A LOT! Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very effective at treating all sorts of allergies! I’ve treated many patients (both 2- and 4-legged) with allergies to all sorts of substances: grasses, pollens, pets, foods, etc.
In Chinese medicine, the allergic reaction itself (the stuffy nose, runny eyes or itchy skin) is due to Wind combining with either heat or cold. Now, I know this sounds funny to our Western ear, but hear me out! The term wind simply refers to a condition that comes and goes quickly, moves around, or causes itching. The heat and cold refers to what the symptoms look like. Are your pet’s eyes red and itchy? Is the skin where they itch red and hot? These would be symptoms of heat. Do their eyes just look like they’re crying clear tears? Is the skin where they itch normal colored? These would be signs of cold.
Treatment of allergies has two phases. In the first phase, we are treating the wind-heat or wind-cold directly. We are getting your pet to be symptom-free and comfortable. But treatment can’t stop here. After symptom relief occurs, we move on to the second phase.
In the second phase we are treating the reason WHY your pet has allergies. And this is the key to Chinese medicine. We don’t just treat the symptoms every time you or your pet has them. We get to the bottom of the problem and remind the body how NOT to have the symptoms in the first place!
In Chinese medical theory, some people and pets are what we call Qi deficient – meaning they don’t have enough energy to have a nice, strong immune system that responds properly to allergens. In the second phase of treatment we must strengthen the body so that it can respond properly to whatever challenges it may face.
When the body has enough Qi, and the body is reminded of its functions, we have true health!