Acupuncture is use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been used for centuries to help heal ailments, including seasonal allergies. When spring arrives every year, individuals either embrace the season of blooming flowers and plants, or dread the season because of the pollen emitted from the new plant growth. The Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality (AHRA) reports 10 to 30 percent of adults and up to 40 percent of children are affected with seasonal allergies, making it the sixth most common chronic illness in the United States.
Acupuncture and Seasonal Allergies Defined
A seasonal allergy is classified as a disorder of the immune system, and occurs during the springtime. The pollen and spores released from various plants such as trees, flowers and grass release pollen in the air which enters the body, thus inhibiting the immune system. The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies include sneezing, a runny nose, wheezing, and red, watery, itchy eyes.
The art of acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years and is performed by a trained specialist who uses small needles inserted into the skin to stimulate certain points of the body to help achieve balance.
How Acupuncture Helps with Seasonal Allergies
Several small studies reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine and Allergy reported the reduction of seasonal allergy symptoms when acupuncture was used in combination with Chinese herbs. The immune system is compromised during allergy season, and when acupuncture is used prior, it aids in increasing overall health to prevent seasonal allergy symptoms.
In situations where the onset of symptoms is present, using acupuncture in the areas affected can alleviate the nasal congestion and headaches, with some patients reporting the changes immediately. Using acupuncture also increases the immune system and overall health.
Acupuncture is an effective option to combat seasonal allergies, but the results vary from patient to patient. Consultation with a trained acupuncture specialist or primary care physician is recommended prior to starting alternative techniques. If you’d like to find an acupuncturist, Acufinder.com is a great resource.