It is the beginning of allergy season here in Jax, and many are starting to suffer with itchy eyes, sinus headaches, sneezing, runny nose and post-nasal drip.
Luckily, I've seen acupuncture work extremely well time and time again for allergic rhinitis and hay fever caused by allergies. Recently one of my new patients emailed me after her first treatment telling me that one acupuncture treatment worked better for her than three weeks of Flonase!
The American Society of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery now recommends acupuncture as one option for allergic rhinitis in patients who desire a non-pharmaceutical approach.
So how do you use acupuncture for allergies?
- Make sure to get a course of treatments. Acupuncture is a cumulative medicine, and each treatment builds on the next. A regular course of treatments is anywhere from about 6-12, depending on the severity of the symptoms. I always prescribe a custom treatment plan for each patient.
- Think about prevention. Start before the symptoms appear, if possible. If you start about a month or so before you know you get allergies, acupuncture can help prevent them.
- After your course of treatments, you may need maintenance or "tune-up" treatments about once every 4-6 weeks. Every case is different.
Once you are getting acupuncture, there are several lifestyle tips that can enhance your treatment and help you maintain your results after your course of treatments:
- Try a neti pot. These can be found at health food stores and also drugstores. It is a container especially designed to irrigate the sinuses and wash out allergens like mold and pollen as well as mucus.
- Take a 1/2 TBL of raw, local honey daily. This is like taking a "vaccine" with all of the local allergens in it, and it can help your body build antibodies against the allergens in the environment. Make sure to find truly local honey--usually at your farmer's market.
- If you have congestion, eliminate cheese, milk, yogurt and ice cream, at least until the congestion clears. Dairy is very good at forming phlegm in the body.