Category Archives: Allergies

Really? Acupuncture can reduce symptoms of hay fever

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Signs and symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes. Many people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis. Research shows that more than 3 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies every year.

Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and is employed for a wide variety of conditions, including pain relief, asthma, migraines, and arthritis.

A study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, where a team of researchers designed a large trial to figure that out the effects of acupuncture to relieve hay fever. Scientists recruited people with allergies to grass and pollen and randomly assigned them to one of three groups. One group received 12 acupuncture treatments over eight weeks. Another was given sham acupuncture treatments equivalent to placebo, and a third group received no treatment. Each group had access to an antihistamine. After the given time, those in the acupuncture group showed greater improvements in symptoms, compared with the other two groups, and they used the antihistamine less frequently. Another study published in the journal Allergy also found that acupuncture treatments, given three times a week over four weeks, relieved allergy symptoms compared with a sham procedure. Overall, acupuncture can be a great method of relief and even resolution of allergy symptoms when combined with proper attention to the root cause, and continued care for one’s well being. A lot of factors may contribute to symptoms such as lifestyle, environment, diet, and constitution. Once stabilized with acupuncture and/or herbal medicine, allergy patients who are dedicated to self care and lifestyle changes see significant improvement of their symptoms and overall health.

For more information about acupuncture for allergies and other symptoms, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.

Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(4):225-234.

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How can acupuncture help with knee pain?

Acupuncture treats various types of pain. This includes mild pain through chronic pain. Acupuncture alleviates pain in areas such as the back, neck, joints, and knee. Acupuncture relieves pain through the release of neurochemicals. It is a process where thin needles are placed in specific areas throughout the body. These areas are acupuncture point which help stimulate the muscles. When these muscles are stimulated, it sends impulses to the spinal cord. The spinal cord then initiates the release of the neurochemicals to block the messages that are causing the pain.

This process is how one can treat knee pain. Acupuncture can help relieve all types of pain in the knee. For example, acupuncture can treat ligament injuries, knee arthritis, jumper’s knee, etc. In order to alleviate the root that is causing the knee pain, one will have the thin needles placed in certain acupuncture points all around the knee.

This will stimulate the muscles surrounding the knee area and send specific impulses to the spinal cord. The spinal cord will then respond with the initiation of neurochemicals. These neurochemicals will discontinue the pain transmitters that are being sent to the knee that is causing the chronic knee pain.

Knee pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. However, acupuncture is an alternative solution that does not just treat the symptoms of knee pain. It goes to the root of the problem and blocks the pain messages from being sent to the knee instead of masking the pain temporarily.

If you are suffering from knee pain and are interested in trying acupuncture, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call us at (206) 319 – 5322 to schedule an appointment.

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Filed under Allergies, Chronic pain, knee pain, osteoarthritis

How acupuncture and natural antihystamines aleviate allergies?

A 28-year-old male patient came in with the complaint of chronic abdominal pain and environmental allergies. A recent outbreak of eczema after consuming a burrito was also a concern. His symptoms included a chronic cough, dryness of skin, hot face, rosacea and increased anxiety. Before coming in, he had been taking an over the counter antihistamine to alleviate the symptoms which slightly improved the environmental allergies, but the dull and tight abdominal pain along with constipation and bloating was exacerbated possibly due to the antihistamine. Two major changes were advised to the patient including excluding foods which may be a cause of his food allergy response including garlic, ginger, quinoa, avocado, carrots, dairy and wheat according to his food sensitivity panel. Next was to take a natural antihistamine, not an over the counter, which included nettle in a tea or a capsule form along with vitamin C. During this visit a blood panel was taken which showed increased levels of triglycerides caused by carbohydrates such as pasta, rice and high fat foods. His thyroid function was low and had low levels of vitamin D. To address the low functioning thyroid, it is recommended to increase iodine intake through eating seafood and seaweed.

 In his next appointment, a month later, he showed signs of allergy relief as well as improved digestion, but the abdominal pain lingered. We ordered an imaging ultrasound since the patient has a family history of gallbladder dysfunction, however, the patient showed normal results. Another month later, his allergies had resolved but the stomach pain continued so we started acupuncture monthly which seemed to help with stress and the pain. Fast forwarding 3 months from the original appointment, the patient ate a food item he knew he was intolerable to and the abdominal pain came back. Once we started regular weekly acupuncture on the patient, stress levels decreased, chronic and seasonal allergies subsided and the dryness of skin also went away.

For more information on acupuncture and food allergy testing, visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322

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Filed under Acupuncture, Allergies, Chronic pain, Digestive problems, Fatigue, Pain relief

Natural remedies for hay fever

While some of us marvel at all the new flowers and trees in bloom, others suffer from hay fever—an allergic reaction to pollen and mold that flourishes with the arrival of spring, summer, and fall. Itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, and other hay-fever symptoms may have you running to the drugstore for relief. But hay fever natural remedies and herbs can also offer some help.

Based on traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices, but it’s still relatively new to Western medicine. By inserting the tip of very thin needles into specific points on the body, acupuncture aims to restore the body’s flow of energy, thought to affect a variety of health problems, including how the immune system responds to allergies.

Recent studies show some promise on hay fever with acupuncture. For example, a small study compared adult patients who received weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine with patients who unknowingly had fake acupuncture. It found that the real acupuncture and Chinese-herb patients noticed that the severity of their hay fever was significantly less pronounced and that their quality of life was significantly improved. And in another small study of children who were treated twice a week with real vs. sham acupuncture for seasonal allergy symptoms, the children who received the real treatment had fewer symptoms.

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Filed under Acupuncture, Allergies, Digestive problems, Headache