What is an allergy?

Spring!  Budding trees, flowers, weeds, grass! Beautiful to many and horrible to some!  Allergies to the pollen which is spread through the air by the wind can cause a natural trigger such as hay fever.

It’s when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. Food, pollen, animal dander, mold, inset venom, drugs and dust mites are common substances that produce allergic reactions. An inflammatory reaction takes place within the body in an attempt to remove this substance from the system and this results in a variety of symptoms such as pollen allergies or hay fever.

How do we treat allergies with acupuncture?

According to Chinese medical theory, disharmony includes wind as part of the diagnosis, usually combined with another pathogenic influence in wind dampness, wind cold, or wind heat.  Typical patterns involving wind, allergy symptoms often occur without warning.  Seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, produces a sudden onset of symptoms such as sneezing, itching eyes and throat, and a heavy sensation in the head with copious mucus.

Acupuncture frequently relieves allergy symptoms immediately. Manipulation of points around the nose usually relieves the nasal congestion and sneezing as soon as the needles are inserted.

When a patient is treated for allergies with acupuncture, we look to treat the person as a whole.  The use of herbs along with acupuncture helps the practitioner to develop a plan that will alleviate the patient’s acute symptoms while addressing the underlying immune system imbalance at the root of the allergy.

There is a two part strategy to manage symptoms during the active season and in the off season to balance the immune system.