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acupuncture to help with dog and cat allergies

I am considering trying acupuncture along with my current shots and nasal sprays has anyone had good results?

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  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Michelle — while acupuncture or acupressure is not the "traditional" treatment for asthma or dander allergies, I do know that some of our members — @Mandy, I believe, and @Beki – have tried acupuncture. They may be able to weigh in how it helped them.

    The important thing about trying non-traditional treatments is to remember the . My only concern/caution would be for you to make sure your allergist or pulmonologist signs off on something as safe for you to try. 

  • Mandy

    I love love love my acupuncturist. While my medications have not changed,  I have noticed improvements. My nasal passage has not been this open in years! And my intercostal muscles move! I suggest seeing an experienced acupuncturist that has been practicing for a long time or someone who is constantly training to enhance their practice. I have seen inexperienced practitioners in the past and it was not helpful. My mind set seeing her is to help not fix and suprisingly thats her moto too. Having realistic expectations for me is paramount in battling Severe Asthma. Hopefully you find someone who can help you. Good luck!

  • K8sMom2002

    Mandy, good point about realistic expectations. I have a formula for life:

    expectations minus reality = disappointment.

  • Jen

    Michelle  - perhaps your friends and/or your doctor might have some recommendations for someone to see.  

  • K8sMom2002

    Michelle, if you do get the green flag from your doctor to try it, can you keep us posted on how it goes? Other members would like to know things like how you decide which acupuncturist you eventually choose, what you asked your doctor, and how it works out. 

  • Michelle Keen

    I emailed a Dr recommended but did not hear back from her. I am Going to see my Dr today I will ask what they think. It is not covered by my insurance, I will keep you posted! 

  • Mandy

    It's so nice to have a Healthcare provider support you! Hope you find some relief soon.

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, wow! I'm excited to see how it works for you. But I will say that I would find myself a bit nervous about needles! 

    Keep us posted! When do you go for your first appointment?

  • Kathy P

    That's great! Hopefully you can get an appointment and the OOP won't be too terrible b

  • Serene

    I have tried acupuncture for allergies and asthma and found it very relaxing but it didn't help me with my allergies I'm afraid.  =-(

  • Jen

    Serene – Welcome to AAFA's asthma support forum.  How long did you get acupuncture treatments?

  • Serene

    4 times. It was expensive and unfortunately, the Acupuncturist was also an aromatherapist, who loved to diffuse her studio with scent. Even in the scentless room, there was no escape and I'm sensative to aromas and scented products. 

    I had high hopes, but ultimately found it disappointing.

    I do think relaxation is helpful though if asthma has a stress factor. Just didn't work for my allergies. 

     

  • Jen

    I wonder if it would be helpful to try an acupuncturist who doesn't have scents in the studio/office.  Perhaps your doctor has someone they could recommend.

  • Serene

    There aren't that many in my town, and I don't think my doctor supports alternative therapies for allergies I'm afraid.  I think I've given it sufficient try. I may try it sometime in the future, but right now, It did nothing for me except help me relax which was nice.  

  • Jen

    Serene – I hear you and that totally makes sense.  Thank you for sharing your experience. I think it serves as a cautionary tale to ask an acupuncturist is they have scents, aromatherapy, etc in their office.

  • Serene

    Yeah sorry I haven't had a good/positive experience to report on that front. I really wanted it to be helpful.

  • K8sMom2002

    Serene, what an excellent point about checking out an acupuncturist's office or policy on scents before you go. It boggles the mind that a provider would offer services that was supposed to help folks with asthma, but not think about scent as a trigger. 

    It really is a good point to remember when checking out ANY sort of service provider — just a simple, "What's your policy on scents and perfumes?" I can't believe I haven't ever thought to make that a routine question … not just for doctors, but lawyers, accountants, massage therapists (not that I get that done!) etc. 

    You should totally share that over in our  thread!

    Michelle, I hope your experience is a better one than Serene's!

  • Serene

    This acupuncturist believed in the healing power of scent. She said her scents were natural and even other asthmatic patients did not have a problem with it. The first day, she sent me home with a trial bottle of aromatherapy. She wanted me to use it when I felt a breathing episode coming on.

    I sniffed it out of curiousity, it had the usual eucalyptus/mint scent. I can't imagine wearing or putting it on my body as was suggested- it was strong stuff. I don't want to go around smelling like vicks vapor rub.

