Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs Treat Symptoms of Allergies
Allergies are a very common problem, negatively affecting both health and quality of life for many people. While the majority of allergy sufferers experience only short term problematic symptoms, others undergo protracted bouts of allergic symptoms, to the point that allergies may plague them for their entire lives. Individuals can be affected by a variety of allergic diseases, and allergies may appear at any age. Allergies may present with a variety of signs and symptoms, including nasal, respiratory, and dermatological problems. The most common allergic diseases are rhinitis, asthma, eczema, allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and urticaria.
The signs and symptoms of nasal allergic rhinitis are coughing and postnasal drip; allergic shiners (dark circles under the eyes caused by increased blood flow near the sinuses); the “allergic salute” (in a child, persistent upward rubbing of the nose that causes a crease mark on the nose); and conjunctivitis, or itching watery eyes (an inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyelids, causing red-rimmed, swollen eyes, and crusting of the eyelids). The signs and symptoms of respiratory allergies (often asthma) are a feeling of tightness in the chest, breathlessness, cough and wheezing. The signs and symptoms of dermatological allergies (often eczema, contact dermatitis and urticaria) are red, itchy, inflamed skin or welts (hives).
The most frequent causes of allergy problems are: pollens, mold spores, house dust mites, animal dander, foods, insect bites or stings, plants, insect spores, environmental conditions (such as cold temperatures). Not all of the factors that cause allergies are known, but allergic flare-ups are often related to seasonal changes (especially in the Spring), attacks of the common cold, and food allergies (like milk, dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, sea food and peanuts). The standard methods of treatment for regulating allergies, in particular immunotherapy “allergy shots”, have not been proven to be significantly effective, have potential side effects, and may need to be long term treatments to remain at all effective.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help to treat symptoms of allergies, and supplement Western medical treatments. Traditional Chinese Medicine considers the allergic responses that a person’s body manifests to be an imbalance between the exterior immunological defenses of the body, environmental factors, and the harmonious relationships of various internal physiological systems. The key is our body’s reactionary response. Even when in identical circumstances, different people respond to their environment in different ways. It is not at all uncommon for people who live and work in similar environments, and who even eat similar types of food, to have distinctly different responses to the allergens in their immediate vicinity – some will never even sneeze, while others may experience extreme allergenic reactions. The question is why some people have allergy attacks and others do not, and why people tend become more allergy prone with age.
People begin to experiences allergies because each person’s body has internal changes that take place over time. Some of these changes are shifts toward an imbalance in their biological and immunological systems, meaning that they become more susceptible to allergenic factors in their environments. The way to treat this is to re-balance a person’s body and biological systems, with emphasis is on strengthening the immune system.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have a long history of treating allergic symptoms. Since the 1960’s in China, many research projects have been conducted on the treatment of allergic symptoms, and the results have consistently shown patient improvement without side effects.
Dr. Yang has used acupuncture and Chinese herbs to treat allergic symptoms in both the U.S. and in China. He has had very positive medical outcomes, especially for patients who have had severe allergic symptoms, even among those who have undergone long term treatments for symptoms with allergy shots. These patients have experienced relief of their allergenic symptoms and even stopped “allergy shot” therapy, and remain symptom free. Many patients do not experience a recurrence of allergic symptoms, even during “allergy season”, for many years after treatment.
Dr. Yang’s protocol for treating allergy conditions address nasal congestion and obstruction first, and most patients feel more free flowing nasal inspiration within the first two to three minutes following the initial acupuncture treatment procedure. Many symptoms continue to improve within a short period of time, and the symptoms will further diminish with follow up treatments.