Allergies and How to Fight Back
I'm sure many allergy sufferers are already experiencing seasonal allergies such as itchy, watery eyes, endless sneezing, and a congested, runny nose. Allergies can be miserable and prevent you from participating in outdoor activities. And I know this from experience. One summer, years ago, when I lived in the mountains my allergies were so awful. I remember looking out the window to see the pollen blowing out of the trees in the wind, little clouds of yellow torture, and I would think to myself, I can't go out there. And I didn't. I didn't go hiking or climbing or biking or any of the things you do when you live in the mountains. My allergies were so bad I was sure that I would have to move away to escape it. This is no way to live.
Allergies are caused because the body's immune system is overreacting to foreign particles causing inflammation. The inflammation is the body trying to attack something that it views as bad or harmful. People without allergies do not overreact to these same foreign particles so their body doesn't go into attack mode.
Most people have accepted that they suffer from allergies and that's the way it's going to be. But don't give up yet! With acupuncture and herbal medicine, we can get your body working more efficiently to help manage or get rid of your allergy symptoms. All we need to do is remind the body that it doesn't need to overreact. We can help the body calm its response to these foreign particles.
Acupuncture led to statistically significant improvements in disease-specific quality of life and antihistamine use measures after 8 weeks of treatment compared with sham acupuncture
A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that "acupuncture led to statistically significant improvements in disease-specific quality of life and antihistamine use measures after 8 weeks of treatment compared with sham acupuncture".
Acupuncture will help remind the body how to work efficiently and correctly. The body needs to be reminded of these changes multiple times and with each additional treatment, the message is heard more clearly and lasts for a longer period of time. I always recommend tune-up treatments so that people continue to feel their best. In the study I mentioned above, there was no difference in results after 16 weeks. From my experience, this is most likely because there was no follow up treatments after the initial series of treatments. Once your allergy symptoms have decreased, it's important to continue supporting your body to stay on track. Just like diet or exercise - you can't eat healthy for 8 weeks and assume that will do for the rest of your life. A tune-up treatment once a month or 6 weeks will work wonders!
A couple of my favorite Chinese herbal formulas for allergies are Magnolia Clear Sinus by Evergreen Herbs and Blue Poppy's Aller Ease. These formulas unblock nasal congestion, relieve nasal discharge and sneezing, along with supporting the lungs.
When you are suffering from allergies, I would recommend avoiding dairy and fried or greasy foods. Dairy and greasy foods are going to increase your mucous and phlegm production and make your symptoms worse. I would encourage eating warm cooked foods and avoiding raw cold foods. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush your system.
Since allergies directly relate to your immune system, it's important to support your immune system by exercising, sleeping well, and reducing stress. Read more about ways to support the immune system in my blog post here.
Do you have health concerns & wonder if acupuncture is right for you?