With late Spring arriving we enjoy nice weather, warmer temperatures and blooming plants, and at the same time chronic seasonal allergy sufferers experience symptoms of sneezing, itchy eyes, running nose, etc.
With one quarter of Canadians being affected by airborne allergies it is worthwhile looking into natural ways of managing them, without the side effects of over the counter antihistamines or prescription drugs.
One way to reduce exposure is to avoid being outside between the hours of sunset to sunrise in which pollen dissemination is most active. Another way is applying oil (almond or sesame oil with some essential oils like eucalyptus for example) to the nostrils in the morning. A simple dietary/ herbal strategy that can help is drinking mint or dandelion tea.
In general terms, the underlying cause of hay fever is an immune system dysregulation. This dysregulation can have various causes for different patients suffering from allergies. For instance, for one person the cause can be a chronic immune deficiency, termed “Wei Qi deficiency” in Chinese medicine. For another person, it can be some kind of heat in the body which is transferred to the lungs, causing the antibody reaction.
Those individual causes for hay fever can be assessed by Chinese medicine in an individualized diagnosis and treated accordingly with individualized acupuncture point protocols.
Research studies have shown that “Acupuncture either used alone or combined with other treatments, like herbal or western medicine, had both short and long term benefits to allergic rhinitis sufferers”.
Why not try acupuncture to get your seasonal allergies under control for this season as well as starting a foundation for a more harmonized immune system for many more Spring seasons to come?
Ute Adolphs, Registered Acupuncturist
Rejuvenation Wellness Centre, North Vancouver
 Qu SH, Liu YX. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Randomized Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Allergic Rhinitis [J]. World Journal of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, 2016,11(07):900-906+948.
 Feng, Shaoyan, Miaomiao Han, Yunping Fan, Guangwei Yang, Zhenpeng Liao, Wei Liao, and Huabin Li. "Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis." American journal of rhinology & allergy 29, no. 1 (2015): 57-62.
 Liu, T. S., R. Qiu, and X. S. Lai. "Efficacy on perennial allergic rhinitis treated with acupuncture at three nasal poinits and the acupoints selected by syndrome differentiation." Zhongguo zhen jiu= Chinese acupuncture & moxibustion 34, no. 11 (2014): 1083-1086.