About 50 million Americans are affected by common allergies each year. Allergies are indications of an over reactive immune system to certain allergens that have infiltrated the body. Each individual has a certain allergen that affects his/her body and what might be an allergen for one person may not be an allergen for another. Acupuncture is one among many available treatments for allergies to help relieve the symptoms of this condition. But being a holistic treatment, acupuncture will not only resolve the symptoms of your allergy but will also address the underlying root of the allergy leading to a balance in your body systems and fullness of health.
What is an allergen?
Anything that causes in you an allergic reaction is an allergen. There can be literally thousands of allergens that bring about the rise of allergy symptoms. They can be skin contact allergens, ingested allergens, and respiratory allergens. Skin contact allergens can include a chemical allergen such as latex. They can also be a poison ivy or a bee sting. Ingested allergens are taken through drugs and foods and can include antibiotics, nuts, and shellfish. Respiratory allergens are inhaled into the body. They can be animal dander, house dust mites, mold spores and airborne pollens from tree grasses and blooms.
Allergy treatment using acupuncture
Practiced for more than 4,000 years, acupuncture is a healing art that is part and parcel of a collection of medical knowledge known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Adherents of TCM have utilized acupuncture for millennia as a natural way of balancing yin and yang to heal the body. TCM practitioners believe that in each human body, a vital energy known as Qi flows through channels of energy known as meridians. Good health is experienced by the person when Qi flow smoothly; when a blockage to this flow occurs, sickness develops. Acupuncture is then utilized to clear out any obstacles in the meridians to restore the smooth flow of Qi and treat the sickness.
What happens during acupuncture treatment?
To help treat allergy and its symptoms, acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points in the body known as acupoints or pressure points. There is a specific meridian that runs just underneath a certain acupoint. When an acupuncture needle is inserted into a point, the meridian underneath it is stimulated leading to a series of physiological responses that will help treat the symptoms as well as the allergy itself leading to the cure of the allergic reaction.
To prevent any inadvertent injuries and infections, you need to find a qualified and experienced acupuncturist who can give you the results you desire.
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.