Allergies and Acupuncture

by Dr. Mary Riggin

CB's husband spoke to me with desperation in his voice. "Is there anything you can do for allergy problems?" he asked, "my wife suffers so badly that she's constantly taking medications and I know those have damaging side effects with long term use." I suggested that she schedule an appointment.

Finally, after weeks of battling schedules and a little bit of fear and apprehension about the idea of acupuncture needles, CB set a time and we had an appointment made.

During her first appointment it became clear that CB's allergy problem wasn't getting any better with medications, and was getting worse over time. What started as a seasonal problem six years ago was now worsening and each season was now running into each other. Since her symptoms were now bothering her continually every day, all year long, CB needed to take the medications every day now, instead of just during certain times of the year, to get some relief.

After our initial consultation, CB decided to give it a try, even though she told me she was extremely needle phobic. I explained that I practiced the "painless" style of acupuncture and had treated many needle phobic patients with great success.

During CB's next visit, we did a comprehensive examination according to Oriental Medicine's principles, which include evaluating the body's energy fields similar to the way a western medical doctor would evaluate the body's chemistry. Both disciplines agree that balance is necessary for optimal health. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine directly balance the body's energy fields to achieve optimal health. When the needles are placed along key energy pathways, they act like a switch that reprograms the body's ability to heal. The result is that your body starts to focus on building up its ability to deal with the problem.

Over the course of several weeks, CB started to feel better, have more energy, handle stress better, experienced improved mood and more stable emotions, has better rotation in her neck and has noticed an overall improvement in her health. Remarkably, she is only using the medications now occasionally as needed, a couple times per month.

How has this changed CB's life? "It's amazing how much better I feel," CB stated with a big smile on her face, "I just can't believe this works so well, and that the needles don't hurt. During the first treatment when you told me 3 were already in, I didn't believe it! I didn't even feel them!" CB is also finding it easier to multi task since the stress is much more manageable.

Dr. Mary Riggin is a licensed acupuncturist (FL) doctor of acupuncture (RI) and clinic director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine in Clearwater, FL. She has been in practice since 1996, served as President of FSOMA and was appointed to the FL State Board of Acupuncture by Gov. Chiles and Gov. Bush. She is a free-lance health writer, conducts natural health classes as a volunteer, produced and hosted the 7-time award winning cable TV program "Health Options" and currently produces and co-hosts Burn Fat Talk Radio every Wednesday at 9PM online and on WTAN 1340AM every Friday at 11PM. She can be reached at (727) 669-6000 or