Press Release



March 6, 2000 (Los Angeles, California) -

With the start of spring allergy season fast approaching, more people are taking a new look at how an ancient therapy - medical acupuncture - can bring them newfound relief from the sneezing, congestion and watery eyes that plague them this time of year.

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) is encouraging those who suffer from perennial allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies) to talk with their primary physician or a medical acupuncturist - a physician trained in acupuncture as a specialty practice -- about how acupuncture may improve their clinical symptoms and prevent future reactions through the use of acupuncture.

"Medical acupuncture stimulates the immune system to help the body more efficiently heal itself, diminishing the frequency and severity of allergic reactions," said Bryan Frank, MD, president of the AAMA and a Dallas-based physician. "Physicians are having success using acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy to conventional medications, with many patients noticing prompt relief from symptoms and a reduced dependency on medication after three-four sessions," he added. For optimal results, Dr. Frank recommends beginning acupuncture treatment before or early in the allergy season.

How it Works
Medical acupuncture therapy begins with a traditional medical exam and diagnosis integrating both Western medicine and Eastern philosophies. During a therapy session, the physician will place very thin, sterile, stainless steel acupuncture needles into points on congested areas of the face, as well as into corresponding acupuncture points on the arms and legs. The stimulation of the points help to decongest the sinuses and mucus membranes. Often the points are also treated with warming by the Chinese herb, moxa, or by stimulating the needles with a mild, painless electric charge to the tip of the needles.

"While results vary from patient to patient, many report feeling immediate relief from congestion and coughs," said Dr. Frank. "Others experience an improvement in their allergy symptoms within a few days after treatment, and most patients notice a marked decrease in symptoms or lessened dependency on medication by the end of a series of treatments," he said.

The AAMA encourages allergy sufferers who are seeking acupuncture treatment from a non-physician practitioner to consult with their primary physician or with a medical acupuncturist to ensure they have an accurate medical diagnosis and are receiving the most targeted treatment regimen possible.

The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture is the only medical specialty society for U.S. physicians who have received rigorous training in multiple systems of acupuncture as a specialty practice. The Academy's 1,700 members represent a diversity of medical disciplines, including family medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, anesthesiology and general surgery, among others. The purpose of the Academy is to integrate the concepts of traditional and modern acupuncture forms with Western medical training, thereby producing a more comprehensive approach to today's healthcare needs.

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