Acupuncture for Seasonal Allergies

Acupuncture to the Rescue.

Are the sniffles driving you mad? Do your eyes turn red and itchy? Is sinus congestion giving you a headache? Does post nasal drip have you clearing your throat day and night?

Allergens come in many different shapes and forms.

The good news about seasonal allergies is that they’re—well, seasonal. They’re temporary and don’t last all year. The bad news is, when they occur, they can be a right pain to deal with.

Symptoms include:

  • Runny nose and sinus congestion (stuffiness)
  • Watery, itchy, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy nose, throat, or roof of mouth
  • Postnasal drip (mucus running down the back of the throat)
  • Puffy eyes and bruised-like appearance of the skin under the eyes
  • Fatigue, often exacerbated by poor sleep.


  • Tree pollen (common in early spring)
  • Grass pollen (common in late spring and summer)
  • Ragweed pollen (common in fall)
  • Dander from pets (often worse in the wintertime, when the house is closed up and more time is spent indoors)
  • Spores from indoor and outdoor fungi and molds (seasonal or year-round)
  • Dust mite and cockroach droppings (present year-round, and an exacerbating factor to seasonal allergies—the more allergens the body needs to contend with at any given time, the worse the symptoms)

Most common TCM patterns contributing to seasonal allergies:

1. Lung Qi Deficiency:

The lungs open into the mouth and nose, and, as such, have a direct connection to particles we breathe in through the air. In Chinese Medicine, the lungs are considered our first line of defense. Our Wei Qi, or Protective Qi, is closely tied to the quality of the Lung Qi. Think of it as a windscreen when it’s functioning properly, keeping unwanted pathogens at bay. When the Lung Qi or Wei Qi is weakened, intruders can more easily penetrate the outer gates and enter deeper territory, where they’ll wreak greater havoc.

Lung Qi can be strengthened with breathing exercises, Yoga, or Qi Gong, as well as consuming foods that are white in color, including white radish, mushrooms, white yams, and lotus seeds.

To give your lungs an energetic boost, visualize them bathed in a pearly, iridescent white light, dissolving any areas of grayness or impurities.

2. Spleen Qi Deficiency:

The lungs are the receptacle of phlegm, but the spleen is responsible for its production. When functioning optimally, the spleen circulates fluids through the body in a healthy manner. However, when it’s weakened and unable to fully carry out its function, body fluids accumulate and congeal into phlegm, leading to a variety of different ailments. The lungs are where we see allergy symptoms manifest, but a spleen imbalance is often at the root of the issue.

To strengthen the spleen, consume yellow or orange and naturally sweet foods, such as yams, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, dates, apricots, and peaches. Other foods to benefit the spleen include amaranth, oats, millet, poultry, lamb, beef, and venison. Minimize dairy, sugar, flour, and any processed foods.

Visualize your abdomen bathed in a golden light, the color of a wheat field in late summer, to energetically nurture the spleen.

How can acupuncture help with seasonal allergies?

Acupuncture can provide immediate relief for acute allergies. Our patients often report feeling their sinuses clear up as soon as the needles are inserted into their skin. Sneezing diminishes, irritation fades, and headaches are reduced. 

That said, the most benefit is gained with proactive treatment, ideally starting two months before the beginning of your allergy season. Our aim is to strengthen your Lung Qi preventatively, so that your body is better equipped to fend off and process allergens when you’re exposed to them. We also target any underlying and contributing imbalances based on your tongue, pulse, and presenting symptoms.

In addition to acupuncture, we may recommend Chinese herbs. The formulas for allergies usually contain aromatic herbs that open up the airway passages and transform mucus. Furthermore, we may discuss your diet and other lifestyle modifications that can help you feel your best.

Contact us to set up a free consultation with one of our practitioners to learn about how Lokahi can help you with your seasonal allergies.

Angel has been great to work with on releasing tension in my back. This is the first acupuncture experience and she has helped me ease into it. The combination of cupping, scrapping, and acupuncture has worked well for me.

S. H.

The acupuncture has given me such relief from the pain. I was able to sleep again and not feel the excruciating nerve pain. Anne Marie Deas has been so awesome treating my back pain, helping with stress, and overall making me feel better. Lokahi is a great clinic so peaceful and calming inside. I highly recommend Lokahi Acupuncture!!!

A. M.

I’ve had many opportunities to have acupuncture here and in China.  It’s been my experience that to have good results, you need to find someone really good, who knows what they’re doing! In the south bay area, I have not found anyone better than Lokahi acupuncturists!!

K. D.

My experience at Lokahi has helped build a sense of confidence in myself that I can manage my condition and continue to live a very rewarding and pain free life.  If you’re contemplating acupuncture services, I highly recommend Ann Marie, and Lokahi in general, as I’m certain everyone who works there is just as wonderful given the reviews I read.

K. S.

I’ve been going to lokahi and to Angel a number of times for athletic muscular soreness, some joint pain, deep painful knots etc. I used to visit a chiro and sometimes that worked but was always painful during and many days after. Acupuncture doesn’t hurt and Angel has excellent touch. I don’t know how acupuncture works but it works so I keep going. Highly recommended.

Y. U.

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