Allergies, seasonal or year round, are an ongoing problem for many individuals. Seasonal allergies typically affect people during a particular season or time of year. They are also referred to as outdoor allergies and are generally triggered by tree, grass, and weed pollens or outdoor mold spores. Year round allergies also known as indoor allergies are typically brought on by animal dander, dust mites, mold spores or insect allergens. There are also food allergies, which occur as a result of eating a culprit food, and can also create physical and/or emotional symptoms such as body hives, swelling, itching or redness of the skin, depression and/or moodiness.
No matter what kind of allergy you suffer form, environmental or food related, acupuncture can provide needed relief. While medications (over-the-counter or prescribed) often come with unwanted side-effects, acupuncture does not. This makes acupuncture an appealing option for people looking for a new way to combat their allergies.
According to Chinese medical theory, the symptoms and signs that indicate a Western diagnosis of allergies relate to imbalances in the meridian and Organ Systems of the body. These imbalances may stem from a variety of causes, including stress, poor diet, constitutional weakness, pollutants and environmental toxins.
Over time, if imbalances remain within the body, they will affect the functions of the Organ Systems. Some of these Organ Systems are involved in the production of Wei Qi (pronounced “way chee”). According to the theories of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, it is important to have
the correct quality and quantity of Wei Qi circulating around the body in order to stay healthy.
What is Wei Qi?
The Chinese concept of Wei Qi is similar to the Western concept of the immune system. Wei Qi functions to protect and defend the body against foreign substances, that if not caught can lead to allergies. When Wei Qi is strong and abundant, we remain healthy. When the supply of Wei Qi becomes deficient, health is compromised and we become vulnerable to foreign invaders such as dust, mold, animal dander, bacteria, viruses and pollen. People who have a Wei Qi deficiency are prone to allergies and frequent colds.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine support and strengthen the systems of the body that are involved in the production of Wei Qi. By building up the supply of Wei Qi, and facilitating the smooth and free flow of it through the body, symptoms and signs related to allergies could be greatly reduced or eliminated.
Allergies according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be due to a variety of factors. Below are some of the more common TCM diagnoses that your acupuncturist
may discover and treat.
Wei Qi deficiency
What will an acupuncturist do?
An acupuncturist will conduct a thorough exam, taking a complete health history. They will then develop a unique treatment plan that will address your specific concerns. The goals of the treatment plan will be to eliminate visible symptoms and signs, while addressing the root cause(s) and underlying imbalances affecting the quality and quantity of Wei Qi.
Acupuncture treatments may be combined with herbs, dietary changes, massage (tuina), or exercise. These therapies accelerate the healing process in order to balance, build, and support the body’s Wei Qi.