Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!
Do you suffer from allergies? Do these allergies disrupt your life?
I have suffered from seasonal allergies since I was around 20, and non seasonal allergies since around 18 or 19, they continued to worsen every year until about 6 years ago I went through a NAET protocol (with one of my Registered Acupuncturist friends) which reduced them by about 70%. I went from having to blow my nose every five minutes during allergy season to every hour, and outside of allergy season I still had a stuffy nose but not nearly as bad as before. This year I was able to kick my treatment up a notch with Jing Fang Classical Chinese Medicine (I will explain in another post) and now I have almost zero nasal congestion. I can breathe through my nose 100% of the time, and my itchy eyes were gone after 3 days of herbs. This is very exciting for me as normally I want to rip my eyes out once the trees start spawning.
If you are in need of some science to back all this up:
Modern research supports the use of acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Patients interested in learning more about acupuncture as a treatment option can contact me.
Researchers in Germany have confirmed the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of allergies and sinus disorders. In an eight week clinical trial, patients receiving acupuncture needed less medication and had fewer seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms than the control groups. Moreover the quality of life scores were significantly better in the acupuncture group than in either of the control groups. With this evidence the German researchers were able to conclude that “acupuncture treatment was more effective than the symptomatic drug intervention.”
The researchers screened 1,588 patients and accepted 414. All patients had seasonal allergic rhinitis for a minimum of two years. The patients did not know whether they received real or sham acupuncture. An additional control group received only antihistamine medication (i.e., cetirizine). Two patients also took methylprednisolone.
A total of 60% of acupuncture patients used antihistamines during the eight week treatment intervention period. A total of 71% of patients in the sham control group used antihistamines, and 82% self-administered antihistamines in the drug-only control group. Patients in the acupuncture group used antihistamines 8.92 days on average during the intervention period. Sham acupuncture group patients used antihistamines for an average of 13.41 days and the drugs-only group for an average of 18.07 days.
Acupuncture patients did not increase use of drugs from onset to the peak of pollen season. Patients in the other control groups increased antihistamine consumption. The researchers add, seasonal allergic rhinitis “symptoms decreased significantly in the acupuncture group compared with the other study groups.”
Patients that received acupuncture used fewer antihistamines and used them less often while experiencing fewer symptoms than the patients in the medication-only or sham acupuncture control groups.
Another study by Schäfer et al. noted that 18% of seasonal allergy patients in Germany have had acupuncture for the treatment of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. The results of their investigation “showed significant changes in favour of acupuncture treatment, including improvements in RQoL [rhinitis-specific quality of life] and SAR [seasonal allergic rhinitis] symptoms scores.” Schafer et al. found that 38% of the patients that received acupuncture did not use antihistamines while only 16% of the patients in the drugs-only control group did not use antihistamines. They added that acupuncture reduces antihistamine use and “can therefore be considered a valuable, additional treatment option for patients with SAR.”
Research by Reinhold et al. also supports these findings; they concluded that “Acupuncture is an effective intervention that results in improved quality of life in patients with SAR.” Yet another study by Brinkhaus et al. had similar findings, “In patients with allergic asthma, additional acupuncture treatment to routine care was associated with increased disease-specific and health-related quality of life compared to treatment with routine care alone.”