the body to build up the necessary immunities. However, during the allergy season itself, immediate treatment can also provide great relief. Your best bet is to talk to your practitioner and find a strategy that best suits you, especially if you have a chronic allergic response that recurs each year.

Your at-home activities can also make a difference in the allergy symptoms you experience.  Do you take vitamins?  Study results demonstrate that Vitamin D supplements can alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms and treat chronic hives.  In addition, Vitamin C is a well-known immune antioxidant that lowers histamine levels to prevent the onset of allergies. Are you mindful of your diet? Dairy products, sugar, and wheat are all common contributors to allergy symptoms, so limiting your intake of these foods may help reduce your symptoms.

TCM highly values the proactive nurturing of one’s health, and there are several modalities that can help. Striving for balance in your daily life and regular self-care make a positive difference in your Qi and promote overall wellbeing.  Mind-body exercises such as qi gong can teach you to cultivate your body’s natural healing energy as well as reduce stress. Reasonable amounts of work followed by rest, a plan for managing stress, and proper diet are also important for preventing allergy symptoms. Acupuncture reduces stress, boosts mood, and helps you sleep better. By avoiding overwork and receiving sufficient hours of sleep each night, the body’s vital energy remains strong and less susceptible to allergens If you take time to enjoy yourself and maintain a happy mood, then you are doing a wonderful job supporting your health during the allergy season!

 Request an appointment at AOMA Acupuncture Clinics to get started on your allergy relief!Request an Appointment

 

(1). http://www.aafa.org/media/Fall-Allergy-Capitals-Report-Dec-2016.pdf

(2). https://www.quora.com/Why-does-Austin-TX-have-a-reputation-for-bad-allergies

(3). https://www.texasmedclinic.com/symptoms-remedies-cedar-fever-and-allergies-austin-san-antonio/

(4). http://acaai.org/allergies/treatment

Topics: tcm education

11 Best TCM Accounts to Follow Right Now

Posted by Rob Davidson on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 02:54 PM

AOMA Instagram TCM accounts to follow

Ever wondered how the ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine translate into the modern world of social media? As acupuncture and Chinese medicine continue to grow in popularity in America, many practitioners are turning to social networks like Instagram. Instagram can be used as a powerful tool to promote one’s practice as well as educate the public on this ancient form of healing.

Many of the Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques are visually appealing and catch the eye, such as fire cupping or burning of moxibustion. As acupuncture practitioners continue to shed light on these often mysterious and less common practices via social networks, the curiosity and interest by patients will increase as more attention is given to alternative health therapies.

We’ve done our research and found the 10 best TCM social media accounts to follow, while highlighting what sets each of them apart. Continue reading for some of the most fascinating TCM accounts to follow and hopefully you’ll have a new perspective on acupuncture and Chinese medicine. :)

(In no particular order)

1. Bob Wong - @art_of_acupuncture

Bob Wong’s focus on social media is providing high quality photos of acupuncture and cupping, while educating the public on what TCM has to offer. Most of his photos are monochromatic, which creates unique and powerful imagery, showing the artistic side of acupuncture. He uses primarily his wife as an acupuncture model out of their home, in which he has set up a black backdrop. Bob also posts videos of various TCM treatments and has a blog interviewing TCM practitioners. His social media presence is one of a kind, and one you’re definitely going to want to follow.

2. Carolyn Barron, L.Ac. - @Botanarchy

 

A post shared by Carolyn Barron, L.Ac. (@botanarchy) on

Carolyn Barron is a licensed acupuncturist practicing out of Los Angeles, California. Her practice has an emphasis on herbal medicine, with her Instagram page highlighting photos of various herbs and recipes. Her images are warm and welcoming, and she showcases other treatment tools on her page such as tuning forks, mindfulness and nutritional recipes. Carolyn draws importance and attention on self care and women’s health issues with a muted color palette collection of photography and graphics.

