Allergies, Asthma & Histamine

Boston Chinese Acupuncturists have been treating many patients with allergies for the past 16 years. Our acupuncturist has been trying to find out what is the root cause of allergies and asthma for each patient. Once the root cause was addressed, patients can get rid of the asthma and allergy with 12 to 24 acupuncture treatments and they do not have to have acupuncture and herbal treatment for the long run. Patients only need to come back when they have new stress and their immune function is out of balance due to the stress and other changes in the environment and their own bodies.

Why stress and indigestion can aggravate the allergy symptoms?

Chronic stress can compromise our immune function, which can lead to all kinds of diseases getting worse. I.J. Elenkov et al. at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, localized a corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This hormone stimulates the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol to fight stress. In humans, CRH is found in the inflamed tissues of patients with severe autoimmune diseases. These researchers demonstrated that CRH activates mast cells, leading to the release of histamine, which ends in fluid leaking from blood vessels. Thus, the activation of the stress system through the direct and indirect effects of CRH may influence the susceptibility of an individual to certain autoimmune diseases, allergies, infection, or even cancer.

In Chinese medicine, every kind of disease can be linked with indigestion. When our digestion is not optimized, the food cannot be processed properly, thus the minerals, protein and good fat can become toxin to trigger immune reactions. In order to avoid an early onset of allergies, parents should feed children homemade foods as much as they can, especially when they are sick and have weak digestive functions. Parents should also try to avoid feeding children barbecued meat because well-cooked meat has a much smaller chance of inducing food allergies. Parents should start baby food as early as 6 months of age to raise a healthy child. We should avoid long-term use of antibiotics because antibiotics can damage our digestive system. Drinking alcohol every day, even just one glass can inflame your stomach and intestinal membrane. In order to improve your digestion, you need to eat 80% full for each meal; do not drink too much water while you are eating; try to drink water 30 min before you are eating. Apple cider vinegar helps the stomach digest food more efficiently, thus it can help reduce allergy symptoms.

Here is a good example how acupuncture can help a patient to resume her normal life.

Mary was born in Needham and has had a typical American diet since she was 3 years old. She was a very muscular lady until she finished college in Boston, Massachusetts. During the 4 years of college study in Boston University, she had been indulged in cakes, ice cream and cookies while she was stressing out with home work and social activities. The high sugar and high salt diet became her temporary stress reliever. She started having a lot of phlegm in her throat and post nasal drip. Every winter she had attacks of bronchitis and sinusitis, because the weather in Boston had been changing so much. The repetitive infection in her respiratory system led to inflammation in her throat and bronchi. By the time she graduated from Boston University and found a decent job in a Wellesley company, she had to use an inhaler every day in order to breathe normally. She continues to work hard and enjoys her high sugar and high salt diet, which makes her happy for a short period of the time. She got married to a successful man who works in a financial company in Weston. Soon they bought a big house in Westwood and started a rich suburban life. By the age of 40, she was 30 lbs overweight with a double chin and had to take 4 medications to control her allergy and asthma. When she turned 46, she could not sleep well any more, and she experienced breathing difficulties when she fell into a deep sleep, which made her jump out of bed sometimes. She finally decided to quit her job in the Wellesley Company and devote more time to take care of her two children and her own health in her Westwood home.

When she first came to Boston Chinese Acupuncture Clinic in Needham, the acupuncturist told her in order to reduce the chronic inflammation in her trachea and lung; she needs to cut out all processed food. She started cooking more with low salt and sugar, and eating more fruit and vegetables. At the mean time, she has acupuncture twice a week to balance her immune function and clear up the phlegm in her throat. Furthermore, the acupuncture in Needham clinic helps her reduce the stress while she was making all the life style changes. After 3 months of acupuncture treatment, she was able to stop using the inhaler and lost 10 lbs.

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