It’s that time of the year again. Allergies are a common problem, especially here in Eugene, Oregon and especially in the spring and early summer when the pollen counts can get really high. Just recently pollen counts topped out at over 700 which is really really high.
An allergic response is triggered when, in the presence of an allergen like pollen, the immune system produces a type of antibody called IGE. IGE binds to immune cells, mast cells and basophils, and when the allergen is encountered, these sensitized cells trigger an immune response by releasing various chemicals that mediate inflammatory response, such as histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, leukotrienes and interleukins. As these chemicals are released, a person experiences various side effects such as increased mucous production, itchy red skin and eyes, sneezing and difficult breathing. Treatment of allergies in Western medicine generally focuses on inhibiting the immune response by blocking the action of the immune cells and the resultant allergic response with antihistamines, glucocorticoids and anti-leukotrienes. While these medications can provide significant relief from allergy symptoms, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine offers a best practice alternative that focuses on treating the root of the problem by balancing and strengthening the immune system itself.
According to Chinese Medicine, allergies are the result of a weakness in the body’s wei qi (protective energy) and zhen qi (righteous energy), generally in combination with internal damp accumulation caused by improper diet and/or digestive weakness. There can also be involvement of the energetic systems of the lung, liver, spleen and kidneys. Diagnosis and treatment of allergies is unique to each individual patient. The common denominator in the most effective acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treatments is always proper diagnosis. Optimal results are only attained with properly individualized treatments based on each persons unique constitution. Acupuncture treatments and specific Chinese Herbs are utilized to strengthen any weaknesses in the patient’s immune and energetic system. I have had very good clinical results treating allergies with a combination of acupuncture, herbs, dietary therapy and an allergy elimination technique called NAET: Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique. NAET involves muscle testing to determine specific allergens and the strengthening of the patient’s immune system via acupuncture while in the presence of these allergens. The patient holds small vials containing allergens that they are susceptible to while I strengthen the immune system utilizing a specific set of acupuncture points.
Terry M. Chen, Licensed Acupuncturist
Open Sky Acupuncture, Eugene Oregon