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Small Study Shows Acupuncture a Viable Treatment for Childhood Allergic Rhinitis
By: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM

Acupuncture shows great promise in treating childhood allergic rhinitis, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.  The 2004 study, entitled "A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for Treatment of Childhood Persistent Allergic Rhinitis" determined that acupuncture is a viable treatment for allergic rhinitis.

Pediatric patients were randomly placed in either the real or sham acupuncture group to compare the efficacy of acupuncture treatment. The real group consisted of 35 patients while the sham group had 37. All study participants received 2 treatments every week, for a total of 8 weeks.

Real acupuncture refers to treatments which accurately correspond to the disease or condition being treated. Sham acupuncture on the other hand means that acupuncture needles were placed in areas that do not specifically address the medical problem. In this way the efficacy of real acupuncture is established.

The study considered many factors to ascertain the effectiveness of real acupuncture. Some of these factors include daily rhinitis scores to evaluate each patient's signs and symptoms, the amount of symptom-free days, blood eosinophil counts, the patient's predilection for certain treatments, and the number of negative side effects.

Researchers concluded that real acupuncture is superior for relieving symptoms of childhood allergic rhinitis when compared to sham acupuncture. The real acupuncture study participants also enjoyed more symptom-free days and did not report any adverse reactions.

Source: Ng, D. K. (2004). A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Childhood Persistent Allergic Rhinitis. PEDIATRICS, 114(5), 1242–1247.


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About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.