Allergies are excessive adverse reaction to certain substances a person is exposed to by skin contact, inhalation, ingestion or injection. Hay fever, bronchial asthma, angioneurotic edema, anaphylactic shock, many skin rashes and some cases of nausea and vomiting are allergic reactions. Even some cases of arthritis are thought to have an allergic component.
Most people with allergy problems are allergic to so many different substances that it is impossible to avoid contact with all of them. Such common allergens as dust and pollen cannot be completely avoided, but allergic reactions to these are usually much less severe than allergic reaction to drugs. Any drug is a potential allergen which may produce a life-threatening allergic reaction. Even antihistamines produce severe allergic reactions for some people.
No one is allergic to acupuncture, because no chemical is injected into the body. Acupuncture can reduce a person's allergic responses to most common allergens. It can also be used as an alternative to potentially allergenic drugs for relieving pain and treating many diseases. Acupuncture, however, should not be depended on as the only treatment for severe allergic reactions to drugs and anaphylactic shock. A person should not take a drug he knows he's allergic to expecting that acupuncture will prevent the allergic reaction. A person who has been taking desensitizing injections can usually discontinue them after a course of acupuncture treatments. If a patient has been taking cortisone or its derivatives over a long period of time as treatment for allergy, however, he should be advised to reduce this medication very slowly no matter how effective the acupuncture treatments are. The physiological dependence on such drugs is so serious that a life-threatening adrenal crisis could result from abrupt withdrawal. Vitamin C 3 grams and Pantothenate 300 mg. daily should be taken to help restore function of the patient's adrenal glands after suppression by corticoid therapy.
Acupuncture can often relieve such allergic symptoms as nasal congestion and wheezing during the first treatment. At least six to ten treatments, however, should be given for lasting relief of allergic symptoms. Many patients treated by acupuncture for allergies have remained symptom free for years after one course of acupuncture treatments. Others have required supplementary treatments every few months or once a year.
1. Body acupuncture
Modification: For exogenous pathogenic wind syn-drome, Dazhui (GV 14) and Fengchi (GB 20) are added; for accumulation of heat in the stomach and intestines, Zhongwan (CV 12) and Zusanli (ST 36) are added; for nausea and vomiting, Neiguan (PC 6) is added; for ab-dominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, Tianshu (ST 25) is added.
Performance: Reducing needling technique is used and Weizhong (BL 40) can be pricked for bloodletting.
2. Ear acupuncture
Performance: Each time 2 - 3 acupoints are selected, medium and strong stimulation is required. The needles are retained for 30 minutes and the needling is done once a day.