Acupuncture for hayfever

Acupuncture for hayfever is one of the better researched areas of acupuncture, highlighting acupuncture’s role as a safe and effective treatment for this problem.

As you’ll know very well if you’ve suffered from hayfever – or seasonal allergic rhinitis as it’s technically known – it can be a nightmare.  Sneezing, streaming nose, itchy eyes can make time spent outdoors something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

Thankfully, relief is at hand!

What does the research say?

Here’s a summary from the Australian Acupuncture Evidence Project on the research supporting acupuncture for allergic rhinitis:

“For allergic rhinitis, acupuncture was rated as ‘effective’ in the Australian DVA review (2010)  and ‘unclear’ in the USVA Evidence map of acupuncture (2014) (5, 6). A systematic review of 13 randomised controlled trials concluded that acupuncture could be a safe and valid treatment option for allergic rhinitis (moderate quality evidence) (54). Another systematic review (which included two large multi-centre randomised controlled trials, three comparisons of acupuncture versus medication and one cost-effectiveness study) concluded that there is high quality evidence of the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture and that it appears to be safe and cost-effective (15). Clinical practice guidelines for allergic rhinitis published by the Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery Foundation in 2015 included acupuncture as Option five: Clinicians may offer acupuncture, or refer to a clinician who can offer acupuncture, for patients with AR who are interested in nonpharmacological therapy (Aggregate evidence quality – Grade B) (37).”

How does acupuncture for hayfever work?

From the point of view of Chinese Medicine, this is all about soothing and rebalancing your Qi, your vital energy.  Specifically your Wei Qi, your defensive Qi or immune system, is overreacting to an external stimulus, and needs to be calmed.

Looking through the lens of Western medicine, there are various ideas about the mechanisms of how acupuncture may work.  It may have an anti inflammatory effect, or help to modulate the immune system.  With more research, this is all likely to become clearer.

What will my treatment look like?

Your individual needs will be at the heart of your treatment.  You are more than just a case of hayfever!  We will discuss your health across the board and in detail, to fully understand where your problem is coming from,  and how best to help.  Your treatment plan will fit you as an individual.

When should I start treatment?

Ideally your acupuncture treatment will start a few weeks before your hayfever would normally get started.  It’s not too late though, even if your seasonal problem has already got going.

Try acupuncture for your hayfever

Get in touch today to book your first appointment.


References

5. Biotext. Alternative therapies and Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold and White Card arrangements. In: Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs, editor: Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs; 2010.

6. Hempel S, Taylor SL, Solloway MR, Miake-Lye IM, Beroes JM, Shanman R, et al. VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program Reports. Evidence Map of Acupuncture. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs; 2014.

15. Taw MB, Reddy WD, Omole FS, Seidman MD. Acupuncture and allergic rhinitis. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Jun;23(3):216-20.

37. Seidman MD, Gurgel RK, Lin SY, Schwartz SR, Baroody FM, Bonner JR, et al. Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Feb;152(1 Suppl):S1-43.

54. Feng S, Han M, Fan Y, Yang G, Liao Z, Liao W, et al. Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2015 Jan-Feb;29(1):57-62.

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni from Pixabay