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Acupuncture for Spring Maladies: Allergies and Lyme Disease By Dr. Sean Yu

ACCORDING TO THE Centers for Disease Control, allergies are the fifth leading chronic disease overall in the United States and the third most prevalent among children and teens. No less than 1 in 5 Americans suffer from allergic diseases.

Additionally, allergies may now be ever increasing. Researchers are saying climate change is responsible for harsher allergy seasons and the high pollen counts that are hitting many regions in the United States.

NBC News reported that the number of people experiencing seasonal allergies for the first time has increased and the allergy season is lasting a month longer than past seasons.


More and more Americans are learning that acupuncture not only relieves allergy symptoms but is very effective in boosting overall immunity. If your immune system is compromised, you are more likely to react to varying pollens. Acupuncture twice a week for three weeks will ensure that you can minimize allergic symptoms or even sidestep them all together. 

As adjuncts to acupuncture, herbal supplements can support your body’s defenses against allergens and help reduce coughing, phlegm and excess mucous. A combination of herbs works best to flush allergy toxins, support the lungs and block histamine production. One effective herbal combo is a blend of echinacea root, thyme, mullein and white tea. Another approach is to take a five-mushroom combo to build immunity and energy as well as milk thistle to cleanse your liver.

As we get older, we may be more likely to develop first-time allergies. That’s because the spleen may weaken a bit and kidney deficiencies can develop. Herbal supplements can boost the health of both organs. As with health matters for all ages, the best defense is a good offense.

If you’re going to get weekly allergy shots, it’s essential that you do so at least one month prior to allergy season, not once you become symptomatic. You need to build your resistance beforehand in order to be less likely to succumb to symptoms. It takes 4-6 weeks for the body to build antibodies, and until they are built, you are more susceptible. You just can’t prevent a health issue after it’s already begun. So think of Star Wars and put your shields up first before entering a battle!

Even though allergies are becoming more prevalent, you don’t have to hold a fatalistic attitude of “It’s that season again… I get allergies every year.” Instead, prepare before the season starts with a multi-pronged health strategy so you can be victorious over allergens and breathe easy once again.



Both wood tick and deer tick seasons start in early May in the Upper Midwest. And Lyme Disease is a tenacious health issue that can be as complicated to solve as a Rubik’s Cube.

Caused by a spirochete, Lyme is called 'The Great Imitator' because its symptoms mimic many other diseases. It can affect any organ of the body, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, and the heart.  

This bacteria can protect itself in hostile environments, making it difficult to treat. Anaerobic, it makes a cyst to protect itself from environmental influences. Chasing it with antibiotics alone does not typically produce successful outcomes because of its adaptability. It can basically morph itself into a resistant state to any particular drug. While the patient may experience temporary symptom relief thanks to antibiotics, final resolution over the disease is not easily obtained. Long-term antibiotic use is also detrimental to the overall health of the patient.

Patients with Lyme Disease are frequently misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and depression. Misdiagnosis can delay the correct treatment as the underlying infection progresses unchecked. The extent of the disease is not known… reported Lyme Disease numbers from the CDC are said to represent only 10% of actual cases!  


Using a combination of both anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic herbs while also detoxifying the body is an integrative health approach that assists in ridding the body of this pernicious ailment. In addition, adjunctive herbal medicine has been shown to safely aid in remedying infections that manifest as arthritis, damage to the central nervous system or weakening of the heart.

Providing pain relief and stimulation of the immune system, acupuncture is a natural, complementary approach that further assuages the health challenges of Lyme Disease.


Besides the springtime ailments of allergies and Lyme Disease, what are other areas of your health where acupuncture can be an invaluable aid?

Stress Management 

Stress is a major cause of lost work hours, sick days and lowered productivity in both home life and the workplace.  But it doesn’t have to be a mainstay in your life!  Acupuncture is a holistic remedy that can balance both your emotional and physical well-being so detrimental stress factors don’t diminish your daily vitality.  Scientific research shows that acupuncture releases neurotransmitters such as endorphins, serotonin and norepinephrine.  More and more hospitals, clinics and corporate employee wellness programs are incorporating acupuncture into their preventive healthcare offerings as a way to address stress-related illnesses.

Boosting the Immune System

A combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine has been proven to be impactful in building immunity to prevent illness.  Chinese herbs are used for balancing, harmonizing and cleansing the body’s system. They can treat a wide array of health issues and an accredited herbal consultant can detail how to use them as adjuncts to medications. 

Pain Management

Pain is a significant distraction for anyone!  Pain medications can be expensive or addictive, often only addressing pain symptoms not the cause.  Today we are aware of the dangers of opioids and need to find safe alternative paths for pain relief.

Acupuncture helps many pain conditions, from pulled muscles to headaches to backaches and more.  Pain symptoms can be reduced in as few as six sessions.  Many types of pain can actually be resolved, not just managed, with the help of an experienced acupuncture professional.

Weight Loss

When used in combination with a well-suited diet plan, acupuncture can increase your success in achieving your weight loss goals: curbing appetite, quelling cravings, boosting metabolism, improving digestion, regulating fat-related hormones and enhancing the way nutrients are absorbed. Patients experience both more weight loss and reduced inflammation.

Two acupuncture treatments per week for 12 weeks matched with herbal formulas will further your body’s ability to reach your optimum weight.                      

Acupuncture for Beauty  

For facial rejuvenation, cosmetic acupuncture is a friend of your skin in that it encourages collagen production and stimulates blood flow to increase the nourishment, hydration and elasticity of the skin.  This in turn helps to reduce wrinkles, blemishes, puffiness and diminish eczema, rosacea and acne. Acupuncture for Beauty also benefits the entire body and organ system.  Your sleep, energy and mood are additional factors positively impacted by acupuncture so that you look and feel younger overall!

Dr. Sean Yu,  Ph.D., L.Ac., MD(China) owns Jing River Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine and has practiced both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western medicine in China and has been a Licensed Acupuncturist for over 25 years.  In 2004, Dr. Yu came to America to accept a professorship at the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) in Minnesota.  He served as one of the principal professors of TCM and the clinical director until the spring of 2010.  Dr. Yu’s breadth of knowledge allows him to treat a variety of conditions with an emphasis on neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.  He owns three acupuncture clinics in the Twin Cities area. yxdtcm@yahoo.com, www.jingriveracupunctures.com


Dr. Sean Yu  Ph.D., L.Ac., MD(China)

Jing River Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine




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