Symptoms of running nose, sneezing, and watery itchy eyes that recur during specific parts of the year (especially Spring and Fall) are a cause of much suffering of a large segment of the U.S. population. Millions of dollars are spent on medications and the allergy shots for the treatment of seasonal allergies. Western medicine views seasonal allergies as a form of immediate hypersensitivity reaction which occurs when anti-bodies produced by lymphocytes interact with airborne particles such as pollen.
Western medicine describes the locations of lymphocytes in addition to being in the blood stream as also in Peyer’s patches in the gastrointestinal tract, spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. Interestingly in my practice of acupuncture the Spleen, Stomach, and Large Intestine meridians are utilized a great deal.
Researchers at the University Medical Center in Berlin conducted a large, multi-center study of the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. The study divided 422 people into three groups for two months: one group received acupuncture treatment, the second received “fake” acupuncture, with needles placed in random, meaningless spots on their bodies, and the third group only took antihistamines. At the end of the study, the group that received acupuncture therapy reported greater relief from symptoms than the other two groups.
While there are many Western medications to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, these treatments can cause unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness and immune system suppression as well as an over-reliance on medications. These side effects have drawn many people to search for an alternative approach, such as acupuncture and Oriental medicine to manage their allergies. One study recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that acupuncture can significantly relieve allergic rhinitis symptoms.
Acupuncture focuses on restoring balance to the body, improving immune system functioning, helping to relieve pain, reducing stress, enhancing blood circulation, and promoting overall health and well being in adults and children. It is a natural therapy that does not requires any drug and is highly effective when performed by an experienced practitioner.