Seasonal allergy sufferers who find Western medical treatments insufficient or bogged down with unwanted side effects may want to turn to acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine for relief. A third of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, but patients may discover that acupuncture is the best method when it comes to tapping into the body's incredible potential for healing itself.

While Western medicine has a tendency to diagnose allergies according to a set of known symptoms, traditional Chinese medicine is more individualized and analyzes allergies in accordance with symptom patterns in a specific patient; treatments are subsequently designed to address and alleviate the symptoms, as well as address the root imbalance.

Acupuncture, when used to treat seasonal allergies, often augurs a quick response with the initial series of ailments. Often, patients respond to recurrent treatments and find effective results where allopathic medical treatments are too strong or not efficacious. An acupuncture diagnosis starts with the basic idea that all allergies contain an element of dampness, which is a pathological accumulation of water. The diagnosis continues when the acupuncturist examines symptoms to determine the nature of the allergy by looking at heat and cold conditions in the body.

Aside from needling, acupuncturists also utilize a method known as cupping. A flame is placed in and removed from a glass cup, causing the air inside the cup to evaporate and creating a vacuum effect. The cup is then placed on different areas of the body to pull out phlegm and clear stagnant areas. Acupunturists may also use Chinese herbal medicine remedies in their allergy treatments. In a study published in the September 2004 issue of Allergy magazine, researchers concluded that a combination of herbs and weekly acupuncture sessions was a successful treatment for seasonal allergies. 

Lydia Akhzar, L.Ac. | 220 Sansome St. Suite 990 San Francisco, CA 94104 | 415.299.1426