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Spring Into Allergy Relief: Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for Seasonal Allergies

As we swing into spring in central Texas, many Austinites are looking forward to enjoying the last cooler temperatures of the year before the summer heat wave hits. Yet this time of the year in Austin brings with it some of the worst for allergies. Grass and oak pollens are especially high from March to July, and allergy symptoms can throw a serious wrench into your ability to enjoy outdoor activities, graduation season, and the simple pleasures of living free from the irritation of constant sneezing, a runny nose, irritated eyes, sinus pressure, and other uncomfortable symptoms. 

The good news is, you don’t have to leave Austin or stay locked in your house hugging an air purifier for months to avoid suffering from debilitating and uncomfortable symptoms of allergies. Chinese medicine strengthens the body’s defensive qi chiefly by working on the Lung, Spleen and Kidney organ systems to support healthy immune function and moderate the body’s allergic response. Customized allergy treatments include acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, guasha (scraping therapy) and/or moxibustion, depending on your needs and health conditions. 

Acupuncture is a powerful tool to relieve allergy symptoms and reduce the intensity and frequency of allergy flare-ups by supporting healthy immune function, modulating the body’s response to allergens, and reducing the fluid buildup and inflammation that causes many of the most uncomfortable symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Research demonstrates that acupuncture reduces circulating levels of proinflammatory molecules such as TNF-ɑ, interleukins, and IgE immunoglobulin to reduce bothersome allergy symptoms of runny nose, congestion, coughing, sneezing, irritated eyes and throat, and headache (PMID: 23420231, 15291903, 25943957). 

Studies have also shown that acupuncture is more effective than antihistamines alone for the relief of symptoms related to seasonal allergies, and that patients treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for allergies are able to reduce their reliance on antihistamines (PMID: 26073163, 30084286).

Chinese herbal medicine reduces the severity of allergy symptoms including rhinitis, sneezing, eye irritation and watery eyes, sinus pressure and sinus headache, and itchiness. In particular, herbs such as Japanese honeysuckle (Jin yin hua, 金银花), forsythia fruit (Lian qiao, 连翘), platycodon root (Jie geng, 桔梗), xanthium fruit (Cang er zi, 苍耳子) and licorice root (甘草) have demonstrated immunomodulatory, anti inflammatory, and anti-allergic effects in multiple clinical trials. Chinese herbal medicine can even be used before the start of allergy season to nip seasonal allergies in the bud before they become severe, and to treat less common symptoms of allergies such as dizziness, vertigo and allergic skin conditions (PMID: 33533107, 29178676, 38603736). 

The bottom line? Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are highly effective, affordable and safe options to treat common allergy symptoms that can wreak havoc on your plans for spring and summer in Austin.  

Don’t let your seasonal allergies keep you inside! Make an appointment today and experience how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help you spend less time sniffling and more enjoying life:

Have specific questions? Contact the practitioners:


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