Acupuncture For Allergies
Allergies occur when the immune system reacts to an external substance, like certain foods, plants, medication, mold, and animal fur. Some allergies are more common than others – Foodallergy.org estimates that food allergies affect some 32 million Americans, and figures from the AAAAI dictate that roughly 7.8% of US adults have hay fever. Water allergies, on the other hand, only affect around one in every 230 million people.
Allergy symptoms vary in intensity and type depending on the allergy itself and the person it’s affecting, but almost all are annoying, and sometimes painful, to deal with. It’s difficult to treat an allergy, as it means programming the immune response to react more favorably when presented with an allergen.
Luckily, scientists and medical professionals are now looking into more natural treatments for allergies, including acupuncture. This complementary Chinese therapy works to alter the body’s response system, ultimately preventing an unnecessary immune reaction to an allergen.
How Acupuncture for Allergies Works
There are many different types of acupuncture, but most involve the insertion of needles into various areas of skin on the body, known as pressure points. When treating a patient with an allergy, an acupuncture therapist will focus on the outside of the hand, on the highest point of the muscle between the thumb and index fingers; and the top of the foot, in the skin between the big toe and the second toe.
It’s thought that when these areas are stimulated with acupuncture, they can work to balance the liver and the large intestine. Both of these organs play a substantial role in immunity, and when acupuncture is used to restore balance, it can relieve a wide range of allergic reactions.
It doesn’t take long for the benefits of acupuncture for allergies to set in. Usually, after just one session, patients will notice a reduction in their presiding allergy symptoms, including stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and swelling of the face. But acupuncture therapy doesn’t only treat allergy symptoms – it also resets the immune response and reduces the severity and likelihood of allergic reactions.
Proven Benefits of Acupuncture for Allergies
Thanks to recent research conducted into acupuncture for allergies, we can now be certain of the therapy’s benefits for treating allergy symptoms and the immune system.
One study looked specifically at acupuncture for patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis, or stuffy nose, and concluded that acupuncture produced “statistically significant improvements” in patients’ quality of life and reduced patients’ antihistamine use measures after 8 weeks.
Another study on participants with atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema that is often caused by exposure to allergens, found that a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine were beneficial to participants when compared to no therapy or the herbal medicine alone.
The Future of Acupuncture for Allergies
Allergies are frustrating to live with, and can often impact on quality of life. With acupuncture producing such notable improvements in patients with common allergies, the future of the therapy as a natural, holistic approach to treatment is incredibly promising.