Do you have allergic rhinitis or hayfever? Acupuncture could be a great treatment for you.
Acupuncture is a popular choice for allergic rhinitis symptoms. Around one in five people with allergic rhinitis have used acupuncture. (1)
Good symptom relief can happen in as little as eight weeks of treatment.
Keep reading to find out more about acupuncture treatment for allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis is an allergy involving the nose, causing inflammation. Acupuncture effectively treats the symptoms of both main types:
Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (PAR) is allergy to things that are in your environment all the time. For example pets, dust mites or pollution. This usually involves just nose symptoms like:
Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR) is also called “hayfever”. It’s an allergy to pollens. Many people have hayfever in the spring, but different pollens might bring symptoms in other seasons. Symptoms can involve more than just the nose, such as:
Acupuncture helps both types by:
“There are high-quality randomised controlled trials that demonstrate efficacy and effectiveness for acupuncture in the treatment of both seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis.” (1)
Acupuncture is a valid option if you want to avoid or reduce medication. Medication might not work for some people with allergic rhinitis. Some people might experience side effects that aren’t well tolerated. (1)
The short answer is, acupuncture seems to reduce the inflammation that is involved with most of the troubling symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Do you love a bit of science? Find out about the known biological mechanisms of acupuncture for allergic rhinitis. Click here for science info including a fun, informative video by Keryn Hawker and colleagues.
Chinese medicine considers the whole person. Therefore, all your symptoms happen in an interconnected web of cause and effect, connecting parts of your body with each other, and connecting you to your physical and social surroundings.
We incorporate all of this into your treatment plan. We want your body to heal as a whole, not just focusing on your nose!
For a truly wholistic approach, make sure you see a qualified Chinese Medicine Practitioner for your treatment.
Chinese medicine includes more than just acupuncture. Traditional doctors over many centuries have created detailed herbal medicine approaches for what we would call “allergic rhinitis”. Modern research has looked into some of these herbal formulas, showing very good outcomes. Your treatment plan may include herbal medicines, aimed to your long-term wellbeing.
Other strategies may include diet therapy and home-care tools. Your complete treatment plan aims to maximise your inner resources to help you face the demands of your environment.
Acupuncture sessions twice per week, for 6-8 weeks provides the best results, according to research studies.
Every person is different, and your own situation might impact your outcomes differently from other people.
At the end of a treatment course, people will usually experience relief for several months. (1)
Therefore, for PAR, after the first course of treatment you can expect to have some “top-up” sessions several months apart, to maintain your symptom relief and quality of life.
For SAR, it’s best to start treatment a couple of months before your troublesome season, so that you’ve gained all the benefits by the time the pollen arrives. However, if you’re having symptoms now then please come in for treatment straight away. You can plan for next year to be ahead of the game, but can still expect symptom relief right now.
In summary, acupuncture is an effective, low-risk and cost-effective treatment option for allergic rhinitis (1, 6).
To find out more about how we can help you:
To start your treatment right away:
1. Taw MB, Reddy WD, Omole FS, Seidman MD. Acupuncture and allergic rhinitis. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;23(3):216-220. doi:10.1097/MOO.0000000000000161
2. McDonald JL, Smith PK, Smith CA, Changli Xue C, Golianu B, Cripps AW. Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016 Jun;116(6):497-505.
3. Li YM, Zhuang LX, Lai XS, Jiang GH. [Effects of electroacupuncture on plasma vasoactive intestinal peptide and substance P in perennial allergic rhinitis patients]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2007 Apr;32(2):136-8.
4. McDonald JL, Cripps AW, Smith PK. Mediators, Receptors, and Signalling Pathways in the Anti-Inflammatory and Antihyperalgesic Effects of Acupuncture. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:975632.
5. Feng S, Han M, Fan Y, et al. Acupuncture for the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. 2015;29(1):57-62. doi:10.2500/ajra.2015.29.4116
6. Kim SY, Lee H, Chae Y, Park HJ, Lee H. A systematic review of cost-effectiveness analyses alongside randomised controlled trials of acupuncture. Acupunct Med. 2012 Dec;30(4):273-85.