The treatment of hay fever and allergic rhinitis by acupuncturists clearly illustrate the difference between a traditional acupuncture approach and that of western medicine. Acupuncturists do not focus on the specific allergen: whether it is grass or tree pollen, or whether it is cat or horse hair, matters little. What does matter is how your body responds to triggers. The timing of your allergic response is also an important factor to be taken into account. The length of a course of acupuncture for allergy relief varies (as it does with most complaints), as the following case histories show.
Case Study 1
Hay fever – Onset 25 years prior to acupuncture treatment
Male – age 46
Onset anytime between January – March each year. Symptoms remain until October each year.
All lasting from morning to night.
- Itchy eyes
- Constant runny nose
- Sneezing half hour at a time
- Red, blood shot eyes
- Generally feeling agitated.
This man first came to see me in April and the symptoms were all ready well established.
Results of acupuncture treatment
Three days after his first treatment he was much improved. He still experienced hay fever except that instead of the symptoms lasting up to three hours at a time, these attacks lasted only 5 – 10 minutes.
All symtoms went
This was to consolidate effects. He remained allergy free for the remainder of the year.
This treatment was particularly fast acting. It can take up to six or more sessions in some cases. Note also that it took three days for this man to feel the effect from his acupuncture treatment. This is extremely common – there appears to be a three day delay in response to the majority of acupuncture treatment for chronic conditions.
Case Study 2
Allergic Rhinitis – Onset 15 years prior to acupuncture treatment
Man – age 68
- Constant post nasal drip
- Copious phlegm
Duration – Daily for entire year, every year.
Anti-histamines, antibiotics, steroid nasal sprays, and many more. None of these had worked.
Prior to allergic rhinitis:
Prone to sinus congestion especially when out doors in cold, e.g. playing sport in cold weather.
General health very good but dispirited with constant rhinitis which wouldn’t clear.
Acupuncture treatments 1-4
Sypmtoms all became worse for one day after each treatment and then improved substantially. He also developed other symptoms such as mild muscle aches lasting 1-2 days.
Acupuncture treatment 5
Generally all symptoms improved dramatically
Acupuncture treatment 6
All symptoms went and six months and one year follow up revealed that he had remained symptom free.
Comments on treatment
It is not uncommon for a light worsening of symptoms for a day or two after acupuncture treatment – depending on the condition being treated. It is also not unusual to have a temporary light set-back during a course of acupuncture. Ultimately this man was delighted that for the first time in fifteen years he was free of phlegm and post-nasal drip and remained that way for more than two years (informed by letter.)