By Catherine Cusumano

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE HELP WITH SEASONAL ALLERGIES? Seasonal allergies are, very simply, an over-reaction of histamines to a stimulant like grass or tree pollen. Anti-histamines work by blocking the response; some work better than others because they block more kinds of histamine responses. An allergy response is an imbalance. The meridians involved in typical Spring and Summer allergies are Spleen, Kidney & Liver.

One principal in Chinese medicine is that if the Spleen energy is out of balance we have difficulty holding things up and in and we don’t transform and transport dampness or moisture. Examples would be runny nose, runny eyes, digestive irritation like diarrhea and heavier than usual menstrual bleeding. When we tonify the Spleen we are lifting the Yin (feminine) energy and helping to transform and transport dampness in the body. When the dampness is balanced our sinuses are drier as are our eyes and bowel movements. Our cycles are lighter because our internal moisture is balanced; we feel less bloated.

The Kidney meridian, in Chinese medicine is about tapping into our prenatal energy, what we inherited from our parents. If you had a parent with seasonal allergies, you will likely have them. It also boosts the immune system which has a balancing effect overall. The Kidney also keeps us grounded and in touch with our unconscious response to the change of the season. When our heads are stuffy and runny and we’re sneezing our focus becomes centered on our heads and faces.

Balancing Kidney energy helps to ground us in our bodies where our shifted focus will de-emphasize the allergy response thus reducing it energetically. It will harmonize us with the change of season and our body’s will rebel less intensely.

Here’s an analogy for Liver energy. Think of a blade of grass pushing itself through a crack in the pavement during Spring. Think about how much energy it takes for a that little blade of grass to find a crack big enough and push itself up and through to get to the Sun. The emotion associated with Liver is anger; the sound, shouting. The Liver is the architect of our plans to change jobs, homes, relationships, fashions choices. The Liver is bold and overwhelming. Much like seasonal allergies.

By balancing Liver energy the histamine over-reaction is tempered. The overwhelming response to the explosion of pollen, grass and mold, after months of not dealing with it, is reined in and redistributed. The powerful Liver energy can help you thrive and move through the season with determination and grace.

For more information or to book an appointment, visit:

Catherine  Cusumano has been practicing acupuncture since 2004 and treats everything from acid reflux to migraines to insomnia. She received a Master of Science in Acupuncture in New York where she studied Traditional Chine Medicine, Japanese and trigger point release style acupuncture.