We wait all winter to once again see the green leaves and colorful blooms that signify spring. However, once that beautiful foliage begins to bloom, many are confined indoors with stuffy noses, itchy eyes, and interminable sneezing. Millions of people affected by seasonal allergies are resigned to over-the-counter medicines, or simply staying indoors. For many, these options either don’t work effectively, or are unfeasible for their lives. Acupuncture is a solution for allergy-sufferers that allows them to live their daily lives with decreased allergy symptoms, and can even improve their allergy response year-over-year.
Most allergy medications treat the symptoms of allergies, such as congestion and itchy, watery eyes, not the underlying allergic reaction. Fundamentally, allergic reactions are a malfunction of the immune system. Acupuncture works to strengthen the immune system and balance the related body systems to minimize and normalize the reaction to outside stimuli. Changing your body’s response to stressors can take some time, but in the meantime, acupuncture can treat the allergic symptoms as well. Your acupuncturist can recommend various Chinese herbs to help the external body when encountering allergens and tonify the blood.
While there is still need for research into the exact mechanisms through which acupuncture works, some studies have shown that acupuncture can influence cytokines, which are small proteins that affect interactions and communications between cells. Acupuncture has a modulating effect on the cytokine profile, notably a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines, which could explain acupuncture’s positive effect on allergies, as well as it’s pain relieving and relaxation effects.
If you’re staring longingly out your window, wishing you could go outside, but dreading the inevitable runny nose and incessant sneezing, give us a call and make an appointment with our Acupuncturist, Suzanne!