A weakened and out of balanced Qi (pronounced "Chee") plays an important role in the development of allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases are simply allergies against one-self. Examples of these diseases include rheumatoid arthritis (RA), dermatomyositis/polymyositis, systemic lupus erythmatosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS), scleroderma, myasthenia gravis, Sjögren's syndrome, Crohn's disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis (a type of hypothyroidism), endometriosis (due to autoimmune ovaritis), chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome (CFIDS) and fibromyalgia.
A common complain of Qi deficiency is fatigue, and most of these autoimmune diseases present fatigue as one of their main symptoms. Another common symptom is depression, whether the weakened Qi causes the depression, or vise-versa is up for debate, but the existence of depression is a fact.
Qi depression and Qi stagnation cause imbalances between the energies of the organs, which manifest itself in specific symptoms such as pain, inflammation, irritation, vomiting, diarrhea and migraines to name a few.
If the depression, stagnation, and imbalance of Qi is prolonged the symptoms become more severe. Symptoms such as: loss of sensation on the extremities, loss of muscle control, paralysis, changes on the anatomy and structure of the bones, blindness and deafness, and extreme pain.
The treatment of allergies and autoimmune diseases with Traditional Chinese Medicine
In Chinese medicine, when we treat this type of disease, we not only strive to provide relief from the main symptoms, but also to treat what we believed to be the root cause of the disease; a weak and damaged Qi.
Often it is a Qi deficiency complicated by either Qi stagnation, a major imbalance between the energies of the internal organs, or a combination of all three that creates the disease. Patients with autoimmune diseases often have a long history of allergies, and they often present complicated patterns, which cause their treatment to be long drawn.
In order to improve their Qi, the patient must be willing to make changes to their lifestyle such as: reduced stress levels, make dietary changes, and learn relaxation techniques. In the Chinese Medicine tradition, we use acupuncture to bring the person's body systems back into balance, relieve stress and pain. And herbal supplements are used to nourish the organs that need it, and to extend the effects of the acupuncture treatments.
We also provide dietary advice that is suited to the individuals needs. In our modern world with our hurried life styles, the poor choice of foods we eat, and the high levels of stress we endure, allergies and autoimmune have become all too prevalent.
But these diseases do not have to rule our lives; we can avoid them, or bring them under control by making a few changes to our lifestyle. We need to watch what we eat, supplement our diet, and reduce our levels of stress. All that together with Chinese Medicine, makes these autoimmune diseases more manageable.