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An Ounce of Prevention: Seasonal Allergies

As the seasons change, seasonal allergies can impact the way many people live their lives.  Some might say, restrict their lives.  Symptoms are commonly treated with medications such as antihistamines, steroid inhalers, and over the counter decongestant sprays. While these medications may temporarily relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis (AR), they do come with several side effects including sedation, dizziness, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, and gastro-intestinal disturbances.

Many patients are turning to complementary medical treatments such as acupuncture to relieve these symptoms of seasonal AR.  Acupuncture, dates back over 2000 years, and is a holistic form of medical treatment that looks at the entire constitution to determine the underlying imbalances within the body. By identifying these imbalances, acupuncturists are able to simultaneously treat the root cause of the problem as well as alleviate the symptoms.

Symptoms of seasonal AR have been treated with acupuncture, herbal medicine, and self care exercise for centuries in China. Clinical trials have shown that acupuncture and herbal medicine are an effective and safe treatment option for patients with seasonal AR.

In the treatment of seasonal AR, the best time to receive acupuncture is one month prior to the usual time of the seasonal allergy attack. Ideally, seeking acupuncture treatment before the start of the symptoms. However, if the symptoms have already begun, treatment(s) will bring symptomatic relief and will support the immune system, thereby preventing future allergy attacks.

Lisa Seaman, L.Ac, FABORM