Updated: Aug 8, 2022
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology predicts that worldwide, allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies) affects up to 30% of the population. That is approximately 2400000000 people. Allergic rhinitis is also called “hay fever” and can produce cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure.
Western medicine has a plethora of pharmaceuticals they prescribe to children and adults to help with these symptoms. But those who take these drugs know they are not a cure, only a band aid to mask the symptoms they are experiencing. Western medicine is intelligent, and when a symptom or disease becomes prevalent, they develop a drug to make specific symptoms dissipate. But do their drugs really target the underlying root cause of the symptom, or is it a 1.27 trillion dollar industry that creates mass consumers to buy their drugs for temporary relief?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergic rhinitis differently. A study published on July 29, 2012 in the Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine Journal, breaks allergic rhinitis down into 23 different patterns (20 deficiency and 3 excess). That means 23 different treatment protocols depending on the internal conditions within that particular patient. This view of allergic rhinitis and its treatment protocol is a lot different from the Western view of 1 pill (nasal spray, inhaler, etc.) for one condition.
Through clinical trials, Acupuncture has shown to have a positive effect on the cytokine profile (cells of the immune system) directly after treatment. And herbal formulas such as Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang and Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Tang have had profound effects on the underlying root problem for the majority of allergic rhinitis cases - deficiency. With this knowledge of TCM protocol, let's remember Western Medicine’s first line of defense for allergic rhinitis is often corticosteroids. These drugs are known to weaken the immune system to reduce the symptoms produced by it (symptoms such as running nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure). A study done in 2013 also linked long-term corticosteroid use osteoporosis and diabetes later in life.
Humans are conditioned to enjoy instant gratification, that being said, Traditional Chinese Medicine might not work as quickly as popping a pill or inhaling a steroid, but practitioners base their treatment protocol on treating the underlying root cause. At Botanical Point we believe in assessing the internal harmony of each individual and treating the person, not the symptom. Taking the time to tailor treatments to each client is how we approach the path to healing.
Yang, S., Chen, H., Lin, Y., & Chen, Y. (2012). The exploration of disease pattern, zheng, for differentiation of allergic rhinitis in traditional chinese medicine practice. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 521780. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/521780
Hauswald, B., & Yarin, Y. M. (2014). Acupuncture in allergic rhinitis: A Mini-Review. Allergo journal international, 23(4), 115–119. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40629-014-0015-3
Aasbjerg, K., Torp-Pedersen, C., Allan Vaag, & Vibeke Backer. (n.d.). Treating allergic rhinitis with depot-steroid injections increase risk of osteoporosis and diabetes. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2013.09.007 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2013.09.007