Spring has finally sprung. Do you know what that means? Beautiful flowers, budding trees, green grass, and ALLERGIES! Unfortunately this time of year brings misery and suffering to millions. The common answer for most…allergy medications. Although effective at times, they have many side effects including drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, restlessness, nausea, and vomiting to name but a few.
Many are aware of acupuncture’s benefits for pain, but research has shown that allergies can also reduce suffering from seasonal allergies. In a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers examined 422 people who tested positive for pollen allergies and had allergic nasal symptoms such as a runny nose. The participants reported their symptoms as well as what medication and doses they used to treat them.
The researchers then divided them into three groups; one received 12 acupuncture treatments and took antihistamines as needed, a second group received 12 fake acupuncture treatments (needles placed at random, non-meaningful points in the body) and took antihistamines as needed, while the final group only took antihistamines for symptoms.
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.
Jim has been a patient of mine for a few years now. Although he had been going to another chiropractor for years, a friend of his referred him to us for his allergies. An avid golfer, he would regularly suffer from severe nasal congestion and vertigo. We discussed how allergies are simply your immune system over-reacting to harmless particles inhaled. The body sees these particles as foreign invaders and attacks them like they were a virus or bacteria. Now Jim calls when his allergies begin to kick in and within a few treatments, he’s back to track!
So how does acupuncture help? By rewiring the nervous system. In your brain, perception is reality. If it is alerted that an invader has entered, it will order an all-out assault. Acupuncture works by explaining to the brain that the alleged intruder is just a harmless visitor. The brain then turns down the immune system and allergy symptoms decrease naturally.
This allergy season, why not try something new? (Actually, it’s pretty old… like thousands of years!). Acupuncture continues to prove it is a valuable treatment option for many common ills. There is also a nutritional support that I have been using for about three years now with great success. It is a product called Histoplex from Biotics Research. It has been a benefit for many allergy sufferers. Containing a variety of botanicals, Histoplex helps calm the histamine response that is responsible for many of the symptoms related to allergies.
In my video, I show you a simple way to treat yourself at home. If you still continue to suffer, ask your doctor, friends, or family if they know a reputable acupuncturist.
We look forward to helping you enjoy your Spring allergy free!