As we transition from winter to spring, we welcome the warmer days, brighter skies, and renewed energy the new season brings. Unfortunately though, for some spring can also mean suffering the flare-ups of seasonal allergies.
Seasonal allergies are the body’s way of responding to certain airborne irritants such snow molds, dust and pollen that are released in abundance at this time of year. It causes the body’s defence systems to go into overdrive, leading to symptoms like inflammation, itchiness, watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.
Antihistamines or other drugs can be taken to control seasonal allergies, but have side effects and do not work so well after chronic use. Here is where acupuncture comes in to help reduce your need for drugs!
How Acupuncture Works for Seasonal Allergies
Acupuncture works by supporting the body’s natural systems and regulating the healing processes without the negative side effects of drugs! Studies have shown acupuncture relieves the pain of irritated sinuses and likely works by decreasing inflammation and boosting immunity.
Certain acupuncture points in arms and legs are physiologically active and research has demonstrated these to control inflammation and decrease pain (LI 4 and ST 36). These points are also shown to create a deep sense of relaxation and can set the stage for rest and a good night’s sleep to recover more fully.
Aside from local facial points for sinuses, we also treat the jaw, neck and upper back. This bigger holistic focus relaxes physical structures relating to the head and posture, restoring easy breathing and affecting drainage of the ears (Eustachian tubes) and sinuses indirectly.
Hot and Cold Stone Therapy during your massage:
As an augmentation to a 90 minute whole body massage, you can request your massage therapist ahead of time to add hot and/or cold stone therapy. Both can be effective and very soothing for sinus pain; but which one to use (or both) depends on the nature of your sinus issues. Temperature therapy with stones can bring incredible relief by improving circulation and reducing inflammation of the sinuses.
How Many Treatments Will I need?
Our clients usually get several days of relief after their acupuncture session, and will come in regularly or as needed during the allergy season. Acupuncture treatments can often dramatically reduce the need for antihistamines.
So if you struggle to cope with seasonal allergies and want to have an alternative to drugs, give acupuncture a try this spring!