Acupuncture for Allergies

While the spring brings with it warmer weather and a sense of rebirth, for many, it also brings on the dreaded seasonal allergies. As a result, millions of dollars are spent every year on allergy medications and shots, which often provide only mild relief.

Allergies are caused by an over-reactivity of the immune system to certain allergens such as wind-born tree, grass, or weed pollen. Sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, headaches, fatigue, coughing, wheezing and watery, itchy, or red eyes are common symptoms. In addition, when allergens and antibodies react nasal mucosa becomes swollen and may obstruct drainage from the sinuses causing sinusitis in many people.

Western doctors may prescribe antihistamines. Unfortunately, these remedies only treat the manifestation of the condition. Not only that, but many of these medications cause side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, dryness, and gastro-intestinal issues.

From a Chinese medicine point of view, allergies are due to an imbalance in the immune system, namely, a deficiency of the body’s Defensive-Qi, combined with the presence of chronic “Wind” or external pathogen in the nose and eyes. A practitioner will use herbs and acupuncture to clear the Wind, reduce congestion, open the nasal passages, relieve itchiness and clear the eyes. This is treatment of the manifestation of the condition. But Chinese medicine does not stop there. The real strength of the medicine is its ability to address the underlying root of the condition, namely, the weakness in the immune system in the face of such overpowering external stressors: the allergens. Together, both the root and the manifestation of the condition are treated to produce lasting results. Receiving acupuncture treatments during the season in which you suffer from allergies can diminish your symptoms and shorten the duration of or eliminate altogether the allergy season. There is also a special classical Chinese medicine treatment administered at the height of the summer heat to help strengthen the lungs and immune system. This treatment addresses longterm asthma, seasonal allergies, and chronic colds. Please be sure to schedule appointments in mid July to early August to catch this short window of time!

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