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Springtime allergies and asthma can be improved with acupuncture, diet alterations



The sun is shining and the warmer weather has finally returned to the West Plains. For many of us this also means an unwelcome return of our springtime allergies. As beautiful as the weather is this time of the year it can also be miserable for people that suffer from hay fever and sinus headaches. Many of the over-the-counter drugs that treat these frustrating symptoms often only work for a short time and can have many side effects. What many people don't know is that acupuncture and East Asian Medicine have been treating seasonal allergies safely and effectively, without side effects, for over two thousand years.

So what exactly causes the sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and terrible sinus headaches associated with seasonal allergies in the first place? In the spring most of these symptoms are caused by tree pollen. For the West Plains area this comes primarily from our many wonderful pine trees. If your allergies are worse in the summer then pollen from grass and ragweed is usually the problem. For people that have hay fever and asthma, allergic reactions to pollen can be very dangerous and even life threatening. The occurrence of asthma and allergies is rising at an alarming rate in this country as pollution increases and air quality declines.

Why do some people have terrible allergies this time of year and others have no symptoms at all? Acupuncturists believe there are three basic imbalances in one's body that lead to the symptoms associated with allergies and asthma. If these imbalances can be corrected, many of the most severe and dangerous symptoms can be improved.

The most common imbalance associated with allergies in East Asian Medicine is a weakness in the system of the lungs. The lungs regulate the sinuses as well as the immune system. By stimulating specific acupuncture points with massage or painless micro needles, an acupuncturist can strengthen the lung and help to prevent an allergic reaction in the sinuses and bronchial tissue. In addition many Chinese Herbs have a natural antihistamine effect that works safely and effectively to control allergy symptoms.

The second most common imbalance occurs in the digestive system. Acupuncturists believe that weakness in the digestive system combined with eating unhealthy food increase the occurrence of allergy and asthma symptoms in most patients. A diet high in sugar has been clinically shown to weaken the immune system. Dairy products and fried foods can cause the body to produce more mucus and congestion. By strengthening the digestion and reducing common food allergens such as dairy, gluten and refined sugar, most people will notice greatly reduced frequency of asthma and allergy attacks.

Finally, many people with allergies have been shown to have weakness in their adrenal glands, which secretes cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones naturally help regulate the immune system and allergic reaction in the body. The adrenal gland becomes weakened by overwork high stress, lack of sleep and excess medication and drug use. Acupuncture has an amazing ability to recharge a person's fatigued adrenal glands. When the adrenal glands become stronger, not only do allergy and asthma symptoms improve but also we have more energy for everything else!

If you have headaches, allergies or asthma stop suffering or simply covering of the problem with potentially harmful medication. Acupuncture, nutrition and East Asian Medicine may offer help without side effects. By treating the cause of the condition and not just covering up symptoms Natural Medicine helps people to become healthy and revitalized. Isn't time to start being able to breathe deep and smell the flowers again?

Saiah Schneider MS. LAc. is a licensed and nationally board certified Acupuncturist and East Asian medicine practitioner at The Natural Medicine Center in Medical Lake, WA. If you have any questions about this article or natural medicine he would be happy to speak with you. Please call (509) 299-6900.


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