Allergies in the fall, especially for Midwesterners, can be especially brutal. Runny noses, watery eyes and coughing don’t have to be the bane of your existence while trying to rake leaves or carve pumpkins with your loved ones. Acupuncture can be a relief on not only your symptoms, but your wallet as well.

According to Medical Acupuncture, seasonal allergies are a “form of immediate hypersensitivity reaction that occurs when anti-bodies produced by lymphocytes interact with airborne particles, such as pollen.” Those lymphocytes reside in places like the blood stream, gastrointestinal tract, spleen, lymph nodes and bone marrow. Patients who have failed mediation and allergy shots may respond better to acupuncture, which can reduce or eliminate their dependence on allergy medications.

Allergic rhinitis, which occurs when you breathe in something you are allergic to, affects one in six Americans. When the body breathes in an allergen, it responds by producing a chemical reaction that creates symptoms shortly after.

Immediate symptoms include:

Itchy nose, mouth, eyes, throat, skin, or any area
Problems with smell
Runny nose
Watery eyes

Symptoms that may develop later include:

Stuffy nose(nasal congestion)
Clogged ears and decreased sense of smell
Sore throat
Dark circles under the eyes
Puffiness under the eyes
Fatigue and irritability

If untreated, allergy symptoms condition can turn into bronchial asthma. On top of the physical discomfort allergies bring, they also have a 5.3 billion adverse impact on the economy every year, reports The Center for Disease Control and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Acupuncture for allergy relief can improve quality of life for chronic allergic rhinitis sufferers.  It may used in conjunction with current medications or is a great alternative as a primary treatment. As many allergy suffers find, it can be hard to find the right match of over-the-counter options.

How acupuncture works

Acupuncture can stimulate the nervous system and influence the body’s homeostatic mechanism. As a result, suffers of allergic rhinitis can find that acupuncture stimulates nerves and other tissues, releasing endorphins, reducing inflammation and aiding in the dispersal of swelling.

Proof in the Points

Researchers at the San Francisco-based Academy of Pain Research say that allergic rhinitis is a “highly prevalent medical problem” with eight to 10 percent of the American population recorded as sufferers. Symptoms include itchy eyes and nose, sneezing and chronic nasal blockage. If untreated, the condition could turn into bronchial asthma.

These researchers said that rhinitis is a “relatively difficult problem to eliminate with acupuncture,” however there are “ample references in ancient traditional Chinese medical literature that acupuncture is definitely indicated for this condition.”

In the research, 12 patients with either chronic allergic or vasomotor rhinitis were treated with only two pairs of acupuncture points. According the abstract, treatment was continued even if symptoms appeared worse or if there was a lack of clinical progress. Two pairs of acupuncture points were used, Yinghsiang (LI-20) and Hoku (LI-4). The Yinghsiang point was chosen because this was mentioned most frequently in the traditional Chinese medical literature as a distinctively effective point in the treatment of nasal blockage, and the Hoku points were selected because they are known to be highly effective in treating any physiological disturbance in the facial area, according to the research methodology. All patients were treated three times a week and tapered to two once improvements were shown.

Nine of the 12 received total relief, two reported substantial relief and one said that he/she did not improve. The researchers said that the “therapeutic method employed here is highly effective” and that “just a few carefully selected points and the correct amount of stimulation may be the most effective formula.” Researchers also said that one of the reasons why acupuncture may not be as well received as a rhinitis combatant is because “clinical investigators in the past did not maintain the effective treatment long enough.”

To learn more about finding allergy relief through acupuncture, visit us or schedule a complimentary consultation with our top-rated team of acupuncturists.