“Can acupuncture help my allergies?”
This was the first question out of the mouth of a new patient in my office recently. Her eyes were reddened and her voice revealed serious nasal congestion. She looked exhausted. She had tried several medications with significant side effects without lasting benefit.
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. Hundreds of millions of people have been treated with this ancient technique throughout the world. It has been found to be helpful for a wide range of ailments. For a growing number of Americans, acupuncture is an integral part of their healthcare.
The patient that sat in my office had read an online article about acupuncture treatment for allergies. The article was written by a medical doctor that recommends acupuncture frequently for her patients. The doctor was very positive about acupuncture’s benefit for many patients suffering with allergies. In fact, the doctor had found complete relief for her own allergies through acupuncture treatment.
Although we have treated multiple doctors in our office with acupuncture, and many local physicians refer patients to our office for acupuncture, the author of the article was not one of our patients. However, I could agree with the experience she was relating.
Interestingly, some research indicates acupuncture is helpful for patients that experience chronic allergies to triggers such as cats, dogs, dust or perfumes, while other studies find it more helpful for seasonal allergies triggered by specific plant pollens.
In my clinical experience, acupuncture can benefit allergy sufferers immensely.
Acupuncture can sometimes bring about an immediate improvement in symptoms. In other cases, it may require a few treatments before a significant benefit is seen.
Exactly how it works in the body is still being researched. That is one of the fascinating aspects of this unique form of treatment. It is effective for a wide range of conditions. Research has demonstrated that it has specific effects upon the chronic pain, nervous system disorders, balance of neurotransmitters and hormones. Improved immune function is also possible.
In our office, for new patients presenting with allergies or any other problem we will take a medical history to learn what symptoms you may be experiencing and get an idea of how well your body is functioning as a whole. During an acupuncture treatment in our office, you will lie comfortably on a table much like a massage table. A number of needles will be gently inserted into specific points. The needles are tiny. Surprisingly, there is usually no pain with our acupuncture.
In some cases, we use only a few needles, while in other treatments we may use more than a dozen. The number of insertions can vary from one treatment session to another. In our clinic, only the highest quality sterile, single-use, disposable Japanese needles are used. Our acupuncture is very safe and comfortable.
It is common for the very tiny needles to be left in place for up to 30 minutes. Most new patients are surprised that the treatment is so relaxing and comfortable. Patients may even fall asleep during the session.
Typically, a series of sessions is recommended. In many cases it may require only eight to twelve sessions to resolve a complaint. Chronic conditions may require a longer series of sessions.
Acupuncture is growing in popularity due to the fact that no drugs are used and side effects are virtually nonexistent. Patients may feel reduced symptoms and a significant increase in energy after even the first treatment. This can be a marked contrast to the daytime drowsiness and fatigue patients may feel from the drugs used to treat allergies.
Patients often ask if the benefits are lasting. In our experience the results can be long-lasting, perhaps for years. Some patients may need ongoing treatments while others have found, like the doctor that wrote the article, that their allergy problem resolves and does not come back.
Another of our allergy patients reported she had been taking two prescription allergy medications for 15 years before starting our acupuncture treatment. Within a few weeks she was allergy-free with absolutely no medications. She is still doing well three years later.
Individual responses vary but we have found that overall that patients with allergies respond very favorably to our acupuncture.
Dr. Mark Kestner is a licensed chiropractic physician in Murfreesboro. His office is at 1435 NW Broad St. Contact him at mkestner@DrKestner.com.