Get Ahead of Your Allergies

March 29, 2011 at 9:28 am Leave a comment

Anyone who has seasonal allergies knows: if spring is coming, so is pollen season.

If you’re looking for an alternative this year to the usual round of antihistamines, inhalers, and other drug therapies, Chinese medicine is a very effective way to get allergy relief. And right now — before allergy season really kicks in — is the best time to get started.

Chinese medicine, like Western medicine, sees allergies as an imbalance in the immune system. Western medicine describes this as an over-reaction to a minor irritant. Chinese medicine sees it as a weakness of the Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”) — the protective layer at the surface of the body that keeps out foreign substances. If this layer is weak, irritants can get in too deep, triggering a full-blown immune response.

Acupuncture and herbal treatment of allergies works on three levels: first, strengthening this external layer directly; second, nourishing the deeper energy in the body that fuels this protective mechanism; and third, calming the inflammatory response and relieving the immediate symptoms.

Most of my allergy patients have been delighted with the results they get from a combination of acupuncture and herbs. They report much less severe allergy symptoms, increased ability to be outdoors and enjoy spring, and they enjoy being free of their medications and side effects.

A number of scientific studies confirm that acupuncture helps allergy sufferers. One 2008 study looked at more than 5,000 patients and concluded that acupuncture provides “clinically relevant and persistent benefits”, even months after treatment has concluded. (American Journal of Epidemiology. November, 2008).

For Self-care tips for allergy season click here.

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Entry filed under: Respiratory, Uncategorized.

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