    In her defense, I never was overcome with asthma while in her studio. I just found it very strong and stuffy and oppressive unless it was warm enough to open the window. It did not improve my condition, and even turning off the diffuser before I visited did not stop the fact the place was permeated with scent. It was like entering bed bath and beyond.

    I am not triggered by all scents, but oppressive odors if I'm already having issues with allergies and breathing aren't helpful to me.

    I will check out the other thread.

     

     

  • K8sMom2002

    Ummm … natural doesn't always equal harmless. And just because other people haven't complained doesn't necessarily mean that they LIKED it or that it HELPED them. It just means they didn't say anything. There's a difference.

    Looking forward to seeing you poke your head into all the various "threads" on our forums — or to seeing you start your own with your own questions, vents and gripes!

  • Mandy

    I agree with Cynthia and would ask that the practitioner not use them next time. If they can't agree to this or think that their oils are not harmful then they are misinformed. Oils can be harmful. I work with numerous individuals that are allergic to many scents/oils/perfumes and it doesn't matter the purity, they still have allergic reactions. I would look into other acupuncturists for sure if the one you see will not comply.

  • Serene

    I agree. Many people think concentrated natural odors aren't harmful. They are wrong.

    In her defense, the acupuncturist  did not use it, when she knew I was coming. But her place was permeated with the scent of essential oils and could be smelled from outside her store. Even switched off, the place reeked. And she didn't take them out, just did not turn them on, so the oil is basically still there marinating.

    I did stand it long enough to give it a try though.

    I may try it again, but a lot of natural remedy places seem to have embraced Aromatherapy where I live. I guess they find it is a good sideline.

    I would try it again with a reputable practitioner in a more clinical environment.

    I would love it to have helped with allergies though.

  • K8sMom2002

    Mandy, you are so right about the purity of something not making it less harmful. It reminds me of my DD's food allergy to corn. I can't tell you how many times people have said, "But this is ORGANIC food." 

    I think your suggestion to look for another provider is a good one. 

    Serene, scents can definitely linger — they get into every crack and crevice, and work their way into drapes and upholstery. I hope if you try it again, you can find a provider who does give you that clinical environment. 

    What other things do you do to help with your allergies? Are you allergic to grasses or molds?

  • Serene

    K8sMom2002:

    I have tried most of the available treatments:

    I am allergic to Eucalyptus, dust, mold, and they say dander according to tests. Whether this is entirely true I am skeptical. I am sure there is more that they had no test for.

    I didn't develop allergies until 4-5 years ago. Prior to that I had no allergic symptoms.

    The big one is DUST according to my allergist which is why I really want the slit pill. I also am hoping they make the Dust Mite injection in my lifetime. As they say they will be able to immunize for that. I hope that will be true and I won't have a reaction. Given that I have reactions to many medications I'm trying to think positive.

    I find the following has helped most (in no particular order).

    1. Neti pot.

    2. Sinus surgery (balloon sinuplasty)

    3. Nasal Steroids and sprays

    4. Self hypnosis

    5. Avoidance.

    I've tried all manner of remedies, otc, and doctor recommended. I'm sure I would have an easier time if I could take antihistamine but I cannot due to being reactive to them.

    There is also a link between asthma and gerd. Which I also have. Avoiding foods that trigger gerd can also help improve my particular symptoms, however this is very difficult to do all the time.

     

     

  • Serene

    No I use it a few times a week when I am symptomatic . I have used it everyday but I found it somewhat drying on the nasal passages especially if I'm also using steroid spray.  

    It is a bit of a balancing act because I breathe better with nasal moisture. So if nose is too dry then I end up having to spray saline in there to compensate. 

  • Kathy P
    Serene posted:

    There is also a link between asthma and gerd. Which I also have. Avoiding foods that trigger gerd can also help improve my particular symptoms, however this is very difficult to do all the time.

    GERD can definitely be a trigger. It's a big one for me. I've been on PPI reflux meds for a while now and it really makes a difference.

    Have you tried other nasal rinse delivery systems besides a neti pot? We've been . If your saline solution is too concentrated (hypertonic), that can be drying.

  • Serene

    Unfortunately, I seem to have a sensitivity to GERD meds and there really are only the two types besides antacids which I can take.. I already have the allergy to antihistamine so the ones that are antihistamine-based, I cannot take, but the others I also can't take. I get a rash and itchy. No doctor can figure it out. It is quite frustrating to be allergic or sensitive to meds commonly used to treat health conditions. I've tried most of them- and they work for the condition, but the side effects are bad.

