Oh yes, pollen counts this week are high high high and let me tell you, those of us with tree pollen and grass allergies are definitely feeling it. Itchy eyes, post nasal drip, headache, fatigue ah... so much fun.
It is certainly lovely that there are sites like Pollen.com (as referenced above) that can tell us what is expected and coming so we can plan accordingly. But if you are tired of the flonase - claritin - allegra routine, or if you find that these interventions including immunotherapy therapy just aren't enough, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine might be just the ticket.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine recognize allergies as a specific energetic deficiency in the body which decrease your physical and energetic ability to deal with external pathogenic factors. Typically this includes some combination of Spleen, Kidney and Lung weakness which leads to a "Wei Qi" or "protective Qi" deficiency. It is Wei Qi that prevents you from getting sick.
By clearing the attacking pathogen out of the body and then strengthening the Lung, Spleen, Kidney and Wei Qi specifically, we can bolster the bodies' defenses thus decreasing allergy symptoms in the immediate and, over time, decreasing your reactivity overall.
It can be a long cycle of treatment since it is two fold:
Step One: during the active allergy season, is to clear allergens from the body and focus on Wei Qi to get through the season. This is typically done through a combination of Acupuncture and herbs that primarily address symptoms. Common formulas are Cang Er Zi Wan, Chuan Xiong Wan and Blue Earth Dragon.
Step Two: during the off season, is to tonify or strengthen the Spleen, Lung and Kidney towards a long terms solution of bolstering these organs and their ability to generate (super) strong Wei Qi. This too is done through tonic herbs and acupuncture. Often herbs are emphasized here. Most common formula is called Jade Windscreen.
Herbs will be individually matched to your symptoms and needs, just like treatment. We call this Syndrome Differentiation in Chinese Medicine, which refers to the fact that everyone presents a little differently and therefore is treated in an individual and unique way.
So, what does this mean for allergy suffers right now? There's help and support that is natural and effective! As an allergy sufferer myself, and someone who has treated too many allergy sufferers to count over the past 10 years of service, I can definitely assure you that acupuncture is an effective option. It can be used in combination with western methods to enhance their effects or alone as a sole solution. The severity of your symptoms, their duration and the timing of your treatment with relation to the season will determine what interventions are recommended.
If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me anytime - I have lots of experience to speak to and offer! And if you're ready to give it a try, please book in online at your earliest convenience. And read on if you want to know more about Acupuncture research for strengthening the immune system - it works!
Research into Acupuncture for Immunity
Acupuncture has been proven to be benefcial to the immune system in numerous studies. One study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2014 analyzed cancer patients after they received acupuncture treatment. The study found that there was a signi cant increase in blood cells as well as a decrease in fatigue after the acupuncture treatment. Overall, the study concluded acupuncture can boost the immune system and increase immune cells. Another study published in Evidence- Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that acupuncture has been reported to improve symptoms of allergies,
which is an abnormal immune response. The study concluded that for the patients tested, there was evidence that acupuncture treatment helped lower in ammatory properties in the body to alleviate symptoms. If you are su ering from any form of an autoimmune disorder contact an acupuncturist to learn more about how treatment could help you.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.