Spring has finally sprung, and for a lot of people that jubilation comes with some hesitation: allergies are back. Some new staggering statistics might make jaws drop, and not because you can’t breathe through your nose.
A new study shows the incidence of asthma and allergies are becoming more common. Researchers are attributing this rise to the increasing pollen due to global warming and climate change rather than genetics. The pollen count is estimated to double by 2040; only 22 years from now.
“Average pollen counts in the United States are likely to reach 21,735 grains per cubic meter of air (or per 35 cubic feet of air) by 2040. In comparison, average pollen counts in the year 2000 hovered around 8,455 grains per cubic meter of air.”
Already ragweed pollen has become more common in the Midwest over the last 25 years. Due to warmer weather, plants are blooming 0.8 days earlier per year.
Whether it be spring, fall or indoor allergies, it is important to employ an allergy prevention strategy early. Seasoned allergy sufferers know the importance of building up their bodies defenses, typically that includes daily allergy medication, but it could also include acupuncture.
The sneezing, constant congestion, post nasal drip, sinus pressure and pain, or itchy watery eyes can really put a damper on life, . Researchers confirm that acupuncture successfully downregulates IgE (immunoglobulin E), an antibody active in hypersensitivity reactions, while simultaneously reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
A study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology concluded that, “acupuncture alleviates persistent allergic rhinitis. Important subjective and objective measures support the conclusion. Allergy symptoms and overall quality of life scores significantly improved as a result of acupuncture therapy. Moreover, symptoms and quality of life scores continued to improve, measured four weeks after completion of acupuncture treatments."
For many allergy sufferers the ‘season’ can start before the final snow has even melted and linger long into spring, depending on what you’re allergic to. Using acupuncture as a preventive before a particular bloom can help to lessen the symptoms and even in some cases prevent them from returning at such a severe level.
In Chinese Medicine the season of spring is associated with the Liver, and the Liver is associated with wind. The windy nature of spring and the abrupt change of the seasons seemingly overnight, is very typical of the flippant nature of the Liver. Happy and flexible one day, and surly and rigid the next. Staying out of excessive wind during spring can help to prevent your allergies by limiting exposure to the allergens flying through the air, while also preventing the wind of the outdoors from stirring the Liver wind internally.
Regardless of when you seek treatment for your allergies with acupuncture, it can be highly effective throughout the entire allergy season. Most patients find that one or two treatments a week regularly spaced for a few weeks is enough to help them successfully conquer their allergies for months.
To find out if acupuncture would helpful for your allergies, make an appointment today! Your nose will thank you later.