It’s safe to say something is always in bloom in San Diego. But spring brings particularly high pollen counts to our region, which can produce sneezing, runny eyes, and other symptoms in allergy sufferers.

One in six Americans suffers from allergic rhinitis, which studies show acupuncture can help alleviate. Regular acupuncture treatments help allergy sufferers avoid antihistamines and prevent allergies from developing into sinusitis, with its requisite antibiotics. “I used to suffer from chronic sinus problems, all related to allergies,” says patient Marg Stark. “I was so often on antibiotics for sinus infections, and I developed coughing asthma for which I needed more medication. I was dubious when someone suggested I try acupuncture, but it worked! I have not had a sinus infection in seven years. I never even think about my allergies anymore!”

In Chinese medicine, an imbalance in the body can lead to allergy symptoms. In seasonal allergies, wind and dampness are often responsible, launching an onset of symptoms: sneezing, itchy eyes and throat, lots of mucus, and a heavy sensation in the head.

Herbs can be used in combination with acupuncture to restore a balance and relieve symptoms. Concept Wellness practitioners often recommend changes in diet, too, to reduce mucus:

  • Sweets, dairy products, and cold foods are to be avoided.
  • Soups, salads (in warm weather), vegetables, and boiled grains are all easy for the body to digest. When digestion is efficient, mucus is less likely to build up.