I haven’t always suffered from allergies, but since moving to Fort Worth, Texas (from Oregon) 10 years ago, my allergies have gotten progressively worse. No wonder Native Americans called North Texas the “Land of the Bad Air.”
Over the past couple of years, I suffered from chronic sinus infections (over five last year) due to the allergies. Here’s what I’ve done to get rid of allergies (and also sinus infections).
First of all, it is important to understand what allergies are in order to treat them.
Allergies are diseases of the immune system that cause an overreaction to substances called “allergens” (what we’re allergic to). When most people talk about allergies, they are typically talking about Rhinitis and Sinusitis – also know as “hay fever” or “seasonal allergies.”
Allergies are caused by irritants or allergens (think everything from grass to mold to dairy). To combat this, the cells of the body release histamine and other chemical stuff (ever notice that most allergy medications are ANTI-histamines?). This release of histamine causes all the things we hate about allergies — sneezing, runny nose, and itching, watery eyes. For most people, this is a temporary condition that clears up after a few days. In others (like me over the past couple of years), this is a chronic problem that doesn’t go away.
Here’s what I’ve done. This post ended up being REALLY long, so I broke it up into two posts.
This is the single-best thing I’ve done to get rid of allergies. It may sound a little new age, but it worked. I went from five sinus infections a year to zero. It’s going to sound even more new age when I explain how it works, but here’s the process:
- My first appointment was about one hour long and consisted of a very comprehensive medical questionnaire.
- I was instructed to not take any anti-histamines 48 hours before coming into see the acupuncture, as it would interfere with the testing.
- The acupuncturist (her name is Kim, she’s awesome) then went into testing. She tested using called Applied Kinesiology (or Muscle Responsive Testing).
- She touched electromagnetic vials (it just looked like a small vial of clear liquid) of different substances I could be allergic to (everything from dairy to different flowers to different household cleaners to different grains). She then made me hold out my left arm straight and firm. She would then push down on my left arm. If I was allergic to the item, my arm would go down slightly. If I wasn’t allergic, I would be able to hold my arm firm and steady.
- I was actually VERY speculative about this treatment. So I asked my acupuncturist to let my try one that she knew I was allergic to, to see if I could hold my arm firm. I tried my hardest to hold it firm and wasn’t able to. She tried it with something that I was not allergic to and my arm held steady. I was amazed.
- After testing, she found that I was allergic to several things: several kinds of trees, fungus, dairy and red wine (Sad Panda). She told me to avoid these wherever possible until the treatment was complete.
- She took a handful of the vials (there were about 25, she couldn’t treat all of them at the same time) in a glass. She told me to take off my shoes and socks and lay down on a massage-like table.
- She placed the glass in-between my legs, while I laid face up.
- She then placed several small needles in the following places: two in each foot, two in hand, one in my forearm, one near each side of my nose and two in my forehead.
- After the needles were in, she placed heaters over my feet and turned on some weird zen music that involved a lot of chimes (I think it’s the same soundtrack they play when you get a message). I laid there for about 20 minutes, when someone came to take out my needles.
- Afterward, I was super relaxed and ready to go about my day. No bleeding or pain.
- She also instructed me to take two medicines me two things: Yin Chiao Herbs and a nose spray (that I can’t find the name of).
- If you are experiencing allergies and don’t want to commit to going to an acupuncturist, I would recommend trying the Yin Chiao Herbs first. That may help on it’s own. In fact, I would recommend that everyone buy the herb. They are great to have if you start to feel a cold coming on. Read the reviews on Amazon of how it has helped people.
- I went to four acupuncture sessions over four weeks and I felt 95% healed. After week five, I didn’t need to take Zyrtec or Sudafed. I was feeling great.
- About a month ago I had a really bad allergy attack. The acupuncturist had warned me this would happen (as the seasons changed) and to come in for a quick touch up. She did a little more testing and even got some pollen on the outside of the window to make sure I was cured. I also took the Yin Chia Herbs.
- The first session was about $150. The subsequent sessions were about $40. I spent about $50 on the herbs.
- That’s a grand total of about $360.
- I know that sounds expensive, but this about how expensive (and time consuming) it is to get a sinus infection: you miss work, you have to wait in the doctor, you have to pay for the doctor and you have to pay for prescriptions, it is well worth it. Especially over the years.
How does acupuncture work?
I won’t pretend to know how this works. This is how it works, according to my acupuncturists’ website:
The technique is non-invasive and involves stimulating specific acupuncture points along the spine while the patient holds the allergen. This clears the energy blockage and tells the brain that the allergens have been desensitized.
Doing research about acupuncture it’s clear that the acupuncturist makes all the difference – you need to find the right one that has experience with allergies. For those of you in Dallas/Fort Worth, I can not recommend Kim at Healing Arts Center enough. She’s amazing and has helped hundreds of people with their allergies.
Stay tuned for Part Two, where I’ll discuss some additional ways to get rid of allergies (a must read if you get itchy eyes a lot or wear contacts) and all the strategies that didn’t work.