Top 4 Ways to Eliminate Allergies – Naturally

Enjoy the summer without allergies

Late summer is ragweed season and it is also the time of year that “hay fever ” sufferers tend to stay indoors until the first killing frost.  If this is your “modus operandi”, please read on.  There are healthy, lasting solutions to your allergies, thanks to Chinese medicine.

More than one in six Canadians suffer from hay fever, known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, which is associated with the release of pollen from trees, flowers and grasses each spring and summer. Common symptoms include itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and breathing problems.

Allergic reactions are said to occur when the immune system launches an attack against otherwise harmless substances. What causes this over the top response from the immune system is still unclear but our genetic make-up is seen as the greatest contributing factor. Indeed, if either or both parents have allergies, their children inherit a 60-65% chance of developing them too.
Your Immune System
The immune system is often weakened with stress, fatigue, poor diet and lack of physical exercise. Combine these factors with the increased exposure to harsh chemicals in the environment and it is no wonder that allergies of all kinds are actually on the rise in the Canadian population.
Conventional treatment
Two of the more popular treatments available to allergy sufferers are over the counter medications or immunotherapy, (allergy shots). Thankfully, other options exist for those who no longer wish to endure the side effects from medications or those who have difficulty adhering to the 3-5 year allergy shot regimen.

Here are my top 4 ways to get the jump on allergies naturally.

1). Get Acupuncture.
A series of treatments just before or during allergy season will reduce your symptoms and strengthen your immune system. Need more convincing? The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture as an effective way to treat allergies.

2). Eliminate Dairy Products
An important reduction in symptoms can be had by simply cutting back on dairy products. I mean all dairy; milk, cheese yogurt and even Kefir, as the presence of dairy in the body exacerbates the overproduction of mucous and phlegm.

3). Vitamin C
Mega doses of ascorbic acid supplements (vitamin C) have been shown to strengthen the immune system. In fact, studies have proven its use can protect against colds and flu. (source : Pub Med) See your health care professional for dosage.

4). Manage your Stress
Stress management has also proven to be an important means of coping with allergies. In fact, research over the past 30 years has demonstrated a link between chronic stress and suppression of the immune system. The practice of restorative yoga, meditation or Qi Gong, an ancient self-healing system, can calm the nervous system and reduce the stress response, thus protecting and supporting the immune system.

Acu Lifting, The New Face of Anti-Aging

Cosmetic Acupuncture

I was skeptical when I signed up for a post graduate training in Facial Rejuvenation- until the instructor picked ME as the guinea pig. Having just finished 3 grueling years of acupuncture study, I felt exhausted and I guess it was obvious I needed a lift!

This acupuncture treatment is an alternative to facelift surgery and injectable fillers. It is used by models and actors ( Cher, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna), to maintain a more youthful looking appearance with virtually none of the risks of other cosmetic procedures.

Others realize that an acupuncture face lift works deeper to correct underlying conditions that contribute to aging such as hormonal imbalances, digestive problems and stress while treating the external signs of sagging and wrinkles – potentially erasing 5-10 years from the face. It is also a very relaxing way to spend an hour of your time.

I only had 2 treatments that week but I felt and observed that my skin became firmer, my eyelids less puffy and I felt a surge of energy for the days following the treatment. My daughter noticed that my skin tone was once again pink and glowing- a nice change from the ashen pallor I had before the treatment.

As a practitioner, I can say I LOVE helping someone return to their youthful looks with acupuncture. It is exciting and the effects can be noticed by others after the 6th or 7th treatment. For more information please visit my site

Your comments or questions are welcome.

5 Reasons to Choose Acupuncture TODAY!

5 Reasons to Choose Acupuncture TodayIMG_0319

Acupuncture is the oldest medical system in the world – used by millions of people everyday! Here in Quebec it is a fully-fledged, recognized health profession, attracting individuals who seek to regain control of their health.

Rosemary McDonough, Ac

Choose acupuncture today to:

 1. Move freely without pain. Numerous studies support acupuncture’s efficacy in reducing persistant muscle, joint and even abdominal pain.

2. Balance your hormones. Acupuncture is a realistic and natural way to treat SPM, infertility and menopause symptoms because it can access the endocrine system, which governs hormone balance.

3 Enhance your immune system.  Always catching colds and flu? Free yourself from allergies and build strong defensive energy with treatments that target the immune system.

4 Regain your vitality. There are many reasons for fatigue.  Acupuncture treats the problem at its source so you can live the life you deserve!

5 Deal with stress so you can enjoy a better quality of life! Acupuncture works to calm nervous tension and improve your outlook.