3. TCM Herb a Day - @tcmherbaday

 

A post shared by TCM Herb a Day (@tcmherbaday) on

TCM Herb a Day is one of the best educational Instagram pages to follow, highlighting various Chinese single herbs everyday. The photos are bright and vibrant, showing the raw herb form used medicinally and the plant the herb is derived from. Posts are daily including explanations of the herbs and how they are used medicinally with Chinese herbal medicine. If you are still learning Chinese herbs, or want a daily review, this is the best page to follow.

4. LILYCHOINATURALHEALING.COM - @Lilychoinaturalhealing

Lily Choi is a licensed acupuncturist currently practicing in NYC. Her instagram page is educationally informative as well as visually pleasing. Her photos start health minded conversations, with each day highlighting either a health food item, natural remedies, or general health concerns. Lily uses instagram as an educational tool, highlighting how food can be used as medicine and explaining Chinese herbs and other natural remedies in layman's terms. The conversations she starts are common questions and concerns many patients have, and her opinions are holistic in nature, providing a safe place for open discussion. 

5. Anthony Guadamuz, AP - @Integrative_medicine

Anthony Guadamuz is an acupuncture physician working out of Miami, Florida. He is also an AOMA alumnus. His social media highlights the power of tai chi and meditation on overall health and wellness, as well as how Chinese medicine can treat a variety of health concerns. It is clear that Anthony practices what he preaches with his personal photos of his mind-body exercises. His images are bright with contrast and he frequently posts live videos and stories regarding health concerns via Instagram.

6. Dr. Laurie Binder - @Acupuncture_la 

Dr. Laurie Binder is a L.Ac., MS, RNCNP, and LCCE practicing in Santa Monica, California. Her page is bright and colorful highlighting mostly health recipes and motivational quotes. Dr. Binder promotes healthy eating and how easy it can be to make these healthy meals at home. Follow her page for nutritional inspiration.

7. Evolution Acupuncture - @Acuevolution

Catherine Craig, L.Ac. has a boutique acupuncture studio located in the heart of downtown Red Bank, NJ. Her page includes pictures of herbs, outdoors, yoga, acupuncture, and clinical photos. She uses bright, simplistic images overall and uses these images to highlight holistic health minded topics. 

8. Magnolia Acupuncture - @magnoliaacupuncture

 

2018 is starting off just the way it should: delicious and colorful!

A post shared by Magnolia Acupuncture (@magnoliaacupuncture) on

Magnolia Acupuncture is out of Costa Mesa, CA showcasing the practice through very bright, fun images of work and personal life with family. Angela Sinnett inspires others who may want to achieve an optimal work/life balance as a professional acupuncturist. You’ll also find nutrition and food images, pictures and videos of her treating clients, as well as scenic shots of the Pacific Ocean!

9. Chinese Medicine PortMacquarie - @empiricalhealth

 

Getting it all sorted out #chinesemedicine

A post shared by Chinese Medicine PortMacquarie (@empiricalhealth) on

Empirical Health heavily focuses on the beauty of raw Chinese herbs! Here you’ll find up close and personal shots of these colorful and beautiful Chinese herbs, teas, and capsules. Explore the multitudes of variety in the Chinese herbal spectrum!

10. Acupuncture Collective - @Acupuncturecollective

Acupuncture Collective hosts a beautiful community acupuncture space where they treat clients. You’ll discover many images of patients being treated in community style acupuncture, along with some images of herbs and nature photographs. Here you’ll find a variety of TCM visual inspiration and new found appreciation for community. Interested in trying community style acupuncture but feared the open door aspect? Follow this page, and you’ll be sure to change your mind. 

11. Charlotte Alvarez - @Onemedicine

Charlotte is an acupuncturist licensed by the state of Minnesota. She has beautifully put together media with a smooth flow of images using similar themes and filters for the images. Her images typically show patients receiving treatments, with cupping and acupuncture needles. Other images show off the relaxing and clean treatment space with many plants and a basic white/clean look. She also sprinkles in shots of herbs and whole foods, to add a nicely balanced page, covering all there is to Chinese medicine.

