Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recognizes that, like many other conditions such as insomnia, migraines, and depression, allergic rhinitis is rooted in the depletion or disruption of vital energy (or Qi) in the body. The disruptions or depletions that cause allergies are thought to affect the spleen, lungs, liver, and kidneys and can occur well ahead of any seasonal allergy symptoms.
The key to effective acupuncture treatment for allergic rhinitis or any other condition is to choose the right provider. There are many med-spa type providers who offer acupuncture treatments. However, many of these providers do not have the experience and education needed to effectively treat patients with seasonal allergies or other conditions that affect their overall quality of life. Look for a practitioner like those at EBOM who have years of experience using TCM and who have gone through the necessary education to provide a high level of care.
Do you suffer from allergic rhinitis and want to learn more about using acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine to treat your condition? Reach out to the compassionate team at EBOM today. Our experienced practitioners will be happy to answer any questions you have and develop a treatment regimen that will work best for you.
Allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as seasonal allergies, affect as many as 60 million Americans each year. With symptoms that include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, congestion, fatigue, and throat irritation, seasonal allergies can range from mildly uncomfortable to life altering.
People who are sensitive to pollen, pet dander, mold, dust mites, and other allergens can experience allergies for a few weeks a year or continuously throughout the year. Because seasonal allergies is not a virus like the common cold, it can continue to affect a sufferer as long as there are allergens present.
The insertion of very thin needs into specific points on the body, acupuncture is a core therapy in TCM. In addition to treating conditions such as chronic pain, depression, and diabetes, acupuncture can also be effective in treating seasonal allergies.
During one study, patients with allergic rhinitis were give 15 acupuncture sessions during a three-month period and were compared to a control group that received no acupuncture treatments. After the period was over, it was determined that the treatments increased quality of life as well as reduced allergic rhinitis symptoms in those who received the acupuncture treatments.
Another study was conducted on 238 participants with seasonal allergies. 97 of the subjects were given active acupuncture treatments, 94 were given “sham” treatments (placebo group), and the remaining 47 were assigned to a waitlist. The active and sham groups were given treatments three times a week for a total of four weeks while the waitlist group did not receive any treatments. At the conclusion of the four weeks, those who received active acupuncture treatments had significantly reduced symptoms of allergies compared to those in the sham and waitlist groups.
Acupuncture paired with Chinese herbal medicine can be an especially effective treatment for allergic rhinitis. In one study, 52 patients between the ages of 20 and 58 with seasonal allergy symptoms were randomly assigned to a group that received either active acupuncture treatment paired with a semi-standardized treatment of Chinese herbal medicine or a placebo group that received sham acupuncture and a non-specific Chinese herbal formula. Each group was given acupuncture treatments once per week and herbs three times daily, all for a total of six weeks. At the conclusion of the trial, those who received the active treatments showed significant improvements in symptoms compared to the placebo group.
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In some cases, seasonal allergies can be reduced or eliminated by avoiding the allergens causing the issues. For example, those who are allergic to pet dander can avoid being around cats or dogs while those who are sensitive to mold could have mold remediation services done on their homes or office.
If this is not feasible or does not eliminate the symptoms, seasonal allergies can also be treated with over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, decongestants, or anti-inflammatories. If these do not work, allergy shots or prescription medications can be used.
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