Whether seasonal or chronic, allergies to dust, pollen, and molds are the response of an overactive immune system. In the case of allergies, substances that are normally harmless, such as pollen, present a threat. The root of the problem, however are not allergens themselves, but rather the person's reaction to them resulting in histamine production triggered by exposure to the allergen. Basic allopathic medical therapies, such as antihistamines, rely on inhibiting the allergic response, while other types of drugs used to treat allergic rhinitis or asthma act on the nervous system or focus on suppressing the allergy symptoms. While quite effective in treating the allergic response, allopathic drugs can present unpleasant side effects such as drowsiness, immune system suppression, and over-reliance on medications.
While acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy offer effective non-drug therapy to manage the acute symptoms of allergic reactions, the real gift of Oriental Medicine lies in its ability to regulate the body’s immune system and reduce the inflammatory process by the virtue of strengthening and balancing the person’s constitution. This in turn enables the person to more easily tolerate the irritants we encounter on a daily basis. In other words, the Chinese medical approach to the treatment of allergies is to develop a therapeutic intervention that alleviates the patient's acute symptoms while addressing the underlying immune system imbalance at the root of the allergy. This often includes lifestyle and dietary recommendations. There are also excellent Chinese herbal formulas that help to alleviate allergy symptoms and strengthen the immune system. For seasonal allergy treatment, it’s advised that you start treatment before the onset of the allergy season to help boost the immune system defenses.
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