Allergies are most common during spring and the beginning of summer. This is the time when the pollen count as at its highest. A lot of people may have allergies that are quite bothersome often affecting their normal activities and quality of life. Severe allergies, on the other hand can be dangerous and potentially deadly if not addressed properly.
An allergen that has entered into the body triggers an allergic reaction. The immune system is alerted when the body detects an allergen. The immune system then manufactures an antibody known as IGE. The IGE attaches itself to basophils, mast cells and immune cells and an immune response is triggered releasing interleukins, leukotrienes, cytokine, prostaglandins and histamine. When these chemicals and the allergen meet, their interaction results in allergy symptoms such as breathing difficulty, itchy eyes, red and itchy skin and mucosal production and discharge. Allergy treatment using Western medicine conventional modalities focuses on the avoidance of the allergen as well as in limiting the immune response by blocking the interaction of the allergen and the immune cells using anti-leukotrienes, glucocorticoids, and antihistamines. While these modalities are quite effective in their own right, Chinese medicine, acupuncture and other natural and alternative treatments also can offer relief of allergy symptoms and at the same time address the underlying cause of the allergy by strengthening and balancing the person’s immune system.
Allergies, based on the viewpoint of Chinese medicine practitioners, are caused by a deficiency in the zhen qi (righteous energy) and wei qi (protective energy) of the body often complicated by damp accumulation in the body caused by digestive weakness and/or a poor diet. The digestive weakness may be due to genetics or a poor lifestyle. Zhen qi and wei qi deficiency usually are indications of energy deficiency of the kidneys, spleen, liver, and/or lungs. There may be different patterns of disharmony that generate a certain kind of allergy and because of this the mode of diagnosis and resolution of an allergy are usually unique for each patient. A proper diagnosis is probably the most important factor in effectively treating an allergy condition since it will determine the type of treatment to be implemented. The best outcomes can only be achieved when the customized treatment is based on the patient’s unique constitution. The diagnosis will determine the Chinese herbal formulas and acupuncture treatment to be used to beef up the affected organ systems and strengthen the energetic systems and the immune system of the patient.
Acupuncturists often combine dietary therapy, herbs, and acupuncture as well as a technique known as NAET in the treatment of allergy. NAET or Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique is both a test to identify the allergens and a treatment that uses acupuncture to reinforce the immune system of the patient during an allergic reaction. This technique is very effective in that it helps strengthen the immune system and at the same time strengthens energetic weaknesses that make the patient prone to allergies.