It’s a gorgeous spring morning, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and it’s a perfect temperature outside for a nice walk around the block. And then it hits. Sneezing to no end, itchy eyes that feel like glass is piercing them, and an itchy throat that won’t go away. Rather than enjoying the gorgeous spring morning, it seems more relaxing to sit inside, with all the windows closed, and wait for some over-the-counter medication to kick in so the sneezing can stop; only to go out to the car and attempt to avoid touching that yellow coating of pollen that seems to have painted the car overnight. Sound familiar?

In 2018, 19.2 million adults, 18 and over, were diagnosed with hay fever in the United States. Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, creates seasonal symptoms of itching, sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion, to name a few. While these symptoms can be seasonal for some, they can last all year for others. So how can acupuncture and herbs help you?

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system gets confused. The body begins viewing pollen, whether it be grass, tree, or flower, to be invasive and harmful to the body, thus creating a response to attack. Acupuncture helps this by assessing what exactly causes the body to get confused. We look to treat the Root and Branch of a problem. In the case of allergies, the branch would be the symptoms of sneezing, coughing, itching, etc. The root is the situation inside the body that led to the symptoms of allergies. Each person’s symptoms are different, meaning that each person’s allergies are treated differently. While acupuncture may help to get the symptoms of allergies to improve, getting the root cause of the allergies to improve may take more time.

Studies performed on acupuncture and allergic rhinitis show positive results. Over a 4-week period, patients receiving acupuncture and herbal medicine showed decreased symptoms including nasal congestion, runny nose, and itching over time. Not only were symptoms improved, but quality of life was shown to increase. Among the patients in the study, no patient reported any adverse reactions to acupuncture.

Here at Hamilton West Windsor Acupuncture, we’re familiar with allergies. Charlie Stueber, who established the practice over 20 years ago, began his experience of acupuncture treatments by getting his allergies treated. Having grown up receiving allergy shots his whole childhood, Charlie now remedied his allergies with acupuncture and herbal medicine. While acupuncture isn’t as quick as taking that over-the-counter pill, it can potentially give lasting relief from that sneezing and runny nose that got in the way of that gorgeous spring morning.