Acupuncture for April Allergies

These days I am getting a lot of people inquiring about acupuncture treatment for April Allergies.  Just look around, the trees are in bloom and April allergies are in full swing.

Often, new patients are curious about how acupuncturists treat allergies.   Where do you do the acupuncture?   What is the acupuncture doing?  If I have nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, and a headache, why are you looking at my tongue?  Are there any good herbs for April allergies?…

Here are your answers…

Where do you do the acupuncture?

Because the body is connected by acupuncture channels, also called acupuncture meridians, acupuncturist do not always have to treat where you are feeling the symptoms.  Most often the acupuncture points I use will be below the knees and from the elbows to the tips of the fingers.

The acupuncture points will be chosen according to your specific symptoms and the imbalances that are causing your symptoms. This is why we ask a lot of questions, take your pulse, look at your tongue, and press many acupuncture points to find the specific imbalance causing the allergies.

If there is lack of circulation in the lung channel, we may choose Lung 6 on the forearm.  But if there is a lot of inflammation we may choose lung 5 to get rid of the heat.  This is often paired with Large Intestine 4 on the hand to relieve congestion in the sinuses.   Stomach 36 at the knee can be helpful as well to relieve the congestion in the sinuses, but if there is a lot of phlegm I may also do Stomach 40 on the lower leg.

What is the acupuncture doing?

Acupuncture works to correct imbalances in the body.  Chinese medicine views health as a state of balance inside the body, but also between the body and the environment.  This make sense for allergies, allergens in the environment are irritating the body causing imbalances.

By removing the imbalance, the acupuncture allows the body to heal itself, clearing inflammation and reducing allergy symptoms.

If I have nasal congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, and a headache, why are you looking at my tongue?

Gathering information about your symptoms is important to diagnosis the correct imbalance.  The tongue is a reflection of the imbalances causing the allergies.

I look for the color of the tongue, the thickness of the fluid on the tongue called the tongue coat, cracks on the tongue, and I look at the size of the tongue.    Using this, I create the acupuncture prescription which corrects that specific imbalance.    Not every patient will get the same acupuncture points for allergies.

Are there any good herbs for April allergies?

Yes, I often give herbs for allergies and take them myself.  Depending on your symptoms, different herbal formulas may be best for you.   You can read more about Traditional Chinese Medicine for Allergies. 

Photo: Peter Lee

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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