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During this time of the year, we have more and more reactions to the environment, giving us seasonal allergies. As we getting closer to spring, we will see changes in the weather, flowers blooming and our surroundings getting greener. By the same token, we see people suffering from symptoms of seasonal allergies: coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, itching and runny nose. These symptoms can be related to allergic rhinitis or hay fever, which typically come at the same time each year. Allergies can be caused by a variety of relatively harmless factors like animal dandruff, pollens that have been carried by the wind, or even a seemingly harmless food to which the body reacts.

Allergy symptoms are results of the overreaction of the immune system to small particles of foreign proteins, called allergens, that are breathed in or eaten, or that touch the skin causing reactions like urticaria, eczema, hives, rashes, etc. When symptoms become severe, they can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks or even life threatening situations.

Since 1980, incidences of allergies have been increasing in all gender, age and racial groups. Over 50 million Americans, or one out of five, suffer from some kind of allergy. In fact, allergies are the fifth leading chronic disease for people of all ages and the third most common in children under 18 years of age.

For more than 5,000 years, Chinese medicine, through acupuncture and Chinese herbs, has provided relief of allergic rhinitis, hives and other allergic reactions. A study was published (Allergy 2004; 59: 953-960) in which 52 patients who suffered from allergic rhinitis were randomly assigned to receive acupuncture and herbal treatment. It was concluded that acupuncture and herbal therapy for allergic rhinitis helped relieve patients from allergy symptoms.

Chinese medicine considers allergies as the human body being weak and prone to invasion by external pathogens, causing the defensive energy, called Wei Qi, to be attacked. If this defensive energy is not strong enough (due to lack of sleep, stress, or lack of good nutrition patterns, for example) any kind of pathogen can get through and cause infections or allergies, cold or flu symptoms. Proper nutrition, a good sleep pattern, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, cupping, Washa and other Chinese medicine practices can all help restore the body’s homeostasis, health and ability to overcome allergies and other illnesses.

How nice it is to enjoy the freshness of spring and all it brings without the obstacle of allergic reactions. At Behavioral Wellness Center, we can help you in a natural way to enjoy the spring season without experiencing allergy symptoms. Call for an appointment today!

By Consuelo Camarillo De G., Lic. Ac.

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