Healthy Living

Jun 5, 2014 1:06 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

Turning to acupuncture to treat allergies

Hay fever season is here, but before you pop that allergy pill there might be an alternative -- acupuncture.

According to a German study, acupuncture has been found equally effective as taking Loratadine, the antihistamine in allergy pills like Claritin.

"I can get someone who has itchy eyes and sinus congestion out of discomfort, right away," said Jonathan Olcott.

He can do this by inserting needles half an inch long to five inches long into the skin at various points on the meridian system.

"But if they don't change their diet and lifestyle then it is harder to treat long term,"he explained.

Jonathon Olcott studied Traditional Chinese Medicine at Yo San and recently opened Intuitive Acupuncture in downtown San Luis Obispo.

"The main thing to remember about acupuncture is that it helps the body find homeostasis. Better balance. So whenever you do that you are treating the whole body and everything will get better as a result," he said.

Olcott has not always traveled down the road of alternative medicine.

"In 2006 I had a massive car accident, and I broke my back," he explained.

Olcott found himself frustrated with Western medicine and the road to pain relief came from body work, acupuncture, yoga and tai chi.

"The accident was a catalyst that allowed me to change directions," said Olcott.

Today's direction is helping people with a range of conditions from allergies to fertility problems to back pain. Olcott said this age-old practice works.

And for the skeptics who call acupuncture pseudo-medicine...

"You can do acupuncture to dogs and horses and see the effect. With that said, it kind of takes away the placebo effect," he said.

Acupuncture is used widely in China and many other countries.

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