Goodbye, Hay Fever: The Benefits of Acupuncture for Allergic Rhinitis

allergic rhinitis
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Undergoing acupuncture for allergic rhinitis may not be the usual way to deal with seasonal allergies, but it’s certainly worth considering. For one thing, not only can it help you deal with allergic reactions, but it can also restore the balance of your health in general. Thus, clear sinuses aren’t the only thing you’ll be able to get out of acupuncture.


The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic can help you with a myriad of issues and health problems, including allergic rhinitis. The fact that acupuncture can help people deal with allergies may be surprising, but scientific research has found that acupuncture can indeed help resolve allergies at the source and even decrease your reliance on antihistamines.



What is allergic rhinitis?

Do you, without fail, get a runny nose and other symptoms that resemble the cold in certain times of the year? If your answer is yes, then you’re likely suffering from allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is actually somewhat common, affecting up to 60 million Americans. It refers to a group of symptoms that act up when you breathe in certain allergens like pollen, dust, or animal dander.


There are medications that can help manage these symptoms and effects, but these medications also have some side effects. However, acupuncture for allergic rhinitis is also a viable option. It’s an all-natural and low-risk way to manage these allergy symptoms and reap other health benefits as well.



Symptoms and triggers

Allergic rhinitis manifests in symptoms such as a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy ears, itchy mouth, fatigue, watery or itchy eyes, a headache, and sneezing. You may also experience wheezing, a tightness in your chest, or shortness of breath if you happen to also have asthma.


It may feel like allergic rhinitis is somewhat similar to the cold, but while the cold only lasts up to two weeks, the effects of allergic rhinitis can last for months.


At the heart of allergic reactions, we have the body having an immune response to things that are usually harmless. For example, in the case of allergic rhinitis, the body’s immune response is triggered by irritants such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, cigarette smoke, laundry detergent, and strong odors.



Types of allergic rhinitis

Those with allergic rhinitis can experience two types: seasonal rhinitis and perennial rhinitis. Seasonal rhinitis means that you’ll likely experience symptoms in the spring, summer, or fall, with the worst of the symptoms occurring sometime between May and September. Triggers for seasonal rhinitis are pollen or mold spores.


When it comes to perennial rhinitis, however, there isn’t really a time frame. Symptoms can be triggered all year long, regardless of the season. Triggers can also include dust mites, pet dander, mold, and even cockroaches.


acupuncture for allergic rhinitis
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Acupuncture for allergic rhinitis

It may be easier to list the things that acupuncture can’t do instead of the things that it can. Acupuncture is known for being able to benefit health holistically, but its specific benefits may be surprising at times.


People usually deal with allergic rhinitis by taking antihistamines, nasal sprays, or decongestants. While these medications are generally safe, they may have inconvenient or undesirable side effects, such as drowsiness. Acupuncture, however, may be more time-consuming, but it has a low risk of side effects. It can also have more benefits other than providing a solution to the specific problem you have at the moment.



The basics of acupuncture

People have been practicing acupuncture for thousands of years. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture is meant to restore the balance in a person’s life force, or qi (pronounced “chee”). According to TCM’s age-old principles, when the flow of qi is disrupted, it results in an illness. The insertion of fine needles into the necessary acupuncture points pushes qi back into its normal flow.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can take full advantage of this millennia-old practice. Our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine. She also has years of experience in acupuncture and other TCM treatments. With her as your Licensed Acupuncturist, you’ll have a far better chance to overcome the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and many other health conditions.



How it works

Though TCM and Western medicine have very different principles and ways of looking at the world, they’re not mutually exclusive. In fact, various studies have shown that Western medicine and acupuncture in particular can complement each other quite well. This is true in terms of treating allergic rhinitis as well.


There is evidence that acupuncture for allergic rhinitis can be quite effective. Research has shown that acupuncture can suppress the production of the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE). This antibody is involved in the body’s hypersensitivity to otherwise harmless things, which is basically what an allergy is. According to the research, acupuncture can help decrease your sensitivity to dust mites, which can be good for those with perennial allergic rhinitis.



Acupuncture vs antihistamines

There is also evidence that acupuncture can possibly be more effective than antihistamines. It can also possibly reduce the need for medication during allergy season. This means that acupuncture can help improve the quality of life for those with seasonal allergic rhinitis and reduce their reliance on antihistamines and other types of medication.


Of course, you can choose to use antihistamines and undergo acupuncture, since the two are not mutually exclusive. You may still need to use antihistamines once in a while, but perhaps not as often as you would during allergy season.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been serving the Santa Barbara area since 1986, when the clinic was founded by Dr. Jean Yu. Our current owner, Tram, took over the clinic in 2016 and has been continuing SBHC’s work in providing holistic and all-natural care for Santa Barbara’s residents. She can also provide you with acupuncture for allergic rhinitis.


If you want to book an appointment with the clinic, you can call us at 805-563-0222. You can also email us at The clinic is open from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5:30pm. You can come in during these hours, or you can also have a consultation with Tram over the phone or via video call. Start your journey to holistic health with the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic today!