Allergies occur when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. common allergens (substances that produce allergic reactions) are foods, pollen, animal dander, mold, insect venom, drugs, and dust mites. An inflammatory reaction takes place in an attempt to eject this substance from the system, resulting in a variety of symptoms.

Causes of Allergies

Several Chinese patterns of disharmony may be involved in cases of allergies. In all cases, however, wind is part of the diagnosis, usually combining with another pathogenic influence in wind dampness, wind cold, or wind heat. Typical of patterns involving wind, allergy symptoms often occur without warning. In seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, the most common diagnosis is wind and dampness. This combination produces a sudden onset of symptoms: sneezing, itching eyes and throat, and a heavy sensation in the head with copious mucus.

Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a safe and natural option for treating these seasonal problems

According to TCM, classic seasonal allergy symptoms are related to a deficiency of the protective Wei Qi.   Wei Qi is the energy that flows at the surface of the body as a protective sheath and is responsible for resistance to colds and other respiratory infections. People with a deficiency of Wei Qi catch colds easily and are more susceptible to allergens.  Allergy symptoms, according to TCM are also caused by an imbalance in the distribution of Qi throughout the meridian system, both internally and on the surface.  Thus treating seasonal allergies always involves a 2-pronged approach.  Treatment will focus on addressing the acute symptoms that the patient presents with at the time of treatment while also addressing the underlying malfunctioning of the body’s immune system by strengthening the Wei Qi and balancing the meridian and organ systems internally.

Treatment with TCM can either dramatically lessen allergic reactions, or in some cases it can actually help the person to tolerate what previously caused the symptoms. Most people end up significantly reducing or eliminating their dependence on allergy medication. Usually people get some relief during their first acupuncture treatment.  It is often recommended to come in for treatment prior to the onslaught of allergy symptoms to address the underlying imbalances.   A normal course of treatment can include a series of acupuncture treatments with a prescription of herbal remedies as well as recommendations for dietary modifications.