My new patient says she always gets allergies around this time of year. But this spring is different. She’s been getting acupuncture for the past few months. Wouldn’t you know it, her husband reports her snoring is gone and her nasal congestion is also reduced significantly. And her allergies are significantly reduced.
Because I am a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, I don’t see you as a robot with a nose to fix. You’re a whole organism. In Chinese Medicine, when we someone with allergies, we ask, how is her digestive system functioning? When digestion is weak, more phlegm is “deposited” in the lungs. Gut immunity weakens and the body’s ability to deal with toxins is reduced. You feel fatigued.
The answer, as I bet you know, is not to just take Zyrtec (although it’s a good quick fix, we can’t depend on quick fixes to help us get to a long-term solution). Your body is not supposed to be allergic to the pollen. (Just as I tell my patient who came in with headaches, you are not supposed to be experiencing headaches every two days!)
In acupuncture, we aim to help wake up your bodies own healing abilities. From a biomedical perspective, the needles stimulate the immune and endocrine systems to help increase immunity, to ensure metabolism of food and wastes (and pollen) is efficient.
I also use Chinese herbs from Taiwan as well. Patients report that after several days, allergy symptoms are significantly reduce. In conjunction with herbs, I also do a diet consultation with patients to help them realize the connection between allergies and diet. Often, gluten and dairy wreak havoc on the digestive system and in general this has the effect of weakening all body systems.
For those of you who are afraid of needles, keep in mind that they are filiform needles, which means they are the thickness of a thread. Most patients feel no pain on insertion, and report that they feel very relaxed during treatment.
Acupuncture works. For allergies, too!