allergies

Acu for Seasonal Allergies

By Mary Vincent L.Ac.
The most common type of allergies people seek treatment for at BCA are seasonal allergies, otherwise known as “hay fever”, which includes lots of sneezing, stuffy noses, and itchy eyes. This is especially true in the fall and spring, when tree, grass, and ragweed pollen are at their highest and surge with the warm, windy weather. If your allergies are predictable and occur at a certain time of the year, we suggest starting treatments just before the onset and continuing 1-2 times a week through the season. Many people find this helps keep their symptoms mild and easier to control. If you have a random mild to moderate allergy flare up, we suggest coming in for a few treatments in a row, which can help temper down your symptoms (including digestive issues related to a food allergy).
An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system has developed a hypersensitivity to something in the environment that would not typically affect the majority of individuals. Allergens can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through contact with the skin. When a person comes in contact with something they are allergic to, the body produces a specific antibody known as IgE which binds the allergen and attaches them to mast cells. Mast cells are found throughout the body, but particularly in the intestines and airways. When IgE attaches the allergen to the mast cells, they begin to release histamine, the chemical responsible for the unpleasant physical symptoms of an allergic reaction.

The most common allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, foods, drugs, latex, and insect venom. Adverse reactions include:
* Sneezing
* Itchy, runny or stuffy nose
* Itchy, watery eyes
* Fatigue

Natural Help for Sinus Problems

By Mary Vincent, L.Ac.

We see a substantial amount of patients at BCA that, with acupuncture, receive considerable relief of some or all of the following uncomfortable symptoms of rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal cavity) and/or sinusitis (inflammation of the nasal cavity):

▪ general swelling of the nasal or sinus cavity
▪ mucus and fluid retention in the sinuses
▪ post-nasal drip
▪ headaches
▪ ear, face, and/or jaw pain

About acupuncture and sinusitis:

Rhinitis and sinusitis can be caused by a number of factors, but the most frequent cases stem from allergies or viral infections. When subsequent swelling and congestion occurs within the sinus cavity, the pressure exerted in the facial region not only leads to difficulty in breathing and smelling, but can cause frontal headaches and referred tooth or jaw pain. Many of our regular patients come in with acute symptoms due to allergies or a common cold, but we also see many new faces in clinic with chief complaints of the above symptoms that have persisted months past the initial trigger and are trying acupuncture for the first time as a last ditch effort to find some relief for their residual discomfort.

After treatment

with acupuncture in both acute and chronic cases, we typically see patients leave with decreased pain/pressure, and an increased ability to breathe and smell. In cases with mucus or fluid blockage the sinuses will often open and begin draining soon after the needles are in place. As someone who suffers from chronic rhinosinusitis (say THAT ten times in a row), I personally use acupuncture successfully to keep the passages open and minimize the beating they take every year during allergy season.

Studies Prove Acupuncture for Sinus Issues Effective

A recent pilot study conducted by Dr. [...]