Using integrative medicine therapies to fight allergy symptoms

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Dr. Edith Liu, an internal medicine physician with Avera, said using aromatherapy or acupuncture can help relieve some allergy symptoms. She said the most common symptoms she has seen from patients are itchy and watery eyes, a stuffy nose, sneezing, an itchy face and sometimes even a rash.

She said the earliest time this year that she saw a patient with these symptoms is February. Allergies will likely last in South Dakota until the snow falls.

Dr. Liu suggests using aromatherapy or essential oils to help relieve some of those symptoms. These treatments can be used along with a medication or by themselves depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Using essential oils with the scents of eucalyptus, peppermint, clove and chamomile can especially help relieve symptoms. Smelling the essential oils can help with inflammation, relaxation and help balance the body. Spraying the oils on a lava rock in a necklace or in a bracelet can be a subtle way of using essential oils.

Acupuncture can also help relieve allergy symptoms instead of taking medicine or using it as a supplement to a drug. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine. Allergies can be an issue because of wind, which the Chinese culture believes can be relieved through acupuncture. The body has meridian points where the needle needs to be stuck into for the acupuncture to work. The idea is that the needle releases the wind from the body that is causing the allergy symptoms. Needles are stuck on the face to relieve watery eyes, an itchy nose and sneezing.