About ten years ago, before I entered the world of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), I was in allergy misery. My joy about leaving another Chicago winter behind me was soon met with a deep barking cough and mild asthma. Hello Spring! My allergies would start at the first sign of Spring and then last until the frost (sometimes shifting into bronchitis). When a partner said that my cough reminded him of his mother’s emphysema cough (she was in her 70's), I was motivated to get to the root of the issue.
Mind you, I had already sought help with an ENT’s (ear, nose and throat doctor’s). I underwent a lung function test and all checked out okay. Then I did the scratch test with the allergist. They were shocked at my histamine reaction. Her advice was to take Allegra and live in a bubble. Obviously not the help that I was hoping for but it lead me to seek relief outside the world of Western medicine.
Ultimately, my research pointed me in the direction of acupuncture. I called an acupuncturist to schedule an appointment and explained that I was seeking relief from allergies. He said that in Chinese medicine allergies are connected to digestive function. Eventually I went from taking various remedies to alleviate allergy symptoms to being symptom free. With acupuncture and dietary changes, I had treated the root cause as opposed to constantly chasing relief from symptoms (which are considered the branch in Chinese medicine). For me, strengthening Lung and Spleen Qi with acupuncture along with eliminating gluten from my diet helped clear the post-nasal drip which was causing my cough.
Determining your Unique Pattern
While my pattern of weak Lung and Spleen Qi is a common one that we see in patients at Source Healing, there are other organ systems that can be at the root of allergies. For example, if the Liver is involved you may experience red and itchy eyes since the Liver governs our eyes. If your allergy profile includes asthma, it may also involve your Kidney Qi as it’s job is to grasp the Lung Qi and descend it. Acupuncture is also great at treating sinus congestion (note that the most of the points on the face relate to digestion). Patients may have various patterns involved, therefore it is helpful to seek the help of a practitioner who will determine your acupuncture and herbal treatment plan.
What to expect:
Our practitioners will conduct a thorough intake to determine your unique pattern,, along with a TCM tongue and pulse diagnosis. While our goal is to help you seek relief from allergy symptoms, we will also regulate your immune system with acupuncture. If appropriate, your practitioner will also recommend a Chinese herbal formula along with supplements, plus nutritional guidance. It’s ideal to come at the turn of the seasons.