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Got Allergies? Get Acupuncture!

Tips For Natural Relief From Seasonal Allergies

Research published in American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy finds that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. This condition is often referred to as "hay fever" and is characterized by sinus congestion and pain, runny nose, postnasal drip, sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, and irritation of the ears or throat. According to the study "acupuncture significantly lowered Immunoglobulin E (IgE), an antibody associated with allergies and hypersensitivities, in allergic rhinitis patients. In addition, subjective measures demonstrated acupuncture’s ability to improve quality of life scores. Acupuncture demonstrated significant efficaciousness in reducing allergic rhinitis symptoms including the reduction of nasal symptoms."  

Acupuncture for nasal congestion and seasonal allergies

Chinese Herbal Formulas:
Traditional Chinese Medicine theory typically views allergies as an invasion of "wind". Wind invasion symptoms include: watery and burning eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion, headache, and sore throat. There are a few traditional Chinese herbal formulas that are very helpful for seasonal allergies. The focus of the formulas are to help boost the "wei qi" or "defensive qi" (which is needed to prevent wind invasion) and to tonify the lung qi. Whatcom Family Acupuncture has adult and pediatric herbal formulas in stock to get you through this Spring!

Dietary Suggestions:
Some find it helpful to add stinging nettles to their diets, as they have antihistamine properties. These should be steamed or boiled to remove the stinging quality! Find out more on how to harvest and prepare nettles here. Nettle supplements are also available at health food stores. Others have found that eating local honey acts as a natural (and delicious) preventative against seasonal allergies. Alcohol, processed foods, and dairy should be avoided.  

Other Supplements:
There is strong evidence that Bioflavonoids, like Quercetin, are natural antihistamines and strongly anti-allergenic. Sources indicate that Bromelain and Vitamin C can enhance the action of Bioflavonoids.   As always, be sure to check with your doctor before adding any herbs or supplements.  

Nasal Irrigation:
Using a netti pot, or nasal rinse can be very helpful in reducing allergy symptoms. Nasal irrigation helps thin out the mucus and improve the coordination of the cilia in the nasal cavities to help them more effectively remove bacteria and other irritants from the sinus passages.