ACUPUNCTURE CURED MY ALLERGIES
BY KENT MACMASTER
For 13 long years I, like many other Californians, suffered horribly from seasonal allergies. Only my “season” was not just 3 months long, beginning in April. In fact, it started March 1st, and ran into October! It got so bad in May and June, that I had to give up my favorite form of recreation, as I would be sneezing so badly that I couldn’t see clearly enough to finish a round of golf. So there was some emotional torture, to go along with the physical problems.
I was lucky to get 4-5 hours’ sleep. My performance during the day, for the worst 6 months of the season, was at 70-80%. I was constantly worried about not being able to keep up with my demanding, high-tech job.
I tried all the cures. The antihistamines made me very sleepy while driving, so I couldn’t use them during the day. I tried one expensive prescription medicine, with some success (but never total success). It has since been pulled from the market due to side effects. I was lucky not to have suffered from them. But suddenly it wasn’t available.
I took annual shots of depo-medrol, which block the allergy symptoms effectively for 6 weeks. The doctor would only give 2 shots per year, so I saved them until I was almost dying from frustration: the 3rd week of May, like clockwork. I wasn’t happy taking them, though, as it’s a steroid--and we now know what they can do to us.
In May of 1996, I was in terrible shape. My wife dragged me to an acupuncturist, Dr. Daren Chen, in San Jose. He was educated in China, and taught at Beijing University for years.
I asked “Can you cure allergies?”. He said, “Yes”. I said “For how long?” He said “Forever.” I said “You’re on; let’s give it a try!”
Despite my enthusiastic reply, I frankly didn’t believe him for a minute. Although I had lived in Asia for 12 years, and several American friends had been treated successfully there, and I had seen the TV specials on the subject, I just couldn’t believe acupuncture would work. I did the treatments (1) to humor my wife, and (2) because I was desperate, as I didn’t want to get the steroid shots for the rest of my life. I also didn’t want to move away from the area. These seemed like the only alternatives available to me. So, I tried acupuncture.
Dr. Chen put needles in my legs and arms, and connected some of them to a small battery. After the 3rd treatment, he added one in my chest, and one at the top of my head. None of them hurt, either going in, or with the small electrical signal applied to gently stimulate the nerves. The signal came from the battery only, so there was no chance of injury from a power spike on the main lines.
In fact, that stimulation was so relaxing that I fell comfortably asleep for a half hour.
After the first treatment, my sinuses drained like mad. The day after I felt much better. I went again, 2 days later--same treatment, same results: lots of drainage, then feeling better the next day.
I noticed there was less drainage after each treatment. After 3 visits, I noticed a significant decrease in allergic symptoms. And, I noticed my energy level was up, dramatically. I thought most of that was because I was able to sleep at night.
After 5 visits, the symptoms were almost gone. After 8 visits they were really gone. It was the peak of my season, and I had stopped sneezing, coughing, and draining all night. I went back to golf, and had no problems. My friends all think it was a miracle.
I dropped off to visits once a month, and felt better and better. Finally I asked Dr. Chen “Why does putting needles in my legs and arms fix my lungs and sinuses?”. He said, “I’m not treating your lungs or sinuses; I’m treating your spleen. Your body was out of balance. I’m putting it back in balance, and you are fighting the allergies off, yourself.” I was a little dubious, but I knew better than to doubt him by now. The results spoke for themselves.
In 1997, I went back for treatments in early March, as I was feeling the symptoms again--though much less severe than in years past. After 4 treatments, they disappeared again, not to return for the whole year.
When the flu hits me, I go for 1-2 treatments, and it goes away much faster than ever before.
In march of ‘98, we faced the all-time allergy season. I sneezed a few times only. I went for 4 visits, and felt fine. I have been for 4 more, just to be sure--and besides, I feel great after that nap.
Ask me now, do I believe in acupuncture?! I’m telling everyone I know--especially those friends who have allergy problems. There’s no need to suffer for the rest of your life, or to take dangerous medicines. If you are suffering like I was, I urge you to try acupuncture.
If you’d like to write or email me, care of Dr. Chen, he will forward correspondence to me. I will contact any allergy sufferer personally, to swear to the truth of the above. I know what you are going through, and I think it is a wonderful miracle that I won’t have to. --- KM.
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