About Immune System

Acupuncture and Allergies

About one in five Americans suffers from allergies. At least 25 million have hay fever or allergic rhinitis, about 9 million have allergic asthma, another 12 million or more have variety of allergic disorder triggered by various environment or food substances. They include pollen, dust, mold, food, animal hair, insect venom, cosmetics, medication, or even environmental changes like a burst of cold air or excess humidity.

An allergic reaction takes place on a cellular level. When an allergen enters the body, it stimulates the production of B-lymphocytes which produce antibodies. Antibodies are the primary defense cells. when antibodies encounter their specific allergens, they immediately trigger the release of chemicals like Histamine. Histamine causes the most familiar allergic reactions: in the nose, eyes, and sinuses, histamine stimulates sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. If the sinus is infected with virus or bacteria, sinusitis will occur and will have sinus headache and fever. If histamine is released in the lungs, it causes narrowing and swelling of the lining of the airway, and the secretion of mucus. In the skin, it causes rashes and hives. And in the digestive system, it causes cramping and diarrhea.

Causes of Allergies:

  1. Genetics
  2. Overexposure to toxins
  3. Overstimulation by medicine
  4. Dietary and nutritional problem
  5. Emotional stress

Type of Allergies

  1. Skin allergies (including contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis know as Eczema, and hives)
  2. Respiratory allergies (including hay fever, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, allergies to dust, dander, mold and asthma)
  3. Food allergies
  4. Drug allergies
  5. Non organic allergies(allergies to industrial chemicals, pesticides, air pollution)


Symptoms can be from mild to severe and are treated with antihistamine, decongestions, corticosteroids, Cromolyn Sodium, Immunotherapy. Safe, effective treatment options are few. Alternative medicine with its emphasis on restoring balance and harmony offers another option. These options also provide you with opportunities to explore different philosophies about the true meaning of health. Instead of setting for merely masking the symptoms of allergies, you may be able to return to a state of equilibrium and balance.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views the cause of allergies as an imbalance of the organ system. This imbalance can be caused by excessive stress in life, poor dietary choices, sluggish digestions, and hormone changes. In general, allergies result from a weak condition, either the lung is weak, leading to respiratory symptom (sneezing, dry coughing, running or congested nose, wheezing); or the spleen is weak, leading to dampness and mucus accumulation (stuffing nose, digestive problem); or the kidney is weak, leading to a vulnerability and exhaustion of the immune and nervous system, as well as inflammation rising to the head and the surface of the body. Or the liver function is weak, leading the eyes symptom such as itching, tearing or pinky eyes. More often, aspects of more than one type of QI weakness are present.

Normally you will be evaluated based on your own unique constitution and energy level. And a treatment plan will be made to bring your body back to balance. This might includes acupuncture, as well as herb medicine, dietary advice, and QI Gong exercises. In general, the strategy for treating allergies involves cooling the inflammation, driving out the wind, drying up the dampness, and strengthening the underlying of deficiencies.

Treatments Through Acupuncture

1. Allergic sinusitis, hay fever: we use LI 20(Ying Xiang), which corresponding to maxillary sinus, LI 11(Qu Chi), LI 4(He Gu) and GB 20(Feng Chi), frontal sinusitis add UB 2(Zan Zhu), Ethmoid sinusitis add SI 18(Quan liao), extra point Ying tang and Du 14(Da Zhui) can be very useful too.

2. Allergic asthma: acupuncture can reduce bronchial inflammation, improve and balance the immune system, reduce and withdraw mucus and phlegm, increase the capacity of the lungs, calm the nervous system in order to keep the airway expand. We use CV 22(Tian Tu), CV 17(Shan Zhong), UB 13(Fei Shu), LU 6(kong Zui), ST 36(Zou San Li), ST 40(Feng Long).

3. Eczema : acupuncture can calm the inflammation, improve the immune system, expel dampness and heat, tonify the spleen Qi, and tonify blood expel wind to relieve itching. We often use LI 4 (He Gu), LI 11(Qu Chi), GB 31(Feng Shi), SP 10 (Xue Hai), Sp 9(Ying Ling Quan), UB 20(Pi Shu), UB 17(Ge Shu),ST 36(Zu San li), H 7(Shen Men).

4. Hives(Urticaria): Hives is a common allergic disease, characterized mainly by bright red or pale rashes of various sizes on the skin, rising one after the other, in severe case, may spread all over the body, can be acute onset or chronic. Caused by wind–cold or wind-heat pathogen attack, deficiency of protect Qi, or accumulation of heat in the stomach and intestines. Acupuncture points we can choose from LI 4(He Gu), LU 5(Chi Ze), UB 12(Feng Men), GB20(Feng Chi), UB 14(Fei Shu), DU 14(Da ZHui), UB 40(Wei Zhong), SP 6(San Ying Jiao), ST 25(Tian Shu), ST 37(Xiang Ju xu), ST 36(Zu San Li), CV 12(Zhong Wan).

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