Do you suffer from allergies or asthma? It’s a little-known fact that these two conditions are directly linked to each other. Asthma, which affects roughly one in 12 people according to the CDC, is characterized by spasms of the small airways and inflammation. Furthermore, about 90% of children under the age of 16 with asthma have allergies, while 70% of people between the ages of 16 and 30 have allergies, and 50% of adults over the age of 40 have allergies.
Unfortunately, most people who suffer from allergies and asthma simply mask their symptoms with medications rather than seeking a treatment for the root cause. Both of these conditions involve an overreaction by the body’s immune system to what it believes is a foreign invader. When you are exposed to an allergen (e.g. ragweed, pet dander, etc.), your immune system produces and abundance of inflammatory hormones, which subsequently cause the symptoms of allergies and asthma to manifest.
There are several alternative treatment options available for allergies and asthma, however, one of which is making dietary and lifestyle changes. We live in an age which far too many people choose to pick up convenient fast food as opposed to preparing and cooking fresh meals. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional run through the fast food drive-thru, but basing the bulk of your diet around these kinds of processed foods will take a toll on your body. The lack of nutrients and increased intake of preservatives can disturb the immune system, causing greater sensitivity to allergens. A better choice is to consume a diet rich in lean meats, fresh vegetables and fruits, and whole grains.
Of course, herbal medicine is a time-tested alternative treatment for allergies and asthma. Some of the most popular herbs used to treat these conditions include stinging nettle, green tea, and reishi, all of which contain heavy concentrations of antioxidants. These antioxidants are believed to fight harmful chemicals in the body known as free radicals, which if left unchecked, may irritate existing conditions like allergies and asthma.
Acupuncture is also known to improve the symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers. This involves stimulating the body’s life force (Qi) by placing small, thin needles directly under the skin. When a person’s Qi becomes stagnant or experiences other problems, he or she is more susceptible to disease and illness. Therefore, correcting this problem through acupuncture will naturally deter allergies, asthma and other common problems.
I usually recommend starting treatment at least a month prior to your allergy-season; however many patients get treatment to relieve symptoms as they develop (such as itchy eyes, runny nose or sneezing).
Give me a call today to learn how you can boost your immune system with acupuncture!