The groundhog said it this year. With Spring around the corner, who doesn’t want more sunshine and warmer weather? But the trees!!!!!! Love those pretty buds, but you can’t see them if your eyes are swollen shut and you can’t go outside and breathe at the same time.
Claritin and Zyrtec can work a bit - I’ll admit I pull them off the shelf in cases of an acute episode of facial eruption, but they are a short-term band-aid at best. And, antihistamines have unpleasant side-effects like drowsiness, cloudy-headedness, and dryness. Quick-drying decongestants like Mucinex can solidify sinus and lung mucous into concrete, greatly increasing the chances of developing a more severe sinus or lung infection. To get sustained relief, treatment must focus on the root - the immune system. Fixing the underlying immune imbalance will reduce the need for such OTC meds.
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine absolutely SHINE in this area. According to a recent summary of the most up-to-date research acupuncture is effective, safe, and cost-efficient when it comes to treating “allergic rhinitis,” and is recommended as a non-pharmacological treatment by the US Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery Foundation. Allergic rhinitis includes the highly irritating symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes, fatigue and interrupted sleep.
How does it work?
From a Western point-of-view, the immune system is incorrectly identifying “harmless” irritants (like grass, pollen, etc) as a threat, and responds by activating an inflammatory response. This response releases a host of soldiers in the body in the form of substances like immunoglobulins (IgE), and mediators like histamines, cytokines, prostaglandins, etc. These substances are what induce the redness, pain, swelling, heat, and mucous production intended to battle the irritating invaders. According to the studies, Acupuncture is successful at reducing the levels of IgE’s and other inflammatory mediators. This calms the system and reduces symptoms.
Eastern Medicine views diseases through the lens of a balance between Yin and Yang. When all is balanced, there is no disease. The “Yin" of our immune systems includes tangible substances like blood cells, lymphatic tissues, and related organs like the Spleen, Liver, Lungs, and Kidneys. These substances are depleted by stress, environmental toxins, pathogens, injuries, poor nutrition, and lack of sleep. The “Yang" of the immune system includes the intangible functions of, and interactions between, the immune system's parts. Lacking a better metaphor, the Yin are the guns of the immune system, while the Yang is the will and action that aims and pulls the trigger against invaders. When Yin-substances are deficient, the Yang functions overcompensate with hyper-vigilance and overact against things that wouldn’t normally bother a healthy, balanced body...like air and grass and your cat. Lasting balance can be restored by nourishing the depleted Yin so that the trigger-happy Yang can settle down.
Acupuncture stimulates, directs and moves both energy (Qi/Yang) and substances(fluids/Yin) by placing thin needles in strategic places called “acupoints". Some acupoints provide immediate relief by diverting stuck, excess energy and fluids away from your exploding face and opening up the inner passages of the head. Other acupoints send needed resources (Qi) to the deficient organs that need it. This helpful direction by the needles simultaneously calms the allergic reaction (the branch), and improves the overall function of immune system (the root). Add nourishing food and helpful herbs into the equation, and results are even better and longer lasting.
Reported findings typically reflect courses of acupuncture consisting of 2-5 treatments a week for multiple weeks, averaging 10-20 treatments per course. Patients coming only once a week, or once a month, may get some temporary relief, but it is not ideal nor does it reach the potential benefits available. To better reflect and reproduce the positive results research has demonstrated, Dansville Acupuncture Center has designed a special Allergy Season Package to help people access this powerful therapy while clearly communicating reasonable investment expectations for time and resources. This concentrated course of acupuncture done just prior to the budding allergy season is intended to prevent or significantly reduce the misery of allergic rhinitis so that you can enjoy your environment once again.
Call us at Dansville Acupuncture Center 585-210-6794 or click on the link to learn more about our Allergy Season Package.
Please see the following site for the references of the information given in this article: https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/acupuncture-allergic-rhinitis/