Posts Tagged ‘Internal medicine’

Severe hayfever treated with great success

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Multiple techniques make patients more comfortable, sooner

Some of my patients go through a lot of side effects with their allergy medication, for which the drug(s) does not work or at best only takes the edge off of the symptoms.  Fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, it just didn’t seem worth it for such little benefit.  They also report having tried ‘allergy shots’, or other alternative therapies like herbs and even acupuncture but nonetheless, the symptoms are still there, they live in the Willamette Valley ‘allergy megastorm’ and their symptoms are grim.  In difficult cases, I find one cannot always rely on a single treatment approach, that creating multiple influences on the body all at once acts as a catalyst, creates a synergistic effect that takes care of each factor that contributes to the problem. When you cover all the bases, the body can more rapidly adjust into long term clearing of the symptoms.

One diagnosis, many contributing factors

These cases can present with strong sinus headache, totally blocked nose, sore throat from mouth breathing, eye irritation, cough, social problems.  In my practice I find that a patient in this situation has many issues in the body allowing such strong symptoms.  The blocked nose can be due to or worsened by trigger points in the face and strain in the fascia relating to the mucous membranes.  Diet may be promoting metabolic activity that continually creates inflammation.  Life stress and adrenalin may be pushing the immune system into overdrive.

In the first visit, I evaluate these various types of factors and, together with the patient, create a set of therapeutic goals.  Each modality has overlapping effects but the basic outline could be as follows:

Trigger points are cleared with manual body work.  Life stress is calmed with CranioSacral therapy and acupuncture.  Herbs are provided to counteract the diet and reduce inflammation. Electroacupuncture is applied to reduce inflammation and rapidly open the nose so the person can breathe normally.

I have been practicing so long that I understand my tools, and in a 45 minute session can apply different procedures in a harmonious, smooth manner.  Most people just fall asleep on the table while I work, and afterwards find that they can breathe, that the itching is gone and that they can speak without throat pain.

The goal is to move towards a long term, stable clearing of symptoms.

Repeated treatments are given to make the effect last longer and longer.  The different contributing factors resolve at different rates, so the treatments change over time.  The complicated, multi-modal session I describe above eventually reduces to just one of the techniques, applied with decreasing frequency until no longer needed.  So just before ending regular care a patient may need an acupuncture treatment once every 6 months, or just need a $5 bottle of herbs to take a few days a month.  It does vary.  Often the results last into the next allergy season or longer.  From a biomedical perspective the allergy may still be detectable in blood tests (or not), but the body’s reaction to problem antigens has been successfully and stably eliminated.