Monday, November 2, 2009

Breathe Easy with Acupuncture

Whether you are seeking relief from allergies, cold or flu, or sinus infections, acupuncture and East Asian medicine can help you out.

Woman taking deep breath outdoors.
Acupuncture and East Asian medicine can help relieve nasal congestion.

Many of us know how frustrating nasal congestion can be. Seeking alternatives to over-the-counter medicines, we consulted Eric Martin, MS, LAc, resident and clinical supervisor in acupuncture and East Asian medicine at Bastyr Center for Natural Health. He enlightened us about the uses of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for stuffy noses, whether the cause is allergies, sinus infections or colds.

Can acupuncture help clear up nasal congestion?

Absolutely. While it does not work for all patients on every visit, many people walk in with congestion and walk out breathing more freely.

How long does the relief last?

It depends on the severity of the condition and whether there is an underlying imbalance. Sometimes congestion clears up and doesn’t return. Other times relief lasts only a few hours to a few days, because longer-term chronic imbalances can take longer to clear up. A lot of sinus issues are actually linked to digestion, so we focus on treating that and also encouraging patients to avoid foods that aggravate congestion, such as dairy products and processed, greasy, fatty and sugary foods.

At what point during their ailment should people come in?

People can come in any time, even when having acute symptoms, but the best time for treatment is several months before peak allergy season. We can address underlying causes of allergies and hopefully bring about a much reduced set of symptoms when allergy season comes. We can also treat before, during or after cold and flu season if people have a propensity for catching colds.

Are Chinese herbs also effective for this?

Yes, herbs are almost always used on both fronts – treating actual symptoms (for which they are extraordinarily effective)and addressing the underlying condition. Anyone who’s eaten wasabi can see how an herb can have immediate and dramatic effect on the sinuses. Chinese herbs, compared to Western pharmaceuticals, are often more affordable and, in the long term, may provide more satisfactory results because they also address the underlying condition.

To make an appointment with an acupuncture and East Asian medicine team at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, call (206) 834-4100.

FALL 2017
Have questions about a program?
Request information »

More Health Tips

Hibiscus tea, a delightfully refreshing beverage with a tart, berry-like flavor, has demonstrated benefits for individuals with hypertension.

What’s motivating you to be healthy? Is it a spouse, grandchildren, a recent health scare, or a full bucket list to accomplish? Thinking about what motivates you will get you to start living a healthy lifestyle.

A natural way to fight sickness this winter.

Dr. Yang explains how the alternating application of hot and cold can reduce inflammation and promote recovery.

Dr. Shen-Miller offers his expertise on natural methods for coping with election related anxiety.

With the number of Type 2 Diabetes patients quickly rising, it's time to start preventing this disease by changing dietary and exercise habits. Dr. Jennifer Pilon sheds some light on how to prevent this disease naturally.