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Using acupuncture for allergies has been around for years. Traditional Chinese medicines such as acupuncture has been a long standing alternative treatment for those who want to avoid medications, or are simply tired of the old routine treatments.
Unlike western medicine, acupuncture works in a manner that should seem pretty obvious: Treating the causes of the allergies and not just the symptoms. Western medicine holds the view that allergy symptoms are the immediate result of an allergic reaction to pollen or some other foreign body.
Therefore, western medicine uses antihistamines to block the immediate effects of allergens on the body. While this can prevent or alleviate the reaction on a case by case basis, it does nothing to focus on the long term underlying causes of the allergic reactions. Acupuncture on the other hand does both.
The traditional Chinese view of allergies is that your symptoms only occurs because your body is out of balance. If you're sneezing, with itchiness, and a stuffy nose, it's because your body is too hot, too cold, or has some other imbalance. It's not because of the pollen you can see coming off of the trees around you!
In fact, if you're found sneezing and blowing your nose while in China, you're likely to be advised by a local to put a jacket on because the cold is causing your symptoms...even when its 85 degrees out!
Depending on when you're seeking treatment, the focus of the treatment will differ. If you go in to the acupuncture office with runny eyes, and sneezing, the emphasis will be on relieving the current symptoms.
However, for longer term relief, you should continue to go in even when you're not experiencing any symptoms. This is when the focus of the treatments will be on balancing your body out so as to prevent future reactions.
Patients using acupuncture for allergies often note an immediate improvement in the severity of their current symptoms. Throughout the course of a session, their nose often becomes less stuffy, and their itchiness declines. With long term treatments, a large portion of patients will achieve a real reduction in the number of allergic outbreaks they experience, and less severe symptoms when those allergy attacks occur.
For a complete list of all the types of afflictions that acupuncture can treat, see our Acupuncture for Physical Conditions site for more info.