It’s that time of year again when temperatures rise and everything is in bloom. For many, it marks the beginning of seasonal allergies. The usual response to this is prescription or over the counter medications, or in severe cases, allergy shots. These treatments are great at stopping the symptoms of allergies: runny nose, red and itchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion. However, they need to be taken regularly and are often not completely effective. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer a third option for treating allergies that can be effective on its own or in conjunction with medications. Additionally, it can help reduce the need for those medications as treatment continues.
Allergy symptoms are the result of an immediate hypersensitive reaction to allergens such as pollen. Medications work by reducing the severity of this reaction, essentially covering up the symptoms. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can work to help the body self-regulate and thus have a more normal response to all types of allergens, not just pollen. What this means for you is less severe allergy symptoms less frequently. And in some cases, no symptoms at all. It’s even possible to start treatment prior to allergy season in order to prevent symptoms before they even start.
This is not an overnight fix, you should expect about two months of weekly treatments for the full effect, and some patients may need to come in a few times throughout the year for a ‘tune up’. In many cases, dietary changes will also help greatly. Cutting out dairy, sugar, and gluten will help reduce the body’s response to allergens and also increase its response to treatment. This can lead to better and longer lasting results.
If you’re worried about the coming allergy season, or if you suffer from year-round symptoms, acupuncture can be a great alternative or complement to regular medical treatments. It can lead to longer and better results and improve your body’s overall function. If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Justin Short is a licensed acupuncturist in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a nationally certified Chinese herbalist who works at our Stone Ridge office. Justin believes in a holistic approach to health and in helping people help themselves.