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Allergies & Acupuncture

Achoo! Did you know that as many as 50 million people suffer from recurring allergy symptoms? Allergies are your body’s reaction to certain substances that encounter it, either through your breathing, your nose, your eyes, or even your skin. Those that experience them know that they can be painful, almost always irritating and are unwelcomed experiences that we loathe.

The causes of allergies are as many as the people who suffer from them and the severity of an individual’s reaction can vary greatly from one person to another and even further - one allergic event to the next, making it hard to predict and hard to treat.

When your body is exposed to an allergen like pollen, the immune system is activated and histamine is released in the body. This histamine causes a number of symptoms, including watery itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, asthma, coughing and even for some, mild diarrhea. When your immune system releases IgE antibodies that attach to white blood cells located in the upper respiratory tract, the skin or lining of the stomach, the cells are stimulated, and an allergic reaction occurs.

While medications can be effective at reducing inflammation and suppressing symptoms of allergies, medications can also come with undesirable side effects and typically don’t solve the underlying condition. Many of my clients seek relief from allergies using natural methods and while there are quite a few out there worth exploring, one of the most promising, and often overlooked treatments can be acupuncture and acupressure.

Acupuncture is an ancient practice developed in China. It has been used for a wide variety of conditions and has been frequently used as a complement to western medicinal options. Acupuncture helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow of your body’s energies without side effects.

A recent study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that acupuncture could help relieve hay fever and those that did acupuncture took less medication. The researchers from Charite-University Medical Center are not sure why, but the thinking is that all negative health symptoms, including allergic reactions, are correlated to a disruption in the body’s energy meridian system and acupuncture can curb inflammatory immune-system substances involved in allergic reactions.

Therefore, a system of energetic healing, like acupuncture, is well suited for relieving negative health symptoms such as those caused by allergies.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., a recent study was done by researchers in Germany on 422 people who suffered from pollen allergies. They were divided into three different groups. The first group received acupuncture and were allowed to use antihistamines as needed. The second group received sham acupuncture treatments and were allowed to use antihistamines as needed. The third group was only given antihistamines to relieve their symptoms. The study found that 71 percent of patients in the study who receive the real acupuncture had an improvement of their symptoms and did not rely as heavily on antihistamines to relieve their allergies.

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And if you suffer from allergies and want to give acupuncture a try, call Shine Acupuncture & Wellness in Medina. Shannon is a board-certified Acupuncturist and can tell you whether or not acupuncture will help with your allergies.

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