Conditions & Treatment

Acupuncture, the Secret Weapon Against Allergies

Kristen Sparrow • September 09, 2020

My Story

I had allergies my whole life and had to leave my Anesthesiology career because of them. During my Acupuncture training, I had two series of Acupuncture treatments for my allergies which included atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. I was amazed when my allergies disappeared.*  Acupuncture has been so valuable to me and my family that I made it my career. Over the years I’ve developed my own protocols to help patients with allergies, and have become fascinated with the science behind it.

*Results can vary from person to person

The Science

Recent guidelines from the Taskforce on Allergies from the Society for Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists recommend acupuncture for patients who desire or require natural treatment for allergies. One of my patients says,

After just the first few treatments, I have been able to take no pills and still go comfortably to homes of friends with cats and dogs. After a year, it’s even better.”*

*results, as with all aspects of medicine, vary from patient to patient

Read his full testimonial here. Or read a recent blog post with additional information.

Call me  415-775-0117 or email me at  We can discuss how and if I can help you. I will do my best to fit you in for an appointment.  I know you have better things to do with your time than spend it in a doctor’s office, so I promise you to be punctual, efficient, and attentive. How great is that!

Doesn’t this take a lot of time? How long are the appointments?

I treat a  broad spectrum of people from CEO’s, to retirees, to new mothers, to entrepreneurs. They actually look forward to the relaxation, time out, and respite that the treatment affords them. They can bring up any new issues, pains, or health issues and we can address them then and there and nip problems in the bud before they develop into something more serious. They see the treatments as a way to ward off problems and keep them calm, balanced, and productive.

Do I have to keep having acupuncture treatment for the rest of my life?

It depends. Sometimes people are fine after a treatment series and I never see them again. Once I was treated and my allergies went away, I needed no more specific allergy acupuncture treatment. I do take herbal supplements for health and anti-aging also.

Is there any evidence that acupuncture helps allergy?

An Australian study¹ found that acupuncture was effective for persistent allergic rhinitis. The study divided the study population into 2 groups. One received real acupuncture, and one received “fake” or sham acupuncture. They were treated twice weekly for 8 weeks, then followed up for another 12 weeks. Nasal obstruction, sneezing, rhinorrhea, and nasal itch were each self-assessed daily on a 5-point scale, and scores were aggregated weekly. The total scores for the real acupuncture group were better by far than the sham acupuncture group at the end of the treatment weeks as well as after the follow-up period.

There is much interplay in the human body between the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. Cytokines, including IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, and TNF-alpha, are important mediators of the immune response and play a key role in the diseases by acting on inflammatory immune cells, neuronal cells, muscle cells, and vessel cells. Interestingly, some cytokines (e.g. TNF-alpha, IL-2, TGF-beta) are also able to regulate synaptic plasticity and affect CNS functions. The neurotrophins and cytokines release in response to various stimuli, such as electronic stimulation, or inflammation. This crosstalk from PNS to CNS is involved in the pathophysiology of many human diseases and may contribute to the effects of acupuncture.

There is also experimental evidence³ that the electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve inhibits macrophage activation and the production of TNF, IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-18, and other proinflammatory cytokines. The systemic anti-inflammatory actions of traditional and electro-acupuncture are directly or indirectly mediated by the efferent vagus nerve activation and inflammatory macrophage deactivation.[/expand]

For a study on acupuncture and eczema, please click here.
Call (415) 775-0117 to schedule an appointment.