Getting to the point for allergy relief

Spring is just around the corner, and for tens of millions of Americans that doesn't mean pleasant weather.

It means allergy season.

In many places, it's already started -- and if you're battling the sniffles and sneezes of this seasonal allergy symptoms, there's a needle that can help.

No, it's not the so-called allergy vaccine currently in development. In fact, it's not a shot of any kind.

It's acupuncture -- and while many Western doctors can't figure out how it could possibly work for relieving seasonal allergy symptoms, this ancient remedy has proven time and again that it can help relieve the worst of your seasonal allergy symptoms.

In a new eight-week study, 71 percent of people treated with traditional acupuncture had significant improvements over eight weeks. They reduced their seasonal allergy symptoms by more than a third on a six-point scale, and needed fewer allergy meds during the course of the study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

That's nothing to sneeze at.

The benefits of acupuncture faded when the treatments stopped, and vanished eight weeks after treatment ended.

But I don't consider acupuncture to be a long-term solution to seasonal allergy symptoms anyway.

Rather, it's something that can help ease seasonal allergy symptoms and reduce your dependence on meds while you work with a holistic doctor on a long-term drug-free solution.

Here at my clinic, I work with my patients to desensitize them to the very pollens causing their allergies.

Your own cure will depend on the cause. For classic hay fever symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose, start with the homeopathic remedies allium cepa and/or nux vomica. If you're battling runny eyes instead of a runny nose, try euphrasia, a homeopathic remedy made from the eyebright plant.

Also consider butterbur supplements. In studies, this natural remedy has proven to be as effective as some of the most common allergy meds, but without the high price or risks.