Saturday, August 27, 2011

Addressing The Source Not The Symptom

Runny and stuffy nose, itchy eyes and a foggy headache in the spring.  Think seasonal allergies- not so fast.  Many adults are starting to experience seasonal allergy symptoms even though they never had allergies as a child.  These adults take the usual allergy medications but find no relief.  The onset of adult symptoms to seasonal allergies are really symptoms of aging.  As people age, their immune system may weaken and the body's mucous membranes lose elasticity.  This combination makes the nasal passages more sensitive to substances and the body perceives these as irritants.  The body produces more mucous to quell the irritation and subsequent inflammation.  The symptoms we perceive are similar to allergies but they are sourced from another biochemical pathway.  Usually, these "adult allergies" are treated with a nasal steroid which strengthens the nasal passage making it less sensitive and reduces inflammation.

In Ayurveda, a diagnosis is not made just by addressing the symptoms.  The pulse is taken and the weakened system is revealed.  The source of the symptom is thus found and healing is allowed by balancing the source.  The beauty of the pulse is its sensitivity.  Many times the pulse will show a weakness before actual symptoms and disease progress.  If the body is balanced before the discomfort and illness appear, the body is much healthier and stronger overall.  Prevention is the best medicine.

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