Allopathic treatment of allergic rhinitis relies mostly on the use of antihistamine agents (antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, allergy shots, and decongestants), which often treat symptoms by immune system suppression. Medication side effects (drowsiness, fatigue and insomnia) cause many to seek alternative therapies including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to manage their allergies.
The acupuncture physician develops a plan that treats the acute symptoms and corrects the underlying immune system imbalance. It can aid in strengthening the body’s ability to process allergens and regulates antigen-antibody reactions. This is important in minimizing allergic reactions such as sinus headache, fatigue and asthma. Treatments also prompt the brain to release endorphins and other chemicals that relieve congestion by improving blood circulation.
Chinese herbs may be prescribed in conjunction with acupuncture to lessen the effects of allergies. Huang Qin (Radix Scutellaria Baicalensis) has a cooling nature, which clears heat in the upper respiratory tract and eliminates nasal congestion. Xin Yi Hua (Flos Magnoliae) is an “exterior-releasing” herb that aids the body in release of allergens through the skin pores and is frequently used to treat conditions such as chronic sinusitis and nasal congestion. Cang Er Zi (Fructus Sibirici Xanthii) opens up nasal passages and eliminates sinus headaches.
In addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, an acupuncture physician considers the diet to be an integral component of allergy treatment. Allergic reactions can often be reduced through dietary modifications, including avoidance of dairy products, spicy foods or red meat, which can have a congesting effect on the system and amplify sinus/allergy symptoms.
Acupuncture is effective in treating allergic reactions due to seasonal changes, diet, or chronic illness. For more information on acupuncture for allergy management contact Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500.