Acupuncture can improve quality of life for allergy sufferers

If you and pollen don’t get along, then you probably know that tree pollen levels are high in Bozeman today and Accuweather maps our area as one of the three highest overall pollen counts in the nation.More importantly, you may be seeking relief from itchy, watery eyes; ear or throat irritation; sneezing; post-nasal drip or all of the above.

tree pollen

Evidence for relief without unwanted side effects

Whatever you call it, “hay fever,” “seasonal allergies,” or “allergic rhinitis (AR),” acupuncture and Chinese herbs can bring you relief and offer an alternative to allergy medications and their unwanted side effects.

There is evidence that acupuncture is useful in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. It’s likely due to its potential to modulate the immune system.

A recent meta-analysis involving 2,365 participants found a significant reduction in nasal symptoms, medication necessity, and serum immunoglobulin E, an antibody that plays a role in hypersensitivity to allergens. Additional data “ultimately point to the efficacy of acupuncture treatment in improving quality of life in AR patients.”2

It’s best to start receiving acupuncture treatment a month before your symptoms typically begin. Count on weekly treatments for an average of six weeks. It could require more or less depending on your particular situation.

In the meantime, here are two acupoints to stimulate at home:

  • For red, itchy eyes: Use your thumbs to apply pressure to the tops of your feet between the bones of your big and second toes.
  • For stuffy nose: Use your fingers to massage the nasal grooves just lateral to your nostrils. Bozeman Forecast <Accessed May 19, 2016> 
Feng, S. et al. (2015) Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy.