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Study Shows Acupuncture Provides Allergic Rhinitis Symptom Relief

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

How well does acupuncture address the symptoms of allergic rhinitis? A study entitled "Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis" answers this question. This trial can be found in the January 2015 edition of the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy.

Researchers decided to take an in-depth look at numerous scientific studies from all over the world that focused on patients with nasal problems due to allergies. To maintain the integrity of the meta-analysis, only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were utilized. The focus of the investigation centered on the potency and safety of using acupuncture to address symptoms affecting the nose.