Allergy, Sinus

By Dr. Daniel N. Lee, L.Ac, OMD, Ph.D.

As we know, the symptoms for allergy, sinus congestion and sinus headache are usually nasal congestion, inability to breathe in nostrils, allergy, sneezing, watery eyes, frontal headaches, tiredness, lack of clear thinking, and sometimes even low energy.  In Chinese medicine, we consider the sinus is related to the lung energy.  The lung energy, as the theory goes, is distributed not only to the lungs but also along the surface of our body along the lung meridian that runs from the chest to the arm and then ends in our thumbs.  It is critical to understand that the lung energy level plays an important role in our body’s own immune system.  Lack of lung energy can cause dysfunction in all the organs related to the lung.

The sinus cavities are directly related to the lung.  Therefore a low lung energy level can cause congestion in all sinus cavities that result in the symptoms as stated above. In treating allergy, Dr. Lee focuses on improving the lung energy.  To improve the lung energy, small hair-thin disposable acupuncture needles are used on certain points on our body.  The points are located along the wrist and hands, top of head, and along the sinus cavities.  These points can help our body to redirect its energy to the lungs and sinus by increasing the blood flow the lung meridian and increasing its energy.  The important thing for the patient to do is to conserve the valuable lung energy!


1. Dress warmly – As discussed above, the lung energy is distributed throughout our body.  We will lose valuable lung energy through any part of our body that is not covered by clothing.  When we lose this lung energy, our immune system will be weakened.  Therefore, Dr. Lee always recommends his patients to wear long sleeves and dress warmly and wear socks (a challenge for some women) in order to speed up the recovery.

2. Drink warm drinks – By drinking cold drinks such as cold milk, cold juice, cold soft drinks or taking cold yogurt ice cream, we will lose our lung energy.  Drinking drinks of 40°F, refrigerator temperature, the stomach has to bring the temperature up to 98°F.  This warming-up process uses up the valuable energies that we derive from our diet that can be used more effectively for blood circulation, muscle power and brainpower.  The less we use those energies to keep our body warm the more we have for the other categories.
The common misunderstanding is that antigens, no matter what we do, will cause the allergy and sinus congestions.  This is not always the case, by having high lung energy we will have a stronger immune system and therefore, are less likely affected by those antigens.  Dr. Lee has helped many patients get off from their weekly allergy shots with his acupuncture treatments. The bottom line is getting the treatment to boost up the lung energy and then conserve the lung energy.