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Acupuncture Changed Everything for This Seasonal Allergy Sufferer

While almost everyone looks forward to the change of season between winter’s chills and the birdsong and brightness of spring, do not count Avera McKennan Corporate Health Coordinator Lacey Seefeldt in that group.

season allergy acupuncture treatment
Dr. Williams applying acupuncture to Lacey during a visit.

Lacey usually dreaded the change of season, and her ball and chain for warm weather in the Midwest was nasal spray and a package of tissues. She had to have them everywhere she went, because the runny nose, burning, itchy eyes and scratchy-sore throat that went with seasonal allergy suffering.

That changed about a year ago, when Seefeldt saw Sally Williams, DO, a physician with Avera Medical Group Integrative Medicine Clinic in the Prairie Center. Lacey was sick of the sluggishness that went with medication for allergies, sick of never being outside on summer nights and sick of allergies wrecking the best time of the year in South Dakota for her, her family and friends.

“I was skeptical, because I’d never had acupuncture, but the initial consultation with Dr. Williams really helped me out. She spelled out the possible successes and expectations,” she said. “I was ready for the possibilities because I had tried everything; pills, nasal spray, nettie pots, and all I got was temporary mild relief. The symptoms of my seasonal allergies lessened but never completely went away.”

With Dr. Williams’ help, Lacey planned to have six to eight treatments on a regular basis, but to keep a close eye on how the treatments and her allergies were developing. “I was able to use the spray less even after the first treatment,” she said. “But the fifth or sixth session, I was able to stop using it altogether. I felt better and I was slowly building confidence.”

Most importantly to Lacey, she was enjoying a quality of life she’d missed for ages. She was on the patio in the evening, going for walks or hikes in the morning, and no longer enslaved by the tree and grass allergies – including a ragweed allergy – that had kept her indoors in fair weather.

She continued to monitor her symptoms and adjusted treatments as needed. “I appreciated the holistic approach that Dr. Williams and the clinic provided. This approach let me discard the tissues, the spray and the medications,” she said. “My symptoms went away. My eyes no longer burned and watered and didn’t feel itchy. I was outside at dusk. It had been years since I’d been able to do that. I had no restrictions in what I wanted to do anymore.”

Lacey said that while medication for seasonal allergies may work for some and may cost less than acupuncture, feeling 100 percent better without the groggy affects that sometimes go with antihistamines and other allergy medications makes acupuncture relief priceless. “Right now, a year later, I am noticing a light return of the symptoms, but that’s why I have a treatment scheduled and it should put me back to where I was last summer,” said Lacey. “I’d recommend it for anyone who has seasonal allergies – it worked for me. There’s something special about being able to finally again return to sitting by a campfire and not have to suffer while everyone else is having fun.”

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