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Wenhui Qiao, OMD, LAc
Acupuncture and Hay Fever
Holycross Acupuncture and Herbs

Acupuncture and Hay Fever

Hay fever is very common millions of people suffer from it each spring and fall. Acupuncture is often a very effective treatment for hay fever; unfortunately many people only turn to acupuncture as last resort because they are frustrated they havent been able to find relief. Once they experience the benefits of acupuncture, they regret taking so long to see an acupuncturist.
Since everyone is so different, and lifestyles are so varied, it is impossible to define how many treatments will bring a lasting effect. However, you will see changes during the course of treatment.
It is not a matter of investing in 10-20 treatments with the hope of seeing some improvement at the end.
For someone who is considering acupuncture treatment for hay fever expect to make a commitment of one acupuncture treatment per week. If possible, new patients should be seen twice weekly at the beginning of treatment (during the height of hay fever season).
It is best to give six treatments during a three-week period, than six treatments over a six-week period. If the symptoms are particularly severe, then twice weekly treatments would be needed, or a combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture. There is a lot of flexibility regarding frequency of treatment, and this is governed by how responsive the person is to treatment.
It is desirable to start treatment 4-6 weeks before the hay fever season starts.
In theory, starting acupuncture treatment before the hay fever season starts will give an opportunity to aim treatment at strengthening the bodys energy and starting to address the internal imbalance that is making the sufferer sensitive to pollen allergens.
For patients who suffer from particularly severe hay fever, it may be desirable to start treatment even earlier to give acupuncture the best opportunity to work. Ideally, Chinese and herbal medicine should be incorporated all year long to optimize health.
Hay fever occurs at a particular time of the year and is triggered by specific allergens (grass pollen, tree pollen). The rest of the year the sufferer is usually completely symptom-free. Other people have allergies all year round and there is a wider range of allergens (dust mites, cats, fungi, etc.) that may include pollens. For this latter group it is fair to say that their allergic response (or internal imbalance) is more deeply entrenched and thus they will require more treatment.
For patients with multiple allergies, acupuncture alone is usually not sufficient a combination of long-term Chinese herbal treatment and acupuncture is needed, or a combination of acupuncture and some other therapy.

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