Austin and central Texas are well known for an abundance of allergy producing pollens and mold spores. The most common reactions to airborne allergens include stuffy nose, red or irritated eyes, throat irritation, cough and possibly a low-grade fever. These occur FIRST, and usually seasonally, when allergic reactions begin.
Most people will realize what they are reacting to because there are clearly defined SEASONS when the most common and the most powerful pollens occur.
Major Allergy Seasons in Central Texas
Cedar fever – late December/early January through February
Trees like oak, elm and ash – spring
Grass pollens – March to October
Ragweed – August, peaking around October 1st to mid November
Mold spores – these grow year-round especially when there is moderate to high humidity and the temperature is just about like you would like it…70-80 degrees.
Allergies vs. a cold?
Cold viruses generally last five days, induce a fever MUCH higher than a low-grade allergy fever, and the mucus from a cold virus explodes forward (think of boxes and boxes of Kleenex for a bright red, drippy nose). Since allergy mucus drains down the throat, not out the front, there is a lot of throat clearing. Allergies last several weeks or the length of the pollen season.
In search of relief, allergy sufferers turn to a variety of treatments such as symptom suppression (steroids, decongestants, antihistamines, etc.) or desensitization therapy (allergy shots).
Unfortunately, conventional allergy treatments often result in unwanted drowsiness and suppression of the immune system, leading to increased susceptibility to bacterial and viral infection.
Effective Allergy Relief without Side Effects
Acupuncture, combined with Oriental herbal medicine, offers a particularly effective way to treat allergies, addressing the root cause and eliminating or reducing allergic symptoms. Acupuncture has no side effects and if combined with dietary modification and herbal formulas, can provide a safe and successful treatment program for allergy sufferers.
While conventional treatment generally focuses on reducing symptoms, acupuncture and Oriental medicine focuses on addressing the root cause, treating the whole person and strengthening the immune system.
A strong immune system sets a foundation for long-term health and can reduce the frequency and severity of future allergic responses. The immune system is the body’s natural defense system, protecting against infection and vital to the body’s ability to heal. An efficient immune system is the key to lasting health.
Suggested Treatment Plan for Airborne Allergens
While acupuncture and herbal medicine can help you at any time, ideally we recommend two treatments a week for 3-4 weeks prior to the beginning of your airborne allergen season. For example, cedar fever usually kicks in around the end of December so treatment should begin in early December. Remember it is way easier to prevent than it is to treat.
Following the 6-8 preventive sessions, we suggest you taper off to a less frequent ‘immune system tune up’ schedule, perhaps once a month.
From herbal decongestants, with no side effects, to herbal products that will build up your immune system, we offer relief that won’t make you feel wired or tired. We also carry several excellent products that specifically target our local trees, grasses and weeds.
To learn more about how acupuncture can provide relief from allergies, please contact us with your questions.