Acupuncture for Seasonal Allergies

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Seasonal Allergies

Everyone knows that seasonal allergies are painful and uncomfortable causing runny nose, sneezing, sinus pain, fatigue, watery eyes, and other debilitating symptoms. Allergies also effect your productivity at work and school and may be linked to depression, insomnia, and anxiety.

Acupuncture offers an effective drug free treatment so you can smell the flowers.

Seasonal Allergies

Acupuncture for Allergies

Acupuncture is different than taking a pill. Acupuncture helps to reduce pain and inflammation. But rather than adding a medication that will temporarily block a receptor, histamine in the case of allergies, acupuncture works to regulate the body’s functioning through reducing inflammation and balancing the immune system. The goals is for long term improvement from the acupuncture treatment.

The idea is that acupuncture helps to reset the body and remind it how to be healthy. As balance is achieved, your body is able to maintain the healthy state without medications. So instead of simply suppressing the body’s reaction, it works to correct the root cause of the problem.

Acupuncture also helps treat the whole person helping to improve sleep as well as reducing stress. One acupuncture good side effects is that is very relaxing!

Acupuncture’s Understanding of Allergies

Acupuncture has its own view of the body and health. Acupuncturists look for an imbalance that is causing of allergies.

Qi (pronounced chee) is the body’s vital energy, it gives you the power to work, study, exercise, and fight illness. In acupuncture, the cause of allergies is often a qi imbalance. There are two major qi imbalances. The most common one for allergies is when there is too little qi, we call this a qi vacuity. When your qi is vacuous, you feel tired, can get colds easily, may have poor digestion, coughing, wheezing, and possibly asthma. The acupuncture and herbs work to boost up your qi, giving you more energy and protecting you from allergies.

The second imbalance is called qi stagnation. This is when your qi does not circulate well. This is often caused by stress, and can cause pain, headaches, menstrual cramps, and in some cases, bring on asthma attacks.

How does acupuncture work?

The idea is that acupuncture helps to reset the body and remind it how to be healthy. As balance is achieved, your body is able to maintain the healthy state without medications. So instead of simply suppressing the body’s reaction, it works to correct the root cause of the problem.

Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation, regulate the nervous system, and increase circulation.  Acupuncture also helps to regulate the brain to reduce pain, so it is also possible that is another way it works to help regulate the immune response to allergies.  There is still a lot more to learn about how acupuncture helps to regulate the immune system and reduce allergies.

Clinical studies are now reaffirming our clinical experience.  One acupuncture research study showed acupuncture, in addition to routine care, was effective at reducing the symptoms of allergies.  Another study on acupuncture for allergies show that acupuncture alone was helpful.

Get acupuncture and smell the flowers!


Chinese herbal formulas are very effective for reducing the runny nose and stuffiness, headaches, and itchy eyes,

For people with hay fever and sinus symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and sinus headache the overall most effective formulas is called Bi Min Gan Wan, the nasal congestion formula.  This is a mild formula that helps to reduce headache, nasal congestion.

In Chinese medicine, itchy eyes from allergies is generally from heat.  The herbal formula best for itchy eyes form heat is Sang Ye Tang.  This formula has mulberry leaf and chrysanthemum flowers that help to relieve itchy eyes.  Another effective formula for itchy eyes is called Qi Ju Di Huang Tang, which has gou qi zi and ju hua that stop eye itching.

Because allergies and asthma are so closely connected, allergies can trigger asthma attacks, those with asthma often need different herbal formulas.  Sometimes there is too little qi.  In this case, formulas like Jade Wind Screen works to boost qi and release external wind.   Also, the mushroom Cordyceps or Reishi is helpful to boost the qi.

What’s an acupuncture treatment like?

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.

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.

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.

Seasonal 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.

Feedback From our clients…

I began seeing Joe for a number of reasons–a heelspur, chronic insomnia, allergies, anxiety…. What I found immediately was that the holistic approach to treatment allowed me to address all of these at once. Some of the results of the acupuncture, herbs, and acupressure were immediate—I began sleeping more soundly immediately, for example—while others have been more gradual; in each case, my symptoms are improving. I have been really happy to be Joe’s patient, not least because he takes the time to explain why we’re pursuing particular kinds of treatments and how they work. I’m learning a lot about Chinese medicine as I continue to feel better. Honestly, I can’t recommend Alban Acupuncture highly enough.

~ C.M., Brooklyn