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Acupuncture and Chinese herbs for allergies

Why do some people develop allergies and others not if we all breathe the same air? Why can peanuts be fatal for certain individuals, while many others can consume them normally? Allergies seem very 'unfair' and people who suffer from them are very 'unlucky'. Does the story end there?

Allergic reactions occur when our body overreacts to a certain substance. When these substances cause an allergy, symptoms can range from annoying to deadly. Rashes appear, lips swell. Hay fever is accompanied by snoring and burning eyes; The consequences of a food allergy can be vomiting and diarrhea. In a small number of unlucky people, allergies can trigger a potentially dangerous whole-body reaction known as anaphylactic shock. Statistics have also shown that there is a genetic element to general allergies and food allergies that increases the risk of asthma.

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Understanding Allergy

An allergy occurs when the immune system forms antibodies to a substance; it could be a reaction to plant pollen, insect venom, a chemical in the air, or a certain type of food. The body perceives the foreign substance as a threat and produces antibodies to fight it. A runny nose (rhinitis), watery eyes, itching in various parts of the head and body, and sneezing are the body's way of trying to ward off trigger allergens. Allergies can also cause asthma, when the body responds to triggers by inflaming the lungs and bronchi, causing coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing.

The 5 most common allergies

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology), more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. This includes seasonal and year-round allergies. There are products that can trigger an allergic reaction, from food to chemicals. It is important for allergy sufferers to have basic knowledge about these allergens in order to learn how to properly manage their allergies.

Pollen allergy

Pollen allergies include tree, grass and weed pollen. Pollen is one of the main causes of allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. These symptoms usually affect the nose, throat and respiratory tract. Some common symptoms are sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. Most people who are allergic to pollen experience symptoms during certain times of the year known as the pollination season. Pollination seasons vary by region. In some individuals, however, allergic reactions can occur all year round.

Mold allergy

Mold allergy is a common indoor allergen, but they can also be found outdoors. Therefore, it is difficult to avoid it. The most common symptom associated with a mold allergy is asthma. When some people inhale mold spores, it causes wheezing and breathing problems. Reducing your exposure to mold is the best way to prevent an allergic reaction. Because mold grows quickly in humid conditions, it's important to keep your home dry and to avoid areas with high humidity that allow mold to grow outdoors. 

Food allergy

Many foods can cause an allergic reaction, but 90% of allergies are caused by 8 foods. These foods include:

  • Eggs

  • Fish

  • Shells

  • Tree nuts

  • Peanuts

  • Cow's milk

  • Soy

  • Wheat

These foods can cause serious allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. Reactions usually occur primarily through ingestion, but can also occur through direct contact. If you have a food allergy, reading food labels should be a priority when shopping. This way you will avoid an allergic reaction.

Dust mite allergy

Dust mites are tiny organisms that live in mattresses and bedding. They are mostly harmless, but living with them can be uncomfortable for those who suffer from dust mite allergies. Dust mites can cause itching, sneezing, stuffy nose and breathing problems. If you blow at night, it could be due to dust mites. The good news is that dust mites in your home can be easily controlled. There are allergy-friendly mattress covers designed to prevent dust mites from entering. You should also wash bedclothes frequently in hot water to kill mites.

Allergy to pets

Dogs and cats cause most pet allergies, but cats are twice as likely to develop an allergic reaction as dogs. The main culprits for this allergy are house dander and saliva. They can trigger itching, sneezing and breathing problems. A pollen allergy can also be caused by pets moving around outside if the pollen is brought indoors. Pet allergies are difficult to manage because they are airborne. When you enter a space, you can't be sure if a pet has been there or not until symptoms appear.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and allergic diseases

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) not only offers an alternative approach to conventional medicine in the treatment of allergic reactions, but also treats the whole person to achieve long-term and comprehensive prevention.

TCM always recognizes the duality and relationship between opposing and harmonizing forces. In any case, we look for internal and external factors that affect a person's health. In TCM, the immune system has both internal and external components. 

People who have a healthy amount of energy and a balanced system do not overreact to pollen and other allergens. TCM believes that a person must be internally weak in order for external factors to influence him so easily. Sometimes symptoms indicate a connection to a specific system. For example problems with sneezing and coughing - TCM connects the nose and throat to the lungs, so this type of allergy results from poor lung function; problems with itching and redness in the eyes - this type of allergy arises from an overactive liver. Also, the period in which your allergies appear indicates which system is causing them. Spring allergies are associated with the liver system, while autumn allergies are associated with the lung system.

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Acupuncture for allergies

Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine that inserts thin needles into the skin to treat various diseases. The practitioner inserts these needles into various acupuncture points to balance the energy in the body.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, health is associated with balanced yin and yang, vital energies such as qi and xue, and well-functioning organ systems. Diseases are the result of an imbalance of these energies. When you have allergies, it means that the flow of Qi energy is blocked or that it is flowing along the wrong meridians. This results in excess Qi in various organs and insufficient in others. 

Allergy treatments such as acupuncture are non-invasive and attempt to restore balance in the body by removing blockages in the pathways. Acupuncture needles are inserted into acupuncture points to remove blockages that cause allergies, eliminate deficiencies and excesses, and correct imbalances. Acupuncture opens pathways and allows qi to flow; this eliminates allergy symptoms and reactions.

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Chinese herbal medicine for allergies

According to traditional Chinese medicine, allergies are related to various elements. Allergy treatment focuses on strengthening the body to heal, restore balance and prevent infections. Doctors use various Chinese herbal medicines to treat allergies by identifying and treating the underlying causes of allergies. This helps control your body's reactions and prevent multiple allergies from recurring.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is effective no matter how many years you have suffered. Your doctor reviews your symptoms and medical history to understand your condition. After a proper assessment, he gives you Chinese herbs according to the causes of your allergy. Herbs vary from patient to patient as each individual is different and each receives a customized treatment.

Nutritional therapy after
traditional Chinese medicine

In order to cure food allergies, it is first necessary to understand what food is. The purpose of food is not to injure the individual, but to strengthen him. The wisdom of TCM teaches us that more is not always better. Energies must be at an optimal level and well balanced. Too much can be just as troublesome as too little. Most food allergies in children are the result of excess energy problems. Thus, the vital energy that is supposed to strengthen us is transformed from food into energy that threatens our life.


A huge difference between modern nutritional science and TCM is the way both branches analyze food. When you start looking at it from a new perspective, you may be able to find new answers.For more information on food properties from a TCM point of view, click on the following link.

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