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A new study on the effects of acupuncture could have hay fever sufferers reaching for needles rather than tissues to keep sneezing and streaming eyes at bay. Researchers in Australia found that acupuncture reduced the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis and improved sufferers' quality of life. Their findings, which were published online in June, could result in an increase in people opting for the ancient holistic remedy to find some relief from pollen during the summer months.
175 suffers of seasonal allergic rhinitis participated in the study, which explored the efficacy of acupuncture over a 4 week period using sham acupuncture as a control. Whilst the real acupuncture used needles on the relevant acupressure points, the sham acupuncture used superficial needling on areas which were not acupressure points. By assessing the severity of symptoms, quality of life and the amount of hay fever medication used by participants, the researchers found that the real acupuncture offered a safe, effective method for managing seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Having acupuncture treatment
Although this trial scientifically demonstrates the positive impact acupuncture can have for hay fever sufferers, it doesn't explore how long the treatment will last and this is something that is yet to be investigated. It also didn't fully take into account the severity of symptoms between participants which makes it difficult to assess how well acupuncture could work for individuals.
If you suffer from allergies during the summer months it could be incredibly helpful to try acupuncture as a treatment method and gain an understanding of how it works for your body. Although it may not completely alleviate all symptoms - particularly if you suffer very severely - it could help you to reduce the amount of antihistamines you require and allow you to better manage the condition.
Acupuncture for other allergies
Currently there has been very little investigation into the efficacy of acupuncture in treating the likes of dust, mold and pet hair allergies. However, since the body reacts to these allergens in the same way it does pollen, it is possible that acupuncture could have the same positive effects and reduce symptoms in chronic sufferers. Speak to an acupuncture therapist about your situation and give it a try.
For the best results undergo a minimum of 12 acupuncture treatments over the course of 4 weeks as outlined in the clinical study. You should then keep track of your symptoms over the following weeks in order to understand how long the effects can last for you. Your therapist will be able to advise you on the frequency of any follow-up treatments, and in time you will have a better understanding of how to manage your allergies with this ancient remedy.
Contact a local company, such as Eight Branches Academy of Eastern Medicine, for more information.