How Acupuncture Can Help Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Are you tired of taking allergy medicine to relieve your runny nose and watery eyes? Are you worried what the long-term effects of taking them? Are you wondering why your body is responding so negatively to these usually harmless particles?
You are not alone. Millions of North Americans suffer from itchy and watery eyes, runny noses every year, and every year, millions of dollars are spent on allergy medications and allergy shots to keep those pesky symptoms away.
From a Western medicine perspective, seasonal allergies are an inappropriate response by the immune system which sees the foreign particles as something to fend off. Our lymphocytes create antibodies which then attack the offending particles. These lymphocytes are found in the bloodstream as well as in our gastrointestinal tract, spleen, lymph nodes and even in our bone marrow.
The Traditional Chinese medicine approach
In TCM or Traditional Chinese medicine, the approach to treating allergies includes stimulating the Spleen, Stomach, Large Intestine meridians. The Large Intestine meridian starts on the index finger and ends at the nose. It is very common for patients to report an itchy nostril when the meridian is needled all the way down on their hand!
Diet plays a critical role in our health. In TCM theory, too much overly sweet food is harmful to the Spleen, which is one of the important TCM organs treated when it comes to allergies. Sugar, milk which contains a form of sugar called galactose and gluten can all contribute to the formation of mucous and phlegm. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid or minimise these foods in your diet to maximise the benefits of the treatments.
Treating with Acupuncture
As an acupuncturist, I enjoy treating allergies. Although a series of treatments is necessary to keep symptoms at bay on a long-term basis, immediate relief of some sort is often experienced during the first treatment. After the initial series of 10 to 12 treatments some patients will come in for a booster treatment once or twice a year, others don’t find the need for that and a few will come in every 2 or 3 months.
As acupuncture is a holistic form of therapy, it addresses the root of the problem (cause) and the branches (symptoms). Because other branches or symptoms arise from the same source, by treating your allergies with acupuncture or your holistic therapy of choice, you will find other things relating to your health improve as well. For instance, it is common for patients to report better digestion, sleep and an overall sense of well-being after a session.
This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Now I would like to hear from you. Do you suffer from Seasonal Allergies? What have you tried to help your symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.