    In fact my inability to take gerd meds was the main reason I saw an allergist.

    I used to not be this way. I could take antihistamine and gerd meds. But as I've aged body says no thanks, lets get itchy instead!

    I have a hiatal hernia, so gerd is from that. Not much I can do, except the usual, raise the bed, antacids, aloe vera juice avoidance and yeah, lose weight. There is surgery, but I don't want any surgery involving anesthesia unless the condition is life-threatening.

    I try to avoid trigger foods but I admit, I like tomato and decaf coffee and Chocolate are hard to resist, and I have not very great willpower when it comes to food.

    I'll check out the thread.Thanks for letting me know. 

     

  • Kathy P

    That must be frustrating to be limited on what meds you can take. Sounds like you know all the tricks. I also eat a lot of fermented foods with live cultures. I can't prove it helps, but if I slack off, my reflux seems to flare.

  • Serene

    Yes it is. It has helped me be aware though of the need for more personalized medical care and more awareness of how our genetics affect our response to medication. Many meds aren't even tested on women. Unfortunately for me the one-sized fits all medical approach has not worked  and I have fallen  through the cracks when it comes to conventional treatments. This is why I am always hoped for new and improved treatments. Unfortunately gerd treatment hasn't evolved too much and neither has allergy treatment because the current meds seem to help most people- but growing awareness of problems caused by long term use of some of meds may eventually change that- I hope.

  • Kathy P

    A lot of attention is being put on personalized medicine and I hope that it will prove beneficial. I struggle with the one size fits all as well. I've also found it important to find a doc who will listen to me and work with me.

  • Michelle Keen

    Great point about the smells. I am bothered by strong scents and have a huge  problem around candles, my lungs burn and my sinuses gets so stopped, not to mention the asthma symptoms.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • K8sMom2002

    @Michelle Keen, have you been able to try accupuncture? Were you able to find one without candles and incense and aromatherapy? 

  • Michelle Keen

    Yes I did go and she had no smells or anything burning. It was all good she worked on me  twice and said I was good to visit people with animals we will see , Skeptical so I haven't tried it yet.

     

  • Mandy

    I don't blame you on the skepticism. I would be too. Did she tell you why she thought this would be okay now? What was her logic? My acupuncturist explains what she's doing. Maybe yours blocked a histamine response? 

    The jury is out on the needling but I am sold on the cupping. It definitely makes a difference for me. 

    Good luck and let us know what happens if you dare to go out amongst the animals.

  • K8sMom2002

    What does the cupping do for you, Mandy? 

    And Michelle, I totally understand the skepticism. How do you plan on trying that out? Will you talk with your doctor first?

    BTW, dumb question … did it hurt? I mean, after all, it IS needles we're talking about!

  • Mandy

    Cupping gets my lobes and mucous moving. They often fill up and seem to not expand as well. But after a cupping treatment, I feel a huge difference. And I am better able to clear the mucous out. I get needling all over. Some places hurt worse than others. She does a few spots for my sinuses on my face and it totally opened them up. Hurts like **** momentarily but then it subsides. I can't say it has helped with my reaction to animals though.

  • Jen

    @Michelle Keen Have you been to visit anyone with animals yet?

  • Michelle Keen

    Well I was at a home with a dog for maybe 15 minutes and now have a sinus infection  and I am on a steroid pack that is not working. Maybe it is a combo ? weather / spring allergies + dog who knows ?  I am frustrated just had sinus surgery last July. I was thinking positive too! UGH!  Still getting shots every other week too!

  • K8sMom2002

    That IS a bummer! Did you get congested while you were visiting the home with the dog? 

    And yeah, I've seen it happen to me or to my DD that many things contribute to brewing a sinus infection. 

    If the steroid pack isn't helping like you think it should (and it sounds like you'd hoped this would be history), I'd circle back and talk with your doctor. Sometimes doctors think no news = good news and they think everything is going as expected. 

  • Michelle Keen

    I really felt fine but my head just seemed to swell up the next day ! Thank you I will give it a few more days.

  • K8sMom2002

    Michelle, bummer on the delayed reaction. DID the doctor prescribe antibiotics? Or did he think that the steroids would open things up and give your body a chance to fight it on its own?