Allergy Sufferers Find Relief with Acupuncture

Acupuncture Allergy Relief MinneapolisThis has to be one of the worst allergy seasons in Minneapolis. So many people have come to our acupuncture clinic with irritated itchy eyes, sneezing, runny noses, sinus pressure and fatigue. But the good news is acupuncture and Chinese medicine offer much needed relief for allergies.

Allergies are the 6th leading chronic illness in the U.S. Somewhere between 9 to 15% of Americans have hay fever. With the mild winter and the early warm weather this year, pollen levels are predicted to be at a record high. So many people with hay fever may be suffering more this year.

Consider that more than 50 million people in the U.S. are afflicted with allergies. Almost 55% of U.S. residents tested positive for one or more allergens.

Side Effects of Allergy Medications

Conventional medical treatment of allergies attacks the symptoms but may weaken your general health and actually may worsen the underlying cause of the allergy. Side effects of antihistamines can include dizziness, insomnia, nervousness, dry mouth, headaches and fatigue. Research has raised the question of whether antihistamines taken for allergies may be linked to cancer.

Nasal sprays can irritate mucus membranes. With this irritation the membranes produce even more mucus.

Authorities have been stumped over the horrendous outbreak of allergies and asthma in recent years. Recent studies suggest that the overuse of antibacterial medications could be to blame.

A Proper Diet Reduces Allergies

Eating right can improve allergies. Research published in Thorax (2007) discovered a relationship between allergies, asthma and diet. The Mediterranean type diet, high in fresh produce, is associated with a less allergic response. Fresh produce is high in flavonoids (antioxidants) that have an anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activity. The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (2006) wrote that flavonoids reduced inflammatory substances in allergy sufferers.

Exercise Helps Vanquish Allergies

One study published in Allergy (Nov. 2006) concentrated on exercise and activity levels in 1700 children in Germany over a period of 12 years. In the beginning of the study, 6% of the children were sedentary. At the end of the 12 years, the sedentary children were 50% more likely to develop hay fever.

Chinese Medicine Theory Of Allergies

In Chinese medicine, the symptoms of allergies are due to imbalances in the acupuncture channels. If left unattended, these imbalances can affect the internal organ systems of your body. For example, if someone suffers chronically with allergies, his/her Lung energy may be weakened.

Your immune system protects your body. Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that Defensive Qi (vital life energy) or Wei-Qi flows on the outer layers of your body to protect you from allergies, colds and flu. When our Wei-Qi is weakened we are susceptible to foreign invaders like pollen, dust, animal dander, mold, bacteria or viruses. Licensed acupuncturists confirm this with Chinese pulse diagnosis. Our Wei-Qi can be weakened due to stress, inadequate sleep, negative emotions, lack of exercise or poor diet.

In Chinese medicine, environmental factors such as heat, cold, dryness, dampness, or wind are considered possible harmful influences. Seasonal allergies are caused by repeated invasion of the lungs by wind and cold. When your body is perfectly healthy it is able to defend itself against the elements of nature. Wind can only adversely affect your health if your body is weak or when the wind is unusually strong.

Wind symptoms include itching – itchy nose, eyes, throat and even ears. The symptoms of wind are like natural wind – appearing quickly and disappearing quickly and move around from place to place.

Dampness creates a buildup of mucus and excess secretions – runny nose, watery eyes. Visualize a swamp with stagnant water. It slows the body down, causing fatigue and heaviness. It can even create pressure in the head like a vise.

Acupuncture treatments for allergies can expel the wind, drain the dampness, and rejuvenate your immune system. Patients often fall asleep during treatments and later feel refreshed. Imagine breathing more freely from your nose, all itchiness vanished and feeling energized. Much like a computer, the acupuncture needles are designing a brand new program for your body’s energy circuit. The problem is not the allergy itself but the patient’s reaction to the allergen. Acupuncture reprograms your body so it doesn’t react to the allergen (i.e. pollen) as a harmful substance.

At our Minneapolis acupuncture clinic you will receive a very thorough exam, a complete health history and a Chinese pulse diagnosis. Then a customized treatment plan will be designed for your specific health concern. The goal of the treatment plan is to eliminate the symptoms of the allergy and address the root cause of the problem. Acupuncture treatments may be combined with Chinese herbal formulas and dietary recommendations. Discover a natural treatment to feel energized and healthy.

If you suffer from allergies and live in the Minneapolis / St. Paul / Twin Cities area call us now at 612-866-4000 and learn how you can banish your allergies. Or go to our contact page.

For more than 20 years, Steven Sonmore, L. AC, Dipl. AC., has been helping people transform their lives and maintain better health through Chinese medicine. Steven is a licensed acupuncturist, Oriental bodywork therapist, and herbalist. He offers complete health care through acupuncture, Chinese herbs and nutritional counseling. Steven’s patients come from all different ages and walks of life and he has extensive experience treating a spectrum of dis-ease ranging from physical pain and discomfort to emotional stress and anxiety. His extensive experience is evident by the high success rate he consistently has with patients and is licensed by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice. Steven is also certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.



  1. Coming from a family background of Western medicine (parents both RN’s, a sister an RN, and a brother a doctor), I grew up knowing and using the Western model exclusively. I have appreciated the quick results that can be achieved by antihistamines for acute allergy symptoms, and I certainly think they have their place in the spectrum of healthy living. However, I feel this article emphasizes what a great deal of us Westerners are missing – the fundamental importance of strenghtening the body from the inside-out. When one is incapacitated by allergies, it is a blessing to have a pill on-hand, but unless one can additionally eat right, exercise, and manage stress, no lasting progress towards true health can be made.

    • Yes, you’re right. An integral part of Chinese medicine is proper diet, exercise and stress management through meditation and movement such as Tai Chi or Qigong. Indeed the best Chinese doctors of ancient times were assigned to the Emperor to make him strong and healthy. The original emphasis of Chinese medicine and acupuncture was never just pain management but longevity – to live as young as you can as long as you can.

  2. Suzanna Howzell says:

    Korea is believed to be the second country that acupuncture spread to outside of China. Within Korea there is a legend that acupuncture was developed by the legendary emperor Dangun though it is more likely to have been brought into Korea from a Chinese colonial prefecture.

  3. Donovan Dampier says:

    Allergy symptoms occur when your immune system overreacts to an allergen—something that usually is harmless, such as plant pollen, dust mites, molds, insect stings or food. If you have an allergy, your immune system acts as if the allergen were dangerous, releasing a chemical called histamine that causes allergy symptoms.

    • Acupuncture and Chinese medicine uses a holistic approach to treat allergies. We assess the entire constitution, and focus on restoring internal organ function, bringing the body back into balance. A licensed acupuncturist will use Chinese pulse and tongue diagnosis to determine exactly what is going on in your body. Then correct the imbalances that are causing the allergy using acupuncture, Chinese herbs and/or dietary therapy. All natural therapy without the side effects of drugs.

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