Do you miss work or activities due to seasonal allergies aka allergic rhinitis? Read our tips below on how acupuncture can help!
The Effects of Acupuncture on Allergies
It’s that time of year again, Seasonal Allergy Season
Millions of people suffer from recurring seasonal allergy symptoms. Commonly affecting 10-30% of people in the US. Interesting to note that people who are exposed to indoor allergies (dust, mold, animal dander), born during the pollen season, and have presence of allergen-specific IgE are at higher risk for developing allergic rhinitis (Uptodate, 2020).
The most common, most problematic allergic sensitivity is Hay Fever or allergic rhinitis. Many people miss work and other important activities on a seasonal basis when severe allergic rhinitis symptoms are not controlled. People experience sneezing, itching, postnasal drip, cough, and fatigue.
Due to the persistent and irritant symptoms, many people seek relief from allergies, and fortunately there are many healthcare options available for those who are looking for better ways to treat their allergies. One of the most common standard recommendations are over the counter saline nasal washes (neti pot), nasal spray such as Flonase, and oral allergy medications. One of the most promising, and often overlooked treatments can be acupuncture and naturopathic medicine.
The Effect of Acupuncture on Allergies
While medication can reduce inflammation and suppress other symptoms of allergies, medications almost always come with undesirable side effects. In addition, I have found in my practice that people often are not responding to the OTC treatments and allergies persist and they are seeking a longer term plan for dealing with their seasonal allergy symptoms.
According to UptoDate, there has been a growing interest in natural and alternative treatments for allergic rhinitis due to its “effectiveness, low cost, and favorable safety profiles.”
Acupuncture helps to correct functional imbalances and restore the flow of your body’s innate energies, thus returning you to a more natural state of well-being. And hopefully allergy-free!
What does the research say?
This study took aim at the most troublesome of all allergies, allergic rhinitis. It corroborates the reports by patients and practitioners that acupuncture is an effective way to treat allergies.
The study looked at 422 patients who tested positive for pollen allergies and presented with allergic nasal symptoms. The researchers randomly assigned participants to three different groups. One group was given 12 acupuncture treatments and took antihistamines as they normally would. The next group took 12 sham acupuncture treatments and antihistamines as they would normally do to combat symptoms. The third group took only antihistamines with no acupuncture treatments.
The research team found that those who received both real acupuncture and antihistamines reported the largest decrease in symptoms. They also reported using antihistamines less frequently than the other two groups.
While this study was limited to one allergy, it is promising that other, if not all chronic allergies, can be successfully treated through the regular use of acupuncture.
Dr. Heintze offers in-person wellness consults as well as telehealth/virtual consults to address stress management techniques, natural ways to promote wellness, digestive health concerns, fatigue, insomnia, and pain management. We offer integrative care to promote individual plans for optimal wellness, whatever your specific health goals are.
Contact our office at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your consult today with Dr. Heintze to learn how we can help!
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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