Spring is a beautiful rebirth after a sometimes long, cold, and harsh winter. However, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know that this rebirth of Spring brings with it a release of pollen that can trigger hay fever. As plants, trees, grasses, and weeds begin to release their pollen, millions of people begin to sneeze and sniffle.
The body detects the pollen in the system and thinks it needs to attack this foreign substance and histamines get released into the body. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, and nasal congestion.
Over-counter-medications are often the first line of defense but can bring additional side effects and they treat the symptom but not the root cause. Clinical research demonstrates the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating seasonal allergies. Specific treatment points differ according to a person’s symptoms but common points that might be addressed include L120, ST2, and ST36 to deal with Qi deficiencies to get to the root of the problem. If you are sensitive to prescription medications, acupuncture is a great drug-free option to help relieve the symptoms of seasonal Spring allergies.
In addition to acupuncture treatments, there are other steps you can take to minimize your symptoms.
- Do a spring cleaning and clean out particularly dusty or moldy areas of your home like air vents, basements, and attics.
- Stick to indoor activities to minimize pollen exposure and/or take advantage of mask wearing.
- Keep doors and windows closed.
- Take a shower to rinse off pollen after outdoor activities and wipe down pets.
- Use a HEPA filter in your home, particularly your bedroom.
The root cause of allergies is different for everyone. Another popular and helpful option to explore with an acupuncturist or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner is adding herbal formulas to your treatment plan as this can greatly increase the efficacy of the treatments. Herbs and acupuncture are an effective, safe combo for treating seasonal Spring allergies.