Personal stories of how acupuncture can help with pet allergies!
I can only imagine how miraculous this would feel. Cuddling up to your pet after being told that would likely never be a reality for you.
I was blown away during one of my recent visits to Park Integrative Health when I learned how acupuncture treatments can essentially bring people out of pet allergies! A few members of the PIH team have kindly shared how this all works, along with some personal experiences (and a special story about a boy and his cat).
How Acupuncture Helps With Pet Allergies
Ashley Chisholm, Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Acupuncturist – Park Integrative Health
In Traditional Chinese Medicine an allergic reaction is a manifestation of the body’s difficulty to adjust to its environment. According to Chinese medicine pattern diagnosis allergies can be from a weakness of the Lungs energy or “Qi”. The Lungs are the first organ system to come into contact with allergens as the lungs provide our “Wei Qi” (pronounced “way chee”). Wei Qi is similar to the Western concept of the immune system. Its function is to protect and defend the body against foreign substances.
If Wei Qi is inadequate our protective barrier is compromised and we are vulnerable to foreign invaders such as dust, viruses, pollen and animal dander. By building up the Lung Qi and therefore the Wei Qi and facilitating the flow of it through the body symptoms and signs related to allergies can be greatly reduced. Along with deficiency of Wei Qi there are other TCM pattern diagnoses that can influence the severity of allergies. It’s important to go through an assessment with an Acupuncturist to develop a custom treatment plan for your specific pattern diagnosis and concerns.
Heather Gazley, Acupuncturist + Director of Integrative Health, PIH
I remember the day that I met Nixon. It was the type of autumn day that you hold in your heart and can recall everything about it – the crunch of the fallen leaves, the sunshine streaming through the tree offering its last bit of warmth, the coolness of winter approaching. She greeted me at the door without a sound – something that I was told later was unusual. In her sunset years, Brandon and I often reminisced about the day I met Nixon and that I was the only person that she never barked at.
I’ve always kept my distance from animals. It’s easy to do when from the time you are 18 months old you have been plagued with severe allergies. Animals, dust, pollen, grass, food sensitivities, and even anaphylactic allergies to the heavy hitters (shellfish and tree nuts), and this list goes on. Out of four children, I am the only one with severe allergies and have been fondly referred to at times as The Allergy Kid. On elementary field trips, I remember watching other children pet the animals and ride the horses while I watched from afar – EpiPen and antihistamines in tow.
I think a piece of my soul came home when I met Nixon. She was a healer. It brings a tear to my eye to remember the conversation that I had with Brandon early on about the fact: it’s me or her.
But it just wasn’t that simple. There is something undeniably unique about the love an animal brings. Brandon suggested that I try acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine as a somewhat last-ditch effort. Truthfully, I had little hope. After years of weekly/biweekly and monthly allergy shots, I set out to try acupuncture simply because I couldn’t lose either Brandon or Nixon. It was love.
One year of consistent acupuncture, Chinese herbals and diet modification beget 8 more years of loving Nixon. She passed on October 31, 2021 on the kind of autumn day that you just cannot forget – you know the one with the sun streaming through the trees and the sound of crunchy leaves. It is because of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine that I came to understand the gift that is an animal’s unconditional love.
By Krystal Hopaluk (Carter’s mom)
After many years of not having pets due to Carters allergies we took a risk on a hairless SPHYNX cat. Anecdotal accounts had led us to believe Carter’s allergy symptoms may be less with this breed, and despite the chance that we knew he still may be allergic we all agreed to give it a try. We named the bald baby Baldwin and our family instantly fell in love with his quirky and sweet personality. Carter also instantly started showing the telltale red itchy eyes, runny nose and rash of his allergy symptoms.
We were desperate to make this arrangement work and Carter said he’d do anything to keep him. (Bring on the air filter, extreme cleaning, supplements etc!) This is when we discovered acupuncture may benefit pet allergy sufferers. Carter was a trooper and attended acupuncture sessions as needed until we got his symptoms settled down. Acupuncture was a great tool in lessening his allergies and we are so happy to report that Carter and Baldwin can cuddle sneeze-free these days;
Carter’s Treatment Plan
By Jeanine Mailloux, Registered Acupuncturist
I kept Carters treatment plan very simple. He is a child with great energy “Qi” and did not have any other health concerns or symptoms that were screaming out. We started with very few, but powerful needles to boost up his lung Qi that also helped to supplement his Wei Qi/immune system. I added a few more needles to circulate and move the qi and blood throughout his body and remove heat that could have caused the red, raised, itchy hives. His body responded really well and was able to rebalance and build strength against Baldwins allergens.
We’re happy to have Park Integrative Health as a KariSkelton.com partner! Services are provided in exchange for posts. As always, content direction, thoughts and opinions are mine.
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