Every year it’s the same thing; your eyes get red and itchy; your sinuses begin to fill up. You feel like you’re swimming in your own head. It’s hard to think. Sleeping is harder. You roll to one side and your sinuses drain or clog. You roll over. Ugh! And you can stand it any longer, so you reach for the Allegra or the Claritin, but is there a better choice?
There are a lot of options available to you through Western medicine. You can receive allergy shots, prescription medications or over the counter medicines, but all of these just treat the symptoms of allergies and hay fever. So, what can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine do that’s different or more effective?
For one thing, Acupuncture can provide more than just symptomatic relief. Acupuncture is about driving up function in the body. That means:
A) If some system is not properly functioning, it either needs to work harder, or perhaps it’s over-reacting to something (like an allergen) that it shouldn’t react to.
B) If we improve or balance function, your body won’t need to trigger the alarm and react.
We’ve all heard the word “anti-histamine,” but what does that mean? A “histamine” is your body’s natural “alarm bell.” Most of the over-the-counter medications contain an anti-histamine. But if a histamine response is a natural part of the body’s defense system, do you really want to stop it?
According to a CNN Article, citing a scientific study:
“After two months, the researchers asked the patients about their symptoms and how much medication they used. The participants who received the real acupuncture treatments with their antihistamines showed a greater improvement in their allergy symptoms and less use of antihistamines compared to the other groups.”
To summarize: Most common medications for allergies/hay fever treat the alarm bell (histamine response). This is what causes the red, itchy eyes and runny nose. Allergy shots work to build a tolerance to the body’s over-reaction to a natural substance. Chinese medicine works to boost or balance the REASON or root cause of why the body is reacting to these natural substances. In other words, acupuncture and herbal medicine work together to create a healthy immune system; one that reacts to a true threat as opposed to pollen or dust.