Acupuncture for Allergies

I am a 49 year old female. I am a school teacher. I had been “cold” all of my life.  My hands and feet were cold nearly all of the time and the rest of me was uncomfortably cold more and more, especially during the winter.  I developed allergies as an adult.  At first they were seasonal, then they became progressively worse over time.  I was beginning to feel like antihistamines and decongestants were a “food group” because I was to a point where I took them daily all year round.  I had other random, occasional symptoms (like fatigue, hand shaking, or muscle cramps) that didn’t really seem to fit a diagnosis, but were annoying nonetheless. 

I had seen my medical doctor regularly all of my life and was (in his words, as he introduced me to an intern in his office one year) “disgustingly healthy”.  Other than to diagnose the allergies, I pretty much just went once per year for the check up and the usual recommended screenings for my gender and family health history.  I’ve always maintained a healthy weight and been physically active.  With no obvious illness or disease process, it didn’t make sense to me that I should be colder and colder with more and more allergy symptoms.  We even tested my thyroid for the cold and occasional fatigue – not the issue. 

Taking the decongestants was really bothering me.  I have a family history of heart issues and most decongestants affect the heart.  I just kept thinking that there had to be something I could do to help myself take fewer pills and be warmer.  I didn’t feel “sick”; I was just sick of feeling cold and taking pills.  I’ve always believed that each type of treatment has its place, but prevention is best if possible.  Neither the medical doctor, nor the chiropractor or massage therapist had answers for these seemingly unrelated issues.  I thought they had to be related somehow because every system in the body is affected by the other, but didn’t know how.

I was talking about all of this one day during a massage, and the massage therapist wondered if Chinese Medicine would be helpful.  He knew of Evergreen Wellness Center and mentioned it.  I went to the EWC website to see what I thought.  The site spoke about the body as an interconnected whole and even mentioned that sometimes seemingly unrelated symptoms could be treated by their methods.  That was exactly what I was hoping to hear.  I called for an appointment.

Dr. Gong had no trouble whatsoever diagnosing my problem (yang deficiency) and recommending treatment.  I received acupuncture and herbs at that first appointment, and continued with both for a few weeks.  This was early in 2008.  Although it was a bit of a challenge schedule-wise to get there more than once per week from out of town, it was well worth the effort.  Since the summer of 2008 I have probably taken only a dozen antihistamines and no decongestants, and I’m not nearly as cold.  I have concluded that I will never be as warm as normal people, but at least I don’t have to dress in layers even during the summer any more.

After that successful resolution to something that had bothered me for many years, I decided to continue receiving acupuncture for other things as well.  There is a tremendous amount of heart disease and diabetes in my family and I would like to do everything I can to prevent or put off those things for myself.  So far I have had no symptoms of either and believe that the quality of my life/health has been positively impacted by the TCM treatment I have received.  I will continue with all forms of health care.

Submitted by:          Pam R., November 30, 2010

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