Acupuncture For Hay Fever / Allergic Rhinitis
If part of you is dreading the approach of late Spring, and the pollen it will bring, acupuncture may hold the answer.
Chinese medicine provides an effective and side-effect free holistic for treatment of hay fever, which has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) who say that “In controlled studies, it has been shown that acupuncture is more effective than antihistamine drugs in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Acupuncture’s lack of side-effects is a distinct advantage in treating this condition…”
Acupuncture is gaining acceptance as a treatment for Hay Fever in the US too, and is now recommended by the American Academy Of Otolaryngology for patients who are interested in a non-pharmaceutical approach to tackling their symptoms.
In their new Clinical Practice Guidelines, they recommend acupuncture as an effective alternative to drug based treatments, and say that it is associated with both a reduction in symptoms and also a better quality of life.
This follows from a recently published meta-analysis by Chinese authors which shows that the use of acupuncture for allergic rhinitis can lead to a significant reduction in nasal symptom scores, medication use and serum IgE levels, as well as an increase in quality of life, compared with controls.
Another study, published in the Annals Of Internal Medicine, has also found acupuncture an effective treatment for Hay Fever.
422 people took part in the experiment, and they were divided into 3 groups – real acupuncture, ‘sham’ acupuncture and no acupuncture. As I’d expect, the group having real acupuncture fared considerable better than the other two groups – they reported greater symptom improvement and used less antihistamines than the other two groups.
This is all great news, and I hope that it encourages people to consider acupuncture as a treatment for allergic rhinitis. I always have a busy spell in my Bristol & S.Wales acupuncture clinic in early Spring and into Summer once the pollen season hits. In some cases, just one or two treatments is enough to make dramatically decrease Hay Fever symptoms.
The acupuncture treatment for Hay Fever works by regulating the immune system and reducing histamine production and can help to deal with the symptoms at the same time.
Acupuncture and/or tui na massage are very effective treatments for hay fever, and can also be combined with nutritional advice where appropriate. For best results treatment should begin before the hay fever season starts, ideally at around 4-6 weeks before symptoms normally begin (although good results are still possible after the onset of symptoms)
The Western Understanding Of Hay Fever
Hay Fever, or ‘seasonal allergic rhinitis’ is an allergic reaction to an airborne substance such as grass or tree pollen, chemicals or dust particles. It is caused by an over-sensitive immune system which produces histamine in response to the inhaled particles. This causes the characteristic itching, sore eyes, mucus, sneezing and so on.
Conventional treatment involves taking anti-histamines, corticosteroids, or the newer Leukotriene receptor antagonists. This can be effective, but often causes side-effects, which can be serious, and does not offer a long-term solution to the problem.
The Chinese Treatment For Hay Fever
In Chinese medicine terms, hay fever is normally seen as an imbalance of the Wei Qi which is the defensive energy of the body, under control of the Lungs. As a chronic condition, other organs are normally involved, sometimes the Kidneys. Chinese Medicine is able to get at the root cause of the Hay Fever, and repeated treatment has a cumulative effect, lessening symptoms year on year.
Acupuncture treatment for hay fever can help with itchy eyes, blocked or streaming nose, sneezing, swelling, and other symptoms of allergic rhinits, and can sometimes work extremely quickly, as the following example shows:
“My son Cole is aged 13 and suffers from severe hay fever. His symptoms are extreme swelling of the white part of the eye, runny nose, itchy eyes and flu like symptoms. After only one session of acupuncture Cole is symptom free and continues life as normal without the need for daily antihistamines.
It is a great relief as a parent when you don’t have to bear the suffering your child goes through with these daily symptoms.Thanks to Neil and acupuncture Cole no longer suffers each day. Each year as soon has his symptoms start I contact Neil and he accommodates Cole for an acupuncture session very quickly. Cole is then free of symptoms for the rest of the season. Cole has been having acupuncture with Neil for hay fever over the last three years, and each year he has tremendous relief.
Neil has been excellent with Cole and fully explains and relaxes him before the acupuncture procedure. I would recommend acupuncture for hay fever and would certainly recommend you visit Neil if you want to be symptom free of hay fever. Cole cannot thank you enough and is completely symptom free the following day!”
– Mark Hughes, S. Wales
For more information, or to book an acupuncture hay fever treatment at one of my Bristol or South Wales clinics, just get in touch