Replacing Pills With Pins to Treat Allergies

By: Bailey Disselkoen Email
By: Bailey Disselkoen Email

May 12, 2011

With pollen levels and allergy season at a fever pitch, many people are searching for any form of relief. While some try a list of products from the drug store, others just tough it out. However, this is an another alternative to treating seasonal allergies.


“We see an influx of people this time of year, especially due to the foliage breaking out,” said Margaret Huppi, owner of China Med.

Michelle Valentino is one of those people. She started experiencing seasonal allergies when she moved to Charlottesville. “I had a hard time working out and breathing. I was constantly sneezing.”

Over-the-counter medications were too severe - she couldn't drive after taking one dosage - and had their limitations.

“Patients and pharmacists have really come to find the limits of pharmaceutical drugs. It's one of those famous situations where we use a sledgehammer to fix one simple problem,” explained Dr. Zachary Bush, of Revolution Health Center.

Instead of using only over-the-counter treatments, which just knock the body down, Dr. Bush says the younger generation of doctors are starting to blend the best of Western and Eastern medicines.


“It really helps with the root of the problem rather than just using a pharmaceutical band-aid,” he said.

The hair-thin needles are inserted in specific pressure points all over the body in an effort to relieve sinus congestion. Many patients choose to use cupping with acupuncture.

“Cupping is a form of Chinese massage that helps with blood flow,” explained Huppi.

“When I come in I'm really congested. About 20 minutes later I can feel the pressure coming off my face. I can feel it opening me up and allowing me to breath better. Within hours I feel more relief,” Valentino said.

Relief that keeps people like Michelle Valentino from visiting the drug store counter.

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