For a lot of people, the warmer months can also mean another season of allergies has arrived. Allergy symptoms can range from mild discomfort like itchy red eyes, sneezing and a running nose to more severe issues like difficulty breathing and allergic rhinitis.
While over-the-counter medication is a popular treatment for seasonal allergies, recent studies exploring the role of acupuncture in helping with allergies have had positive results.
In fact, a recent study conducted by the University Medical Center in Berlin found that in a group of 422 people, with one group receiving real acupuncture, another group receiving ‘fake’ acupuncture and the third group receiving antihistamines, the group that experienced the real acupuncture had far more relief from their symptoms than anyone else in the trial.
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
When you have season allergies, it means your immune system is having a reaction to a material in the environment that would normally be considered innocuous. These materials are called allergens and they can include everything from pet hair to pollen, ragweed, dust, mites and beyond.
Everyone experiences seasonal allergies differently and in severity. However, there are some common side effects that include red and itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion, runny nose, itchy skin or in more severe cases difficulty breathing.
Allergies Are On The Rise in Alberta
Seasonal allergies have become more common in Alberta in recent years for a number of reasons. Daily air pollutants have played a role in this increase as has certain lifestyle issues like poor diet, stress, and lack of proper sleep or physical activity.
So What Is Acupuncture And How Can It Help With My Seasonal Allergies?
Acupuncture originated from Traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the idea that the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways. These pathways direct an internal energy flow called Qi throughout the body that is responsible for our health.
When that energy flow becomes blocked or disrupted, it can cause a variety of issues including allergies. By applying thin metallic needles to specific points on the body, an acupuncturist can actually unblock and stimulate the flow of Qi and eradicate symptoms of sickness and improve overall health.
Season allergy symptoms are also a result of blocked QI in the body that affects the nervous system and immune system. An allergic reaction is a manifestation of the body's difficulty to adjust to its environment. So instead of treating allergies, acupuncture works to treat the person and their immune system. There has been recent evidence to suggest that acupuncture is effective.
In 2015, the Otorhinolaryngology Head Neck Surgery Journal posited that acupuncture was an effective and valid non-pharmacological treatment for allergic rhinitis.
Can Acupuncture Treat Your Allergies?
While there has been promising research that has shown a direct link between acupuncture and seasonal allergy relief, more high-quality studies are needed to understand its benefits in more detail. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try it for your allergies to see if it is a helpful solution!
As an acupuncturist, I look at the external factors that cause allergies as well as the environment itself. By addressing both the allergens and the person, we can get to the root cause of the issue and help the systems in your body responsible for your symptoms regulate better. This includes your nervous system and immune system.
Interested in seeing if acupuncture is the right treatment course for your allergies? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or book an appointment with me today for a complimentary consultation. Together we can put together a treatment plan that addresses your symptoms and helps you enjoy your summer.