6 Ways to Supercharge Your Immune System!

What a lovely fall season we are having!  The autumn colours may not be as dramatic this year as in years past but at least the weather has been co-operative. IMG_1584

We all know however that first real blast of cool weather is not far off.  It’s a change I always welcome because the cooler, blustery days make me want to carve up a pumpkin, tend a simmering pot of stew, or just curl up with the cat!  It’s also the kind of weather that heralds the approach of another flu season.

The Immune system:

 Working day in and day out, our immune system doesn’t often get our attention until it fails to do its job of defending us against the thousands of harmful germs that are floating in the air that we breathe. If the immune system isn’t up to scratch, a germ may go unnoticed and we end up with a cold, the flu or worse.  The speed with which the immune system eventually takes care of an invader (bacteria and virus) gives us an idea of the strength of our immune system and/or the virulence of the germ.  If we do come down with the flu, it can be several weeks before we feel better.

Super charge your immune system

Acupuncture is a safe way to enhance the effectiveness of your immune system, giving you better resistance before the flu season begins.  I invite all of you to make a fall-winter tune-up appointment for sometime between the end of October to mid November.

Along with acupuncture, here are 5 more things you can do on your own to keep your immune system humming!

1. Remember to wash your hands frequently.

We often bring our hands to our face, making it easier for pathogens on the hands to enter the body via the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. Handwashing with soap and hot water is considered the number one way to fend off germs.

2. Take vitamin D3.

The best source of vitamin D3 is, of course, sunlight.  Daily exposure of 15 minutes of sunlight to the trunk of the body charges our immune system. In the Northern hemisphere however, sunlight is seriously lacking once winter begins. Consult your health care provider for dosage of D3.

3. Be vigilant about your diet.

Cut down on sugar, a known immune system suppressor, and add fermented foods to your diet.  Visit my blog for details and recipes

4. Stay active but avoid exhausting yourself with exercise.

Regular, sensible exercise, allows for better circulation of the components of your immune system, giving your body a better chance to detect any unwanted micro-organisms. The strain of excessive workouts however, puts your immune system under a lot of pressure and puts some athletes at higher risk for catching cold and flu.

5.Learn how to cope with stress.

Research over the past 30 years has demonstrated a link between chronic stress and suppression of the immune system.  Learn and practice restorative yoga, meditation, or Qi Gong, an ancient self-healing system, or at least make a regular habit of taking a few moments for yourself to recharge and simply breathe.

5 Conseils Pour une Alimentation Saine

Mes patients sont souvent surpris d’apprendre qu’une consultation et un traitement peuvent impliquer des conseils nutritionnels. Bien souvent je découvre chez mes patients que le régime alimentaire peut effectivement contribuer à un problème de santé particulier. Alors que la diététique chinoise traditionnelle est fondée sur le respect des différences et des besoins individuels, je partager régulièrement les consignes suivantes pour aider mes patients à atteindre une santé optimale au travers une alimentation saine. Comme vous le verrez, c’est autant de la façon dont vous mangez que ce que vous mangez. Consultez un praticien de médecine chinoise qualifié avant d’apporter des changements radicaux à votre alimentation.


1. Buvez des liquides à la température ambiante ou chaude. Des boissons fraîches affaiblissent le système digestif, car l’estomac doit travailler plus fort pour réchauffer son contenu afin de le préparer pour la balance du processus de digestion. Certains signes d’un affaiblissement du système digestif sont les ballonnements abdominaux et/ou des crampes après les repas, des selles molles, et un manque d’énergie.

2. Pour la même raison citée ci-haut, essayez de préparer des repas chauds et limitez votre consommation d’aliments crus et froids, surtout pendant les mois les plus froids. Optez plutôt pour des méthodes de cuisson à la vapeur ou au wok.

3. Réduisez votre consommation de produits laitiers. Pour bien de gens, les produits laitiers contribuent à la formation de mucus propice au développement de rhumes, d’allergies et d’infections des sinus.

4. «Manger 3 repas par jour» est un conseil souvent préconisé, cependant je rencontre tellement de gens qui ne le pratiquent pas. Sauter des repas, notamment le petit déjeuner, se traduit souvent par de la fatigue et des maux de tête.

