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Acupuncture and Nasal Allergies
By Carrie Tanenbaum
For many people Spring and Summer are seasons for allergies. Allergies, or allergic rhinitis, are due to an over-reactivity of the immune system to certain allergens. During Spring and Summer, allergies are generally induced by wind-born tree, grass, or weed pollen, and can cause such symptoms as: sneezing; nasal congestion; runny nose; watery, itchy, or red eyes; headaches; fatigue; and sometimes coughing and wheezing. When allergens and antibodies react in individuals with allergic rhinitis, their nasal mucosa becomes swollen and may obstruct drainage from the sinuses causing sinusitis in many people. Thus, sinus infections are a frequent complication and consequence of allergic rhinitis.
While Spring and Summer are the seasons of the year that bring us outdoors, many people are unable to enjoy these warmer months due to uncomfortable symptoms. Chinese medicine can help bring relief of symptoms, correct imbalances of the immune system, prevent the occurrence of infection, and allow healing of tissues of the sinuses.
From a Chinese point of view, allergic rhinitis is due to a deficiency of the Lung and Kidney's Defensive-Qi systems, combined with retention of chronic "Wind" in the nose.
Allergic rhinitis often starts in early childhood, with a constitutional weakness, but it may also start later in life, with a progressive decline of Kidney-Qi. Lung and Kidney Qi Deficiency is the root of the problem, therefore, with herbal medicine and acupuncture we strengthen and nourish these organs. The manifestation of the disease is Wind invading the Lung channel in the nose. This accounts for the acute attacks. With herbs and acupuncture, we clear the Wind, reduce congestion, and open the nasal passages. It is necessary to treat both the root and the manifestation in order to produce lasting results.
The Western treatment of allergic rhinitis relies mostly on the use of antihistamine agents. Unfortunately, antihistamines only treat the manifestations of the disease and not the root. In addition, they cause side-effects such as dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, dryness, and gastro-intestinal disturbance.
Chinese medicine offers allergy sufferers a way to strengthen their bodies and significantly reduce their symptoms, without unpleasant side effects. You do not have to spend another season living with allergies.