Treating Allergies with Acupuncture

Prescription and over-the-counter medications are widely available, but do nothing to help overall health and prevention of allergies, plus come with a host of side effects.

Acupuncture stimulates your body to use its natural healing powers. This is done when a licensed acupuncturist inserts needles at very specific points on the body. The World Health Organization recognizes the validity of using acupuncture for the treatment of respiratory disorders such as allergies, sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma. And the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reports that acupuncture can be used alone or in conjunction with conventional allergy therapies.

Acupuncture's treatment of allergies differs from treatment with Western medicine in that Western medicine tends to focus more on the symptoms--runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes--rather than diminishing the body's reaction to allergens. With acupuncture, symptoms are treated when they occur, but allergies are not forgotten once the symptoms dissipate. When there are no symptoms, the focus changes to strengthening the immune system so that next year allergy sufferers will not be as sensitive to the environment. Diagnosis and treatment in Chinese medicine are individualized. Acupuncturists follow the patient's pattern of suffering and differentiate the nature of the allergy as either heat or cold. Once this diagnosis has been made, specific pressure points are stimulated relative to the type of allergy in order to relieve symptoms and strengthen the body.

Most importantly, acupuncture helps balance the body in general. This is done by taking a complete intake and doing a complete assessment of every client who comes for treatment. Acupuncturists treat very specifically and individually, making sure the underlying cause of allergies is cleared. When the body is in balance, symptoms disappear and health is restored. This is the main benefit of acupuncture: bringing a person into balance so that the body may heal itself of any ailment physically, mentally or emotionally.

Diet plays an important part in controlling seasonal allergies. Your acupuncturist will make dietary recommendations so that your body is optimally prepared to deal with the upcoming allergy season. Sweets, dairy products, and cold foods all tend to increase mucus buildup, putting ice cream and yogurt at the top of the list of foods to avoid during allergy season. When excessive mucus accumulates in the system, allergens stimulate a much stronger allergic reaction. Soups, salads (in warm weather), vegetables, and boiled grains are all easy for the body to digest. When digestion is efficient, there is less of a tendency for mucus to build up.

While allergies can put a damper on enjoying the best the season holds, there is natural relief for allergy sufferers. And the relief need not be temporary. In fact, when the body is brought to a higher level of health, we enjoy renewed energy, flexibility and joy of living.

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