5. Soyez conscient de l’atmosphère dans lequel vous prenez vos repas. C’est un aspect très important d’une alimentation saine! Je ne me lasserai pas de réitérer que la façon dont vous mangez influe directement sur l’absorption de la nourriture ainsi que l’efficacité de votre système digestif. Essayez de trouver un endroit paisible pour manger et évitez de discuter d’affaires ou tout autre sujet pouvant engendrer une tension émotionnelle. Prenez le temps de vous asseoir à une table joliment aménagée – même si vous mangez seul. De grâce, éteignez le téléviseur et permettez à votre corps de se concentrer à assimiler convenablement la nourriture. S’empresser de manger ou manger pendant la conduite, la lecture ou l’étude peuvent contribuer à des brûlures d’estomac, l’indigestion, la constipation et l’affaiblissement éventuel de votre système digestif.

Manger devrait demeurer un plaisir, un moment consacré à nourrir consciemment notre corps avec des aliments visant à améliorer notre santé. Si vous êtes curieux de savoir si des changements nutritionnels, selon la médecine chinoise, peuvent vous aider, vous pouvez me rejoindre pour une consultation gratuite de 15 minutes.

Meditation goes Mainstream

If you’ve read my columns here over the last few seasons, you may have noticed that I often mention the important role that stress management plays in overcoming almost any condition.

Activities that reduce stress in our lives represent an integral part of a balanced lifestyle. Physical exercise, walking, dancing, yoga, and Qi Gong can all help us achieve amazing levels of stress reduction, but for today, I’d like to explore why meditation is a form of stress management worth practicing.


Meditation-leafOver the years, I have had the pleasure of both leading and participating in various mediation groups. Fellow meditators reported many benefits, including fewer migraines, better sleep, more energy, a greater sense of well-being, and more satisfying interpersonal relationships.
While my personal observations would be considered anecdotal evidence at best, science has, over the past 30 years, taken an interest in measuring the effects of meditation. An abundance of reliable research now exists to offer more reasons than ever to begin (or to continue) the practice of meditation for your health.
As recently as last August, UCLA researchers showed that meditation helped reduce feelings of loneliness in people aged 55 to 85. Loneliness is actually a form of stress that is linked to higher risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, and premature death. Blood tests performed on these people as compared with a similar group who were not meditating showed that the meditation program also boosted their immune system.
This group was practicing Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which trains the mind to pay attention to what is happening in the moment. Adapted from the Buddhist style “mindfulness meditation”, it was secularized and made popular by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBSR in particular has been shown to have positive effects in the area of pain, anxiety, depression, and general well-being. If these benefits weren’t enough to convince you to meditate, consider the ramifications of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s statement that meditation can “change the brain and how it works”.

Meditation, your brain, and anti-aging
The new buzzword among the aging baby-boomer generation is “neuroplasticity” and meditation is now gaining popularity among those seeking to slow the aging process by improving brain function. Neuroplasticity describes the brain’s ability to change its structure and activity in response to experience and, in the case of meditation, we are talking about re-training and re-wiring the brain. In a 2005 study, the brains of regular meditators were shown to have thicker cortical walls than non meditators of the same age. Thicker cortical walls means increased gray matter, which is associated with better attention, memory, and decision making, Since gray matter gets thinner with age, these meditators were actually slowing the aging process.

If the idea of meditation for better health interests you, I would recommend reading Jon Kabbat Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living — using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. This book describes the MBSR program and offers evidence to support the existence of the mind-body connection.

There are also audio versions of the MBSR program available for download. If you have itunes, you can do a search for Mindfullness Meditations by UCLA and enjoy more than a dozen free, guided meditations.

Rosemary McDonough is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in Mt. Tremblant. Your comments and questions are welcome (819) 681-8228 rose@acupuncturemonttremblant.




How to Treat a Cold

We all know that there is no cure for the common cold, yet these simple tactics can sometimes stop this virus in its tracks if applied at the very onset.  Having these inexpensive items in your kitchen during this time of year may come in handy should you succumb to a ‘bug’.

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the common cold and flu come from “external cold wind” which makes our pores clamp down.  A ‘cold’ kind of cold makes us feel chilled-like being outside on a chilly windy day without being properly dressed. TCM principal is to open the pores to help sweat the illness out of our systems.
The following recipe will help kick that cold to the curb if used within the early stages.


Combine 4 slices of fresh ginger with the white parts of 6 green onions and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drink while it is warm.  This is one dose and should be repeated 2-3 times a day.  It will make you sweat slightly which is what you want so as to expel the toxins from your body.

A ‘hot’ sort of cold or “external heat wind” gives us a sore throat and high temperature.
In this case, use Yin Chiao pills (available at most natural food stores) within the first 48 hours. 
This is an item you should never be without. They are made from honeysuckle and forsythia fruit – known for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.  My family has used Yin Chiao for years with good results. Consult your natural health practitioner before taking any herbal remedies.