April 2021 Newsletter – Allergy Season

Allergy Season

How many of you are having terrible allergies this season? I am actually not immune to it either (but you’re the doctor?)..I know…but this season has been particularly bad. It might be that we have not been outside as much but I certainly feel all the flowers blooming through my nose.

Allergies tend to be an “overreaction” of the immune system to pollen where it attacks itself causing the infamous runny nose, congestion and watery eyes. Super not fun right? I kept waking up with the worst allergies in the morning, going through several tissues and trying not to touch my face all the time. Whenever I get allergies, my face also would get red/itchy so this is where the mask actually comes in handy.

When I was a kid, my allergies were so bad that I would wake up with red swollen eyes and at the time, my mom would have to give me Benadryl to help with the discomfort. Later on, I used the steroidal nasal spray and eye drops to the point where I felt so dependent on them. I found out later that the nasal sprays are not good for long-term use and can damage the nasal cavity lining.

This led me to find more holistic ways to treat my allergies and not depend on using steroidal nasal sprays or taking medication. Luckily, Kamwo (my favorite Chinese herbal company that has been around for over two decades) created an herbal spray specifically for allergies and there are also internal herbs to take for allergies as well. It took about a week to have it fully assimilate into my body to help modulate the immune response but it has been so helpful to get through the morning. Now, I don’t look like that kid in the picture above every morning.

Let me know if you are looking for more holistic ways to help with your allergies. The nasal herbal spray that I have been using has been a life-saver (doctor-tested) during this season and I have a couple of patients that have been using it since the spring season started. If you are interested, send me an email.

DEMYSTIFYING ACUPUNCTURE

Ask away… One of the most frequent questions I get is…how does acupuncture work? This is such a great question that can get over-complicated. I’ll do my best to give the short version because I could go on for hours about this.

When acupuncture was studied and researched 2,000 years ago, anatomy played a key role in its development. Most commonly used acupuncture points are close to major arteries, nerves and veins. When these points are stimulated by the needles, signals are sent to the brain via the nervous pathways to release your natural endorphins, pain relief chemicals and hormones. That is why we can treat headaches or pain using distal points in the hands and feet. Pretty cool right? It is allowing us to recover using our own innate healing ability that all of us have within ourselves. Over time, the connections grow stronger as you continue to get acupuncture because it is rewiring the nerve connections in a new beneficial way. Overall, this acts as a feedback mechanism from the acupuncture points to the brain. This is one small piece of the puzzle to how acupuncture works in the body. I always love the opportunity to share what I have learned, so please feel free to ask more questions!

Here are a few research papers that may interest you if you’re curious of how acupuncture research works and what it can help.

NIH Research Paper – Effect and Mechanism of Acupuncture on Gastrointestinal Diseases

NIH Research Paper – Electroacupuncture Reduces the Effects of Acute Noxious Stimulation on the Electrical Activity of Pain-Related Neurons in the Hippocampus of Control and Neuropathic Pain Rats

Article – Acupuncture Changes Brain’s Perception and Processing of Pain, Researchers Find

 

GIVING BACK

We did it… Big shout-out to everyone that donated food to my food drive in March. The people from Germantown Help were very appreciative and all the food will be given to families in need. You all are so awesome!

New give back goal… I decided that I love doing these donation drives and wanted to continue it through the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County (AWLMC). I am partnering up with Chompers Pet Food Bank Drive where all the food donations will be put to good use through the shelter and to people struggling to get enough food for their pets. Through the next couple of weeks, I will be accepting any canned and dry food for both dogs and cats. They have informed me that they receive a lot of canned cat food donations, so they may need more for the dogs in general. Cat and dog treats are welcomed along with any new toys (or used toys if washed and in good condition).

Again, I’ll leave a donation box in the office. You all know how much I love my pets, so doing this for other pet-lovers was a no-brainer for me! Teddy, Naga and Ninja will be happy to know other animals can get spoiled like them. Maybe not too spoiled. =P

 

CLINIC UPDATES

As a reminder, I will be on vacation from April 19th, 2021 until April 26th, 2021 for my own spring break. Even the doctor needs a break and everyone please keep it together before I come back. I’m just kidding, you all know what to do! I will see you all then.

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