Fall and Winter are quickly approaching in New York. For many, this change brings more than cooler weather and cozy sweaters but also itchy watery eyes, congestion, cough, and sneezing.
While most allergy treatments and over the counter medications offer symptomatic relief, they rarely confront the underlying cause.
Fortunately, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offer an effective and non-invasive approach to prevent, manage, and treat seasonal allergies and the common cold.
Research shows that acupuncture can regulate IgE and cytokines, which are chemicals involved in allergic reactions(1). In other words, getting regular acupuncture can reduce the amount of cytokines present, which reduces inflammation, which in turn reduces allergic reactions.
From a Chinese medicine point of view, this relates to the balance of two types of energy in the body: ying and wei.
Ying is nourishing and means ‘to perform.’ It is an energetic aspect of your blood in TCM theory. This nourishing quality of blood travels with qi through the channels of your body, feeding each organ and harmonizing the entire body.
Wei translates to ‘protect or preserve’ and is the defense system residing between the skin and muscles. The harmonization of ying and wei is responsible for a healthy functioning immune and internal organ system.
Herbal therapy and acupuncture work internally and externally to harmonize the ying and wei, release pathogenic factors, resolve exterior conditions, and boost immunity.
Additionally, acupuncture and modalities such as gua sha and cupping directly work on the body’s connective tissue which influences immunity and increases circulation. This results in an anti-inflammatory effect, reducing swelling and discomfort locally and systemically.
While treating signs and symptoms as they present is effective, the best way to manage your allergies and low immunity is with a series of preventative treatments. In Chinese medicine we refer to this as treating the ‘root’ of the condition. Talk to your acupuncturist about a personalized treatment plan today!
- Roberts, J., Huissoon, A., Dretzke, J., Wang, D., & Hyde, C. (2008). A systematic review of the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture for allergic rhinitis. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 8, 13. http://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-8-13