Acupuncture for Allergies

Fall allergy season is coming on soon. So this month I’m focusing on allergies, but not just the typical ragweed and seasonal allergies. Have you heard of the Alpha Gal Allergy or Alpha Gal Syndrome?

You may have recently seen in the news that the Centers for Disease Control published a report regarding Alpha Gal , an allergy to mammal meats caused by a tick bite from the lone star tick. It is now considered one of the top 10 allergies in the U.S. and these ticks are very prevalent in our area. The most common symptom is an allergic reaction that happens several hours after ingesting beef, pork, lamb, venison (any meat from a mammal), and sometimes dairy or mammal by-products. This reaction can range from minor to severe. For some it’s digestive with abdominal cramping and diarrhea, and for others it can be full on anaphylaxis. Either way, let me just say that you don’t want it! I have had it and it not only limits your diet, but for some it limits social activities like dining out or cooking out with friends.

Why do I mention this? Because I treat I treat patients with this allergy frequently and am only one of 3 acupuncturists in Georgia that offers this treatment. I’ve also heard from talking with my patients (and the above mentioned CDC report) that many medical professionals are unfamiliar with it, so I’m on a mission to educate others about it. I’ve learned the hard way that many medications and food products contain mammal by-products (gelatin and glycerin, for example), and this allergy can trigger or exacerbate other allergies. I had numerous anaphylactic reactions before I knew what was going on, and even got an ambulance ride to the ER because of it.

The way I treat allergies is a little different from “regular” acupuncture. I treat allergies using a method called Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment or SAAT which uses very tiny needles (about 3mm) in the ear that are left in place for 3-4 weeks. What? 3 weeks?! Yep, but not to worry, you will hardly even know they are there. The needle lies flat in your ear and is covered by a small bandaid to hold it in place.

There are just 2 things you need to do. 1) keep it dry and keep your fingers out of your ear. I’ll give you a little cover you can put over your ear to help keep it dry in the shower, and you’ll have to do the rest. 2) stay away from the things we are treating for. If we are treating a food allergy, that’s pretty easy, but what if it’s an allergy to your dog or cat? We know you aren’t giving away your dog or cat for 3 weeks, so you’ll just have to do the best you can. Same with other environmental allergies. That’s it. 3-4 weeks later (and many times not even that long) and you’ll see a significant difference.

I’ve treated environmental allergies, food allergies and lots more using this method, even for those who have anaphylactic allergic reactions like some people with Alpha Gal, nut allergies or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.

Want to know more? Check our website. Have a specific question about it? Give us a call.