There is no shortage of medicinal solutions for seasonal allergy relief. Store shelves are lined with bottle upon bottle of chemical concoctions that can help to relieve the runny noses and itchy eyes associated with allergies produced from naturally occurring stimuli. However, for many people, using these types of medications can bring about side effects like drowsiness and dry mouth that can be unpleasant, leaving many looking for natural allergy remedies. One of the more popular up and comers is an ancient alternative therapy that is often used for pain relief, acupuncture.
Acupuncture for allergies is not a new fangled idea. In fact, while best known for pain relief, acupuncture is actually used for a wide range of health and even mental ailments. Smokers have kicked the habit thanks to the tiny inserted needles and acupuncture for arthritis and upper back and neck pain is well known as a sometimes successful alternative to other types of treatment. However, the use of acupuncture for allergies is less well studied than the practices’ use in other applications and study groups have been small and exhibited the potential for placebo effect instead of true healing. Existing data on how well acupuncture for allergies works is based on a study group where after treatments, participants documented how much they continued to use their antihistamine medications. The results found that some people who received acupuncture for allergies used their medications less than those that did not. However, that same study found that those who received non-traditional applications of the standard needles also used their medications less, hinting at a potentially placebo effect-like reaction to the treatments. It’s difficult to know then based on this information whether or not acupuncture may be an effective treatment for seasonal and sinus allergies.
Conversely, Whole Body Cryotherapy, a treatment that involves the safe application of incredibly cold temperatures to the exterior of the entire body sans head, has shown some promise in seasonal and pollen allergy symptoms. Cryotherapy is perhaps best known for its role in pain relief and is very popular with athletes, those with muscle injuries and those looking to speed their recovery time following extreme exertion.
The healing and pain relief benefits of cryotherapy have been well documented. But, in terms of providing allergy relief, cryotherapy may be beneficial thanks to what causes allergies in the first place. In some individuals, their immune system sees naturally occurring microscopic particles like pollen as dangerous foreign invaders and sets out to attack them. In those without seasonal allergies, these tiny particles are disregarded as harmless. But, for those with an over alert immune system, the body’s protective defences ramp up into overdrive, producing histamine that triggers allergy symptoms.
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Whole Body Cryotherapy is thought to help stabilize the immune system and prevent it from attacking benign and non dangerous particles that are responsible for the onset of symptoms. Like acupuncture for allergies, cryotherapy also provides other benefits to the body in addition to potential allergy relief. The cold therapy can help to relieve pain from muscle injuries and damage and can help boost sex drive. It may be able to promote weight loss and provide some relief for those suffering from sleep disorders. Arthritis and osteoporosis sufferers have long enjoyed the benefits of cryotherapy, and the chilly cure is also thought to help promote healthier skin, hair and nails.
Cryotherapy is rapidly becoming a popular therapeutic option in the United States, and is spreading outwards to the Canadian metropolis, popping up in the Toronto area and beyond. When used safely and properly in people that are otherwise healthy without known contraindications, it’s free from side effects and a safe procedure.
Comparing acupuncture for allergies to its cold alternative counterpart is challenging due to a lack of scientific data on either option. However, scientific data does exist on the side effects of medications used to treat allergy symptoms, and the writing is on the wall. Alternative treatment options are in high demand for those who don’t want the tiredness and discomfort attributable to over-the-counter and prescription medications. Perhaps a deep freeze and an immune system reboot are just what are needed in order to enjoy the warmth and sun outdoors symptom free, and without the discomfort associated with acupuncture for allergies procedure.