Acupuncture for allergy relief


Last January I was totally fed up with my allergic contact dermatitis. This was before I found out I was allergic to textile dyes and perfume in detergents and fabric softeners. It was cold, I had been wearing blue jeans, dark colored turtle necks, black socks and sweaters, which I now realize are very bad for my allergic skin.

I was hearing a lot of good things about a certain acupuncturist in town. It seemed like she could cure anything with a few well placed needles. I was skeptical about the whole acupuncture thing, but desperate to find relief.  I’m not afraid of needles so that didn’t bother me, I had heard it didn’t really hurt.

I ended up visiting the acupuncturist twice a week for seven visits at a cost of approx. $55 to $58 per visit including Chinese vitamin supplements. My health insurance did not cover these fees. The treatment was not really painful, just uncomfortable. Laying completely still for 10 to 15 minutes at a time with 12 to 15 needles stuck in various parts of your body is uncomfortable. I wasn’t supposed to move until she would come back into the room and have me turn over for the other side.

She also tried “cupping”, which was really weird.  She used these glass cups which she would remove the air from so they sucked onto my back and stomach. It seemed like they would remain in place for hours, but it was really only only about 10 minutes.  Cupping hurts, I hated it.  It left “hickeys” on my skin that lasted for two weeks.  After my seventh visit, she said she and her husband were going on a month long vacation to Italy and suggested I purchase a special aloe cream to use while she was gone.

At this time my dermatitis was clearing up and I was a lot more comfortable. I hoped it was the end of my treatment. How long could I continue, I was running out of patience and money.

The Aloe cream turned out to be a disaster. It was like rubbing acid on my skin. Within minutes my skin was red and burning, then masses of blisters formed everywhere I had rubbed the cream. I was mad, she was in Italy enjoying herself on my hard earned money, $395 so far, and I was in misery. I did not go back, I never saw her again.

Did it work?  Maybe, I did find some relief during that time. My temporary relief from my skin allergy also could have been influenced by other factors, like double rinsing my clothes which I had started to do during that time. Maybe I was wearing older lighter colored clothes without realizing it was helping me.

Should you try acupuncture?  How much money do you have and how desperate are you?  Does it work for contact dermatitis?  I’m not sure.  If any readers has an experience with acupuncture and allergic conditions I’d love to hear about it.

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