Allergic rhinitis affects 1 in 6 Americans. If you are one of these then you are no stranger to the uncomfortable and persistent stuffy, drippy and itchy symptoms that come along with seasonal allergies. Western (allopathic) medicine tends to rely on relieving the uncomfortable symptoms of allergy sufferers with the use of medications. While these medications can provide temporary relief they often have unpleasant side effects. Chinese Medicine approaches the treatment of allergies differently by treating the whole person and balancing the immune system.Western medicine tends to see allergies as a misplaced or over active immune response. It is a learned response by the immune system wherein rapid physiological changes can result in itchy eyes and throat, sinus congestion and sneezing, asthma, and even diarrhea. Western therapies often rely on trying to inhibit the allergic response by using antihistamines like Benadryl, drugs that work on the nervous system like Albuterol, and cortico-steroids as well as decongestants.While these drugs can be temporarily effective for some often there are side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea and immune system suppression that cause people to seek out alternative treatment.Chinese medicine approaches the understanding and treatment of allergies from the perspective of finding where the imbalance is in the system and working to not only treat the outer manifestation of this imbalance (symptoms) but also address the underlying constitutional issues that have caused the dis-ease. According to TCM, allergic rhinitis is due to an invasion of External Wind Cold or Heat (exopathogens) with an underlying Lung Qi deficiency that in some cases is further complicated by the deficiency of the Spleen or Kidney. This is the place we start, however it is always important to remember that part of the power of Chinese Medicine is in the realization of the importance of treating every client fresh, as an individual with layers of physical, emotional and energetic experiences that have lead to their current state of imbalance,The ideal time to begin treating seasonal allergies and most conditions using acupuncture is before symptoms normally manifest. While some clients may experience immediate relief after only a few treatments, a course of six to ten treatments once per week is often required to treat acute conditions. Chronic conditions may require further treatment.Acupuncture and other Chinese Medicine modalities are rapidly growing in popularity as evidence shows that not only are they effective but also safe and free of the side effects of more conventional treatments. Try acupuncture for your allergies today!