Use acupuncture for seasonal allergies such as symptoms caused by Ragweed.

Understanding Seasonal Allergies and Their Triggers

Oh, the weather outside is … no longer frightful. Spring has sprung, and that can mean several things here in North Carolina. For the 50 million Americans with seasonal allergies, this time of year foreshadows weeks (and sometimes months) of itchy throats, watery eyes and runny noses, and struggles breathing. To offset the negative expectations of the seasonal days to come, let’s discuss what it means to have allergies during this time of year.

Understand the Condition

“Allergy” is a small word that encompasses a variety of conditions. By definition, an allergy is a reaction to a substance, commonly known as an allergen, that is considered foreign or dangerous to the body’s immune system. The body responds to allergens by releasing histamines to resist the incoming threat. This response shows in the following signs that people with allergies know all too well: frequent sneezing, rashes, stuffy noses and other symptoms affecting the eyes, lungs and sinuses.

Unlike perennial allergies (which occur year-round), seasonal allergies occur because of concentrated allergen levels in the environment at certain times of the year. The most notable allergen is tree pollen, but other allergens such as ragweed, dust and mold are also more widespread during particular months of the year.

Recognize the Triggers

Understanding seasonal allergies is only half the battle; having an awareness of what can cause flare-ups is the other.

For people with pollen allergies, simply walking out the front door can trigger an allergic response. Outdoor allergens can be inhaled, touched or attached to clothing or anything that has been exposed to pollinating trees — and during the first months of spring, pollen is everywhere! With the diverse types of trees in North Carolina — oak, ash, hickory and cedar, to name just a few — the pollen triggers are nearly infinite.

Another common allergen is ragweed pollen. With over 17 different types of ragweed throughout the United States, it is imperative to know which types are local to avoid pollen inhalation. In North Carolina, the most prevalent species of ragweed is Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed).

While dust can be considered a perennial allergen, its increased presence during “spring cleaning” makes it as much a concern for people with seasonal allergies as pollen. Common dust triggers include cleaning, vacuuming and sweeping. Living and nonliving triggers existing in dust –  including mites, animal fur, airborne mold spores and cockroaches – can also affect dust allergies. Likewise, mold allergies can be triggered by overexposure to and inhalation of the fungus, whether outside near moist, decomposing leaves or inside in moisture-rich basements and bathrooms.

Avoid the Triggers

Unfortunately, there is no panacea for all things related to allergy issues. However, here are several tools and tips to preempt allergy-related triggers:

  • Pay attention to mold and pollen reports. Most local and national weather forecasts typically report information about daily amounts of allergens. There are also several reputable smartphone apps that provide allergy and pollen forecasts.
  • Skip unnecessary outdoor activities when allergen counts are high. Allergen counts are usually highest between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
  • Wash hair, hands, body, clothes and bedding more frequently. Outdoor allergens can hitch a ride inside and keep causing respiratory havoc. Protect the inside of your home by cleaning anything that has been exposed to outside elements.
  • Use air conditioning in the car and home during allergy season. Outside air can be more of a curse than a gift during allergy season. Avoid opening car and home windows when possible. Use HEPA filter attachments for air conditioning units and carpet vacuums.
  • Wear a mask when cleaning indoors or working outside. Because most seasonal allergens are microscopic and can become airborne, inhaling them can increase the chances of allergic reactions. Covering your mouth and nose with a filter mask while doing chores can reduce the risk of allergens affecting your respiratory functions.

Relief with Acupuncture

Many people with seasonal allergies have used targeted, consistent acupuncture to greatly lessen and even stop their symptoms of nasal congestion and allergic rhinitis altogether. This is because the effects of acupuncture are cumulative. When combined with an herbal formula your acupuncturist will create for you that you take at home, acupuncture can offer a full-spectrum solution that will leave you with little to no symptoms and allow you to go for weeks or months without needing additional sessions.

Regardless of the relief methods you choose, the keys to controlling seasonal allergy outbreaks are to be mindful of local allergens, recognize the onset of seasonal symptoms and stay environmentally aware and proactive during seasonal changes.




Need Relief from Allergies? Get It Without Drugs

Spring is well underway in North Carolina, and if you are suffering from seasonal or chronic allergies, you are in good company. With more than 25 million adults and more than 28 million children affected, seasonal allergies are the number 1 reason for visits to the doctor’s office. So, we wanted to share a best-kept secret for allergy relief …

Acupuncture Helps Allergies

You can greatly diminish and in many cases even alleviate allergy symptoms with acupuncture. If you struggle with seasonal or chronic allergies, you may get significant relief from targeted, consistent, and evidence-based acupuncture sessions designed to relieve allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion and allergic rhinitis.

