We only need to take a look out of the window, or listen to the gentle tweeting of birds to see that Spring has finally sprung. Bringing with it the inevitable season of sneezing and irritated eyes. More commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis affects around one in five people in the UK. Each individual will present with different symptoms, however sneezing, coughing and wheezing, along with red, swollen and itchy eyes are most typical of this condition. These symptoms are brought about by our body’s immune system overreacting to airborne allergens such as pollen, dust and mould spores. Avoiding exposure to these irritants is the best solution to control the symptoms, however this is not always possible. A standard over the counter treatment for allergic rhinitis is antihistamines, but these can bring about undesirable affects such as drowsiness and dry mouth.
Over the past week, several patients have asked if acupuncture can help alleviate their symptoms of this condition, prompting me to write this blog. Medical evidence, along with patient experiences, has shown that acupuncture is effective in the relief of allergic rhinitis. It is thought that it works by stimulating the nervous system, resulting in the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. Researchers recently identified that acupuncture significantly lowered Immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, an antibody that is associated with allergies and hypersensitivities (HealthCMi).
As acupuncturists we look at hay fever and other allergic conditions as the body’s response to external pathogens. Not only do we look at the more obvious imbalance of the lung qi, but also at underlying problems that will be unique to each person. In this way we aim to equip your body’s natural defence for the next time that hay fever strikes.
If you have any questions about today’s blog, or any other issues please feel free to get in touch. Thanks for reading.