Acupuncturist Questions Allergies

How does acupuncture help relieve allergy symptoms?

I heard online that acupuncture can help people with their seasonal allergies, and I want to try it. How does acupuncture really help those with allergies?

14 Answers

Seasonal allergies are a very common complaint in our clinic. The best way to avoid seasonal allergies is to treat before it occurs, meaning, treat before the season starts.

Be well, be confident, we can help.
Yes absolutely. Eastern medicine is based on a system of meridians that run in and out of organs and up and the body and limbs. By activating certain points indicated for certain patterns of illness, the organ function can be improved. Allergies, for instance, have much to do with the lungs and their energy.
Acupuncture works in a multitude of ways to help people with seasonal and environmental allergies.
-We look at the overall picture and health of a patient to determine what unique pattern / cause is resulting in you experiencing allergies in order to address it.
-Acupuncture helps improve the digestive system, which is one of the biggest sources of our immune system - faulty digestion = many issues, including allergies, so by improving the digestive system and protecting the tissues we can address the root cause of allergies.
-Acupuncture also helps protect the liver and helps it to be more efficient and work effectively, this can also include improving the quality of bile in the liver / gall bladder system. The Liver is responsible for processing histamines (histamines are what make us feel allergy symptoms), so by benefitting the liver we improve its function and help allergies.
-Acupuncture also helps boost the adrenal system and lessen the effects of stress on the body. Simply put, a stressed body (which is almost everyone in the modern age) isn't going to be working as well as it should, so supporting that system can help our body naturally process allergens without the symptoms.
-Acupuncture also helps benefit the sinuses and nasal passages which are of course directly related to allergy symptoms, we can help relieve congestion and sometimes decrease sneezing, mucous etc.
-Acupuncturists are also trained herbalist (depending where you're located) and there are plenty of herbal formulas and supplements that can also help allergies.

Overall, acupuncture helps treat allergies by treating the underlying physical weaknesses or dysfunctions that contribute to our bodies poorly processing histamines. The sooner you get treatments (like before allergy season starts) the more effective the treatments will be, because it does take some time to get the body to make changes in that way.
I can't tell you how acupuncture works - I spent 4 years in medical school to learn about it. But it can help, as can herbal formulas and lifestyle changes.
Because acupuncture can enhance immunity.
Hi there!

Acupuncture helps tremendously with seasonal allergies. Acupuncture is about creating balance in the body. When you have allergies, there is something within your body that is not balanced. In Chinese medicine, the organs have many correspondences. Lung is the organ associated with seasonal allergies. I would tonify and nourish the lungs and feel your pulse and look at your tongue to see if there are any other things we have to target to create that homeostasis.

Brooke Zanni
Acupuncture helps by decreasing the chemical histamine in your blood that rises when your body being to detects foreign allergens. Allergens are substance or chemicals such as pollen, dust, and environmental toxins that trigger an allergic response.
Acupuncture helps relieve allergies by increasing the bodies immunity and adaptogenus abilities. It also can help by increasing the detoxification abilities.
We understand allergies very differently than western medicine, but we attack from both sides. To us, allergies indicate that you may be rejecting your environment or you may be resistant to change. So, we work to correct your immune system and stop the symptoms, but also to change how you interact with your environment and support you to move through changes of the seasons and throughout your life.
It depends on the type of treatment they are giving you. If you get something just to relieve the allergy symptoms it helps by boosting your immune system, strengthening lung function, etc. If you get an allergy "elimination" treatment - which is done by people trained for it - it helps eliminate the allergy completely so it doesn't return.

This is done by basically reprogramming your central nervous system into accepting the allergen as "safe" instead of as "dangerous". We get allergies when a protein enters the blood and white blood cells tag it as "dangerous" so even if it really isn't dangerous the body goes haywire when it comes in contact with the substance. The elimination treatment stimulates the nervous system as it introduces the substance so the body so the body will accept it again. An acupuncture version of "turn it off and on again so it reboots with the new program".

Find a Licensed Acupuncturist who does NAET treatments with acupuncture for the elimination. For general relief, any Licensed Acupuncturist should be able to help.

Good luck.
Using specific points to help stimulate the injure system and prescribing a Chinese herbal formula.
Acupuncture has an impact on the nervous and immune systems. Acupuncture treatment aims to regulate the Liver and stimulate the energy of the Lung helps the body adapt to the environment. Weakness of the Lung and Liver causing allergic reactions.
Acupuncture triggers histamines in the body and then the body releases antihistamines to respond to the trigger. Acupuncture also produces anti-inflammatory effects right away. You will feel instant relief after needles in the skin. In my experience in 34 years of doing it, nothing can open your nose as acupuncture does. Do not take my words. You must try it to believe it. Amazing!
Good question. We've had several well designed studies, particularly this one from Germany (, showing acupuncture does a good job of providing relief from seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, this is one of those places where the exact mechanism of action is still largely unknown.

The German study referenced above hinted at the fact that acupuncture may be regulating certain cytokines and reducing IgE. Cytokine is kind of a catch all term for substances secreted by the immune system. IgE is an anti-body produced by the immune system and is typically elevated in people who suffer from seasonal allergy.

Since allergy and allergic reaction are, more or less, an out of control or out of proportion immune response, it appears that acupuncture is somehow calming the immune system so the response is more moderate.

Acupuncture performed by a state licensed graduate of Chinese medical school is generally safe and can be very effective in the treatment of a wide variety of health issues - including allergies.