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Kick Claritin to the Curb!

Many patients are often shocked to discover that seasonal allergies are a common condition treated by acupuncture. And we're often surprised that so many people just chalk up the misery of allergies to part of the changing of seasons, dealing with the discomfort year after year with nothing left to help them but Claritin, Zyrtec or some other cocktail of allergy meds.

For those patients who bring us a long list of known allergies to environmnetal pathogens like mold, pollen, dust and more we always take a look at how the body is supporting the immune system. The immune system isn't just in charge of helping us get over the flu but also establishes our external defenses to those irritants that can make our head feel like a ton of bricks.

When your immune system is supported by quality sleep, low to moderate stress and healthy digestion you will be better able to handle exposure to allergies regardless of the season. In fact, up to 70% of your body's immune system actually resides in your gut with 80% of that system consisting of plasma cells designed to make sure the good stuff comes in and the bad stuff stays out. High levels of stress also plays a major role in your immune system health by blocking the body's ability to make new T-cells, leaving you open to many different kinds of illness not just allergies.

Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and specific supplements can help you kick your daily allergy medicine by helping you strengthen your immune system. Herbs and supplements give your body the specific nutrients it needs to keep your organ systems working properly. Acupuncture then stimulates the proper function of those body systems in many different ways. This includes direct action on the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce the effects of stress and improving the ability of the gastrointestinal system to digest food. As the pressure placed on the immune system is relieved your body's defenses are improved making it easier for you to handle exposure to environmental allergens. Improved lung health also has a marked effect on improving the severity of asthma and frequency of attacks for chronic sufferers, especially those who also have complications with allergies.

A recent, randomised controlled study published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine studied 5,327 patients with allergic rhinitis. The group being tested received 15 acupuncture treatments over 3 months. Compared to the control group who received no acupuncture, patients receiving acupuncture care showed significant improvements including less complications with allergic rhinitis and overall improved quality of health.

Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, changes in diet and lifestyle modifications can make a difference in your ability to withstand exposure to all this pollen covering the world in yellow. Getting healthier naturally puts less stress on your body and exposes you to fewer side effects from prescription drugs. Kick Claritin and other allergy meds to the curb!!

Sources:

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/

2. http://dujs.dartmouth.edu/fall-2010/the-physiology-of-stress-cortisol-and-the-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis

3.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876382008000371


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