Sniffles, stuffy nose, watery eyes, and those embarrassing sneezes at the most inopportune times plague 1/3 of the population. This is a sign of the season…. the allergy season.
An allergy is an exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not harmful. Many allergy sufferers take the route of trying to get relief with prescription or over-the-counter medications. According to Denise Ellinger, L.Ac. (Licensed Acupuncturist) many of these allergy symptoms can be avoided. She believes that your health is your most precious commodity. Balance in all aspects of your life is key to guarding and maintaining the treasure of you. In addition, the typical regimen of looking to that ‘magic pill’ is not the answer. Often, ancient Chinese medicine can bring relief with no side effects and often long-lasting results. The premise of Chinese Medicine is to get to the root of the cause. The most commonly used seasonal allergy medications may include antihistamines, decongestants, and for more severe reactions, corticosteroids. These medications come with side effects and often they only manage the symptoms. Some of the more common side effects of allergy medications are:
Several of the antihistamines have the side effect of sleepiness. This makes it a potential danger if you have to drive or operate machinery and certainly does not help your performance at work. While that is a ‘good thing’ if you need help getting to sleep at night, look at the next two side effects to see if you want those results.
Do not use decongestant nasal sprays for more than 3-5 days. Use beyond 3-5 days causes swelling in the nasal passages and aggravates allergic symptoms. Oral decongestants may increase blood pressure, cause or aggravate existing heart rhythm abnormalities, and/or cause wakefulness and difficulty falling asleep.
Another potential side effect of taking antihistamines is an increased appetite. Only when you are striving to gain weight is this a positive outcome. Before you know it, you’ve consumed an extra 100 calories or more. Then you create that spare tire around your middle or perhaps it lands right there in front as belly fat.
Some asthma medications can exacerbate depression or suicidal thoughts and mental status should be evaluated on a continual basis.
Acupuncture is very safe in the hands of a trained, qualified, licensed practitioner. But, correct diagnosis of what imbalances are causing your allergies will also include Chinese Medicine dietary advice, lifestyle advice, and possibly herbal formulae to bring you back into balance. Actually, some very pleasant side effects that also can occur might be increased energy, less chronic pain, relief from asthma, less stress, relief from PMS, arthritis, or headaches. Perhaps you need a quick fix for jet lag, tennis elbow, an aching back, or flu or cold symptoms. Chinese Medicine is based in the concept of balancing energy. Balanced energy creates health. Similar to mitochondria receiving information to transmit instructions and to create energy for cell health, maintenance of the body’s energy flow and balance promotes healthy communication within the body. If your health is a garden, it must be maintained on several levels (physical, mental, and spiritual) as well as tended to daily. It is the quintessential Anti-Aging medicine!
After evaluation of your chief complaint, signs, and symptoms, we find acupuncture points along the appropriate meridians (channels of energy flow) related to involved organ systems. Fine, sterile, needles are then inserted. The flow of energy is redirected to correct any imbalance. After twenty to thirty minutes the needles are removed.
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