Chinese medicine can feel foreign and because of that, it may deter you from trying it. Social media can allow us to have a better awareness of things we might not otherwise be exposed to. Take some time to check out these pages and familiarize yourself with the beauty and wonder that is Chinese medicine. If you aren’t already - also follow us on Instagram for more TCM related posts. We love hearing from our readers. Let us know what TCM accounts you follow!

Topics: acupuncture, tcm, tcm education, acupuncture social media, social media

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine Announces 2016 Commencement Speaker

Posted by Rob Davidson on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 04:20 PM

 

Sean Hanna, Director of the Veterans Mental Health Program at the Texas Veterans Commission to deliver keynote address to AOMA graduates on September 11

AUSTIN, Texas, August 5, 2016 — Mr. Sean Hanna will deliver the keynote address at the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine (AOMA) 20th annual
commencement ceremony on September 11, 2016.

Sean Hanna, MAcOM, LAC, is a licensed acupuncturist in the State of Texasand Director of the Veterans Mental Health Program at the Texas Veterans Commission. Working with the Texas Department of State Health Services, Sean co-created and coordinates the Military Veteran Peer Network throughout the State of Texas as part of the Veterans Mental Health Program.

Sean_Hanna_Veterans_Mental_Health_Program_Dir.jpgSean spent 8 1⁄2 years (1991 to 2000) as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman. He saw tours of duty at National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland; Naval Medical Center San Diego, California; as well as 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton. While stationed at 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Sean deployed to multiple international locations and saw combat action in support of Operation United Shield, Somalia in 1995.

Sean earned his Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree from the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin, now known as the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine (AOMA), in 2005. He served as President of the AOMA Alumni Association in 2009, served on the Board of the Austin Veterans and Family Advocacy Council (AVFAC) from 2009 to 2011 and served on the Board of Directors for Bring Everyone in the Zone from 2010 to 2014. Sean is also a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4443. He is a devoted husband, and a father of two boys, ages 19 and 14, and lives in Austin, Texas.

Mr. Hanna will address an expected 40 graduates of the Master and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Degree programs who will be attending the exercises on Sunday, September 11 at the Omni Hotel Southpark in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Violet Song will lead the procession of graduates starting at 1:30pm. Proceedings will include the presentation of the Calvin Key Wilson Community Leadership Award, faculty recognition, awarding of degrees, and a healer's oath lead by Dean of Students Robert Laguna, followed by a reception in the lobby.

This year's Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine graduating class represents the second DAOM graduating class at AOMA, one of only nine schools nationally to offer the doctoral program. Masters students complete a rigorous four-year masters degree program, which includes over 900 hours of clinical internship. AOMA graduates are at the forefront of their field, integrating eastern and western medicine in clinics and hospitals. Upon graduation, these 40 professionals will work in independent private practice, multi-disciplinary clinics, substance abuse treatment facilities, hospice programs, oncology centers, community acupuncture clinics, military/veterans facilities, and corporate wellness programs.

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About AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine                             

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine offers regionally accredited masters and doctoral level degree programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, preparing its students for careers as skilled, professional practitioners. AOMA is known for its internationally recognized faculty, award-winning student clinical internship program, and herbal medicine program. AOMA provides for over 16,000 patient visits annually in its student and professional clinics and collaborates with healthcare institutions including the Seton Healthcare FamilyPeople’s Community Clinic, and Austin Recovery. AOMA gives back to the community through nonprofit partnerships and by providing free and reduced price treatments to people who cannot afford them. AOMA is located at 4701 West Gate Blvd. AOMA also serves patients and retail customers at its North Austin location, 2700 West Anderson Lane. For more information see www.aoma.edu or call 512-492-3034.

Topics: tcm school, tcm education

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