Acupuncture Ask the St. Elizabeth Expert: How Can Acupuncture Help Allergies and Asthma? CINCINNATI (WKRC) - As the miserable allergy season continues in the Tri-State, many are turning to non-traditional ways in order to breathe a little easier. A family medicine specialist at St Elizabeth Healthcare is now offering patients traditional allergy and asthma treatment along with a complementary therapy that really gets under your skin. After years of suffering with breathing complications due to allergies and asthma, Anita Magan is really sticking it to her misery. “I used to, maybe four times a year, take steroids and antibiotics to stop the coughing. Now maybe once a year I’ll have an attack that bad,” said Magan. Magan is now one of many adding acupuncture to allergy treatment. What Dr. Mary Ann Barnes can do in about 20 minutes indoors provides serious relief for Magan outdoors. Dr. Barnes recently authored a clinical pearls paper in the Medical Acupuncture Journal that shows how the therapy works to ease symptoms. Acupuncture uses tiny needles strategically placed in areas around the body to help balance what is thought to be the body's energy, or chi. “Any time you have symptoms like pain or congestion the flow of chi is obstructed,” said Dr. Barnes. It usually takes 10 to 12 treatments, according to Dr. Barnes, to ease allergy and asthma agony. This treatment is sometimes covered by insurance, but not always. This practice does have a discount for patients that pay out of pocket. This is suggested as a complementary therapy, not a standalone, especially for asthma.