Do you suffer with Seasonal allergies and struggling to find relief?
This is so cliché, yet so true: April showers bring May flowers.
It’s May, the trees are in full bloom and the grass is growing green and vibrant. One of my favorite things to do is walk barefoot in the thick green grass. I take a nice deep breath while being mindful of its cooling feeling under my feet as I dig my toes into the lush bed of grass. This practice is a quick and easy way to wash away stress, and reset and ground my mind and body.
Even with all of this bountiful growth, does the thought of mid-spring make you feel anxious? With all nature’s blooming beauty, unfortunately also comes abundant pollen in the air. Many of my acupuncture patients come in reporting a slew of seasonal allergy symptoms including: nonstop sinus pressure, congestion, and drainage issues, red-irritated-itchy eyes, sneezing, itchy skin, hives, ears are clogged and feel pressure, post nasal drip, coughing, asthma, and fatigue. The list goes on…
If you are someone currently taking antihistamines, decongestants, using an inhaler or nasal sprays and a neti pot, then you understand that sometimes these things do not provide adequate relief. And even if these things traditionally worked for you, its possible that due to certain circumstances, you are unable to use antihistamines because you're either pregnant or breastfeeding or might have a sensitivity to the medication.
If this sounds like you, then acupuncture may be an option worth exploring. Seasonal allergy issues are a tale as old as time, and acupuncture has been providing relief for its symptoms for just as long. With that said, acupuncture is a very effective, natural, drug free way of getting relief from seasonal allergy symptoms.
I will say, a my patient from Southborough, who initially sought acupuncture treatments for insomnia, to their was surprised when I ask them if they experiences any seasonal allergy symptoms. At first they looked at me puzzled and replied “that has nothing to do with my insomnia, but yes, I do get really itchy skin and itchy eyes.” To their surprise, when they came in for their next treatment, they happily report that after telling me about their itching, it was gone after that one acupuncture treatment! They also tell me to do the same treatment again so the itching doesn’t ever come back!
Acupuncture strengthens the immune and respiratory systems, so your body doesn’t react as harshly to allergens. I have provided a diagram to show a few acupuncture points traditionally used to treat sinusitis and rhinitis to reduce sinus inflammation, congestion and pressure. In addition to traditional acupuncture, acupressure is a great option too. Simply apply pressure to the points shown on this diagram for some relief.
Along with acupuncture, other treatment modalities you can do at home include gua sha and jade rolling, both of these will calm down the sinuses and help open them up and allow your lymphatic system to drain, so you can breathe again!
Also, there are great herbal botanical supplements that are extremely effective at draining the sinuses and relieve sinusitis and rhinitis. As a licensed herbalist, I am able to prescribe these supplements for you to take at home so you are able to get even more relief on a daily basis.
If you are suffering this season or know someone who is suffering from seasonal allergies, please have them reach out to me. I’m happy to speak with them about treatment options that will help them get through this pollen filled spring.
If you’re into the science of it all, you will find studies published on the mechanism of action on how acupuncture works scientifically. The studies show acupuncture to have a natural anti-inflammatory effect, and since pollen causes inflammation in the body this is one reason acupuncture is beneficial at reducing seasonal allergy symptoms. Scientific studies have shown acupuncture to reduce the count of inflammatory cells including eosinophil, the down regulation of cytokines IL-1 β and TNF-α, and also a reduction of IgE antibody concentrations.