Acupuncture Treatment for Hay fever (Allergic Rhinitis) and Sinusitis
The incidence of allergic conditions such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and sinusitis seem to be on the rise. In fact, every year approximately 1 in 5 Australians are diagnosed with hay fever alone. In the southern states of Australia allergy season usually commences around September/October. This is when pollens are at their peak. It then continues through November and December when grass allergens tend to be the prevailing seasonal irritant.
Signs and Symptoms
Many patients confuse their allergy symptoms for the common cold or flu as the symptoms are often identical. However, allergy symptoms are distinguishable by the fact their onset is due to a reaction to a specific allergen such as dust mite, pollen, mould and pet hair.
Hay fever and sinusitis are often characterised by the following signs and symptoms;
- Excessive sneezing, runny nasal discharge or nasal congestion
- Itchy nose and eyes
- Painful eyes, often excessively red with discharge
- Ear blockages
- A sensitivity to environmental allergens
Symptoms specifically associated with sinusitis include
- Blocked nasal passages/inability to breathe freely from the nose
- Pain, swelling and tenderness of the forehead, nose, eyes and cheeks
- Postnasal drip (discharge at the rear of the throat)
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Approach
TCM and acupuncture specifically, can offer a unique approach for the treatment of seasonal allergies. Conventional treatments usually involve the use of antihistamines and corticosteroids to supress allergy symptoms and are often associated with adverse side effects. By contrast, acupuncture treatment focuses on addressing both the underlying cause and the symptomatic pattern associated with seasonal allergic conditions. Indeed, the TCM approach is about identifying and resolving the underlying patterns that are causing the immune system to be overstimulated. Once these patterns of disharmony are identified and treated, the patient should experience a more prolonged period of relief and hopefully a more permanent solution to their seasonal allergy symptoms.
Treatment usually involves a predetermined schedule of acupuncture sessions as well as herbal formulas (capsules), nutritional supplements and dietary therapy.
Numerous clinical studies have been conducting which evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture as a viable treatment in the management of hay fever. In a 2103 study it was found that acupuncture was more effective than either sham acupuncture or no treatment at all for allergic rhinitis (1). Furthermore a 2016 study observed that “acupuncture modulated mucosal immune response in the upper airway in adults with persistent allergic rhinitis”. In this study there were notable improvements observed in symptoms such as itching of the nose and eyes and sneezing in the acupuncture treatment group (2). Similarly, a 2004 clinical trial proved acupuncture to be more effective than sham acupuncture in decreasing the symptom scores for persistent allergic rhinitis and increasing the symptom-free days without any side effects (3). A recent systematic review conducted in 2020 also showed acupuncture to be an effective and safe treatment for allergenic rhinitis concluding that although “Acupuncture plus conventional medicine are potentially the most effective treatment strategies for allergic rhinitis” more high-quality research needs to be conducted to validate these findings (4).
1 Choi SM, Park JE, Li SS, Jung H, Zi M, Kim TH, et al. (2013) A multicenter, randomized, controlled trial testing the effects of acupuncture on allergic rhinitis. Allergy.68(3):365-74.
2 McDonald JL, Smith PK, Smith CA, Xue CC, Golianu B, Cripps AW. (2016) Effect of acupuncture on house dust mite specific IgE, substance P, and symptoms in persistent allergic rhinitis. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 116(6):497-505.
3 Ng DK, Chow PY, Ming SP, Hong SH, Lau S, Tse D, et al. (2004) A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of acupuncture for the treatment of childhood persistent allergic rhinitis. Pediatrics. 114(5):1242-7.
4 Yin, Z., Geng, G., Xu, G. et al. Acupuncture methods for allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and bayesian meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Chin Med 15, 109 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13020-020-00389-9
COVID 19 Update
Due to the current restrictions affecting the Allied Health sector limiting the type of patients we can see, we currently can’t take bookings online. Please call the clinic on 96504111 or fill out the contact us form below to discuss your eligibility for treatment under the current restrictions.
Address: 214/100 Victoria Parade, East Melbourne
ABOUT INNATE HARMONY
Welcome to the Innate Harmony website: the website of Danielle Baker, Registered Acupuncturist (AHPRA). Danielle has been providing acupuncture services in East Melbourne for over 15 years. She offers expertise and experience utilising Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine to address a wide range of health concerns with a particular emphasis on women’s health, fertility, stress management and pain related disorders.
Melbourne, CBD, Richmond, South Yarra, Fitzroy, Carlton, Hawthorn, Kew, Prahran, Abbotsford, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Toorak, Brunswick, Richmond.
Herbal Medicine (Pill and capsule formulas)
Chinese Dietary Therapy
Food as Medicine
To find out more about the conditions we treat, please call us on 96504111 to speak to Danielle directly or complete the online form.