I’m here for back pain, but I think I have a cold…can you do anything for that?

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fallallergies

Is it a cold? Do you suffer from chronic allergies? Or is this the first time you have ever been affected by them?

You might be the guy (or gal) who never had a problem before, but in the last few months you’ve noticed a distinct difference in how you’ve been feeling. It might be just a consistent runny nose, or perhaps you are sneezing a lot and it feels somewhat like a cold; but not quite. How about that strange tickle in your throat that appears suddenly and makes you want to cough? Or those, itchy, watery eyes that get more itchy and bleary the more you rub them? If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, then you may be suffering from seasonal allergies.

As we age and our bodies change, it is not uncommon to have allergies develop, even when you’ve never had them before. In particularly wet year (such as 2013), trees and plants produced a bumper crop of pollen that affected many who had previously been unaffected. You feel like you have a cold, and it can be very uncomfortable!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we believe these cold-like symptoms are manifestations of a larger issue. Your body has a special, protective outer layer of Qi that we call “Wei Qi;” similar to the Western concept of the immune system. If your Wei Qi is weakened, you are a likely candidate for allergy symptoms. Treating your symptoms with medications barely holds them at bay, because that type of treatment is merely a bandaid over the underlying issue of weakened Wei Qi.

When treating allergies from a TCM perspective, we look at the problem as both a branch (the symptoms) and root, (the underlying cause of the symptoms) and treat both issues. This is done with acupuncture alone, or by using a combination of acupuncture modalities such as cupping, (cups lightly suctioned on to skin for a short time) gua sha (a treatment designed to draw impurities out of the skin), and Chinese herbal formulas. Addressing the allergies in this manner allows us to correct the root of the problem and strengthen the Wei Qi. This not only lessens symptoms or eliminates them entirely, but strengthens the body so that allergy symptoms don’t re-occur, or are significantly improved in both severity and duration of time endured. Yes, it’s a longer process than just taking your medications when allergies hit you, but certainly a more comprehensive solution than popping allergy pills to mask symptoms for a few hours.
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At Acupuncture Remedies, we are all board-certified in Chinese herbal medicine, and use a myriad of other acupuncture modalities on a daily basis. Many patients come to us with one issue that they’d like to fix (like back pain), and are pleasantly surprised to learn that their other issues (like allergies!) can often be addressed at the same time. If you are already a patient at Acupuncture Remedies, let us know about those other annoying/painful/tiresome issues you’d like to address, and we may be able to help you with those as well.

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We have some time available today (Thursday October 24th) between 2-4pm, or call us on (212) 991 8680 to see what is available in the coming days.

In Good Health! Iris, Kim and Ira