Cumulative Effects

One of the amazing things about acupuncture is that the effects of treatment are cumulative, so if you have seasonal allergies you can go for weeks or months without needing acupuncture. Combined with an herbal formula that can be taken at home, our patients have  a full-spectrum solution to seasonal allergies and many of them make it through allergy season with little to no symptoms.

Client Testimony

“I had suffered for years with seasonal allergies. In the first session, my sinuses opened and the muffled hearing in my left ear went away. After the 2nd session, the persistent, nagging allergy cough was gone! We did 6 sessions in total and I began taking herbs for sinus support.  For the first time in 20+ years, I made it through an entire year with no colds, coughs or allergies. And, when I do feel something coming on I will call and make an appointment first at Acupuncture Balanced Health.” J Setzer, Durham NC



acupuncture for allergies

Acupuncture: A Promising Treatment for Allergies

Spring is well underway in North Carolina…are you happy about it, or does the idea of oncoming seasonal allergies make you shudder with dread? If you suffer from seasonal or chronic allergies, you are in good company. Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is the most prevalent chronic allergic disease in the US. Studies suggest that up to 10% of adults and 40% of children in the US are affected by an allergic reaction to pollen, making allergic rhinitis one of the most common reasons for visits to primary care practitioners.

Acupuncture Helps Allergies

Here’s a best-kept secret … instead of relying on drugs, surgery or steroids, you can send allergy symptoms packing with acupuncture! Spring should be a time for fun and celebration, not sniffling, sneezing and watery eyes!

If you struggle with seasonal or chronic allergies, you may get significant relief from targeted, consistent, and evidence-based acupuncture sessions designed to relieve allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion and allergic rhinitis.

Recent randomized controlled trials have found that acupuncture used as an adjunct to routine care for allergic rhinitis has clinically relevant and persistent benefits and is cost effective. Such trials have found that acupuncture is effective in the symptomatic treatment of perennial (throughout the year) rhinitis. They have also found that active acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture in decreasing the symptom scores for persistent allergic rhinitis and increasing the symptom-free days.

No Silver Bullet

For the unfortunate millions who get allergic rhinitis and other seasonal and perennial allergies, there is no silver bullet that can treat each and every symptom. As a result of limited treatment options, many people resort to using an array of antihistamines, decongestants, and other treatments simultaneously, which can lead to a snowballing of undesirable side effects.

Acupuncture is another tool in an allergy sufferer’s toolbox. The treatment appears to be able to provide a large percentage of allergy sufferers with significant relief from uncomfortable symptoms. This has led the medical community to begin acknowledging that it is very promising for the treatment of seasonal and chronic allergy symptoms.

Acupuncture for Allergies Can Replace Medication

Even better, in some cases it appears that acupuncture treatment of allergies can replace—or reduce—the need for medication. This makes it a safe, viable option for patients looking for alternatives to traditional allergy treatment. And when acupuncture is used in conjunction with herbal formulas, the impact can profoundly improve the allergy sufferer’s quality of life.

At Acupuncture Balanced Health, we have first-hand experience with acupuncture treatment for seasonal allergies. Patients who receive treatment early in the allergy season do very well in our experience, and as spring turns to fall we generally recommend two to three acupuncture sessions. At the same time, we usually prescribe patients an herbal formula to help alleviate their symptoms.

Dietary Changes

Depending on our patient’s symptoms and health history, we also recommend supplements for patients to decrease allergy symptoms, support gut health and strengthen immunity. In some circumstances, we recommend slight dietary changes as well. Taken together, these treatments are often very effective in alleviating seasonal allergy symptoms.

In addition to providing ongoing allergy treatment and prevention, acupuncture sessions can result in immediate relief from existing allergy symptoms. We often see first-time allergy treatment patients leave our office feeling less stuffy, sniffly, and itchy.

Cumulative Effects

One of the amazing things about acupuncture is that the effects of treatment are cumulative, so a patient with seasonal allergies can go for several weeks without needing acupuncture. Combined with an herbal formula that can be taken at home, our patients have a full-spectrum solution to seasonal allergies and many of them make it through allergy season with little to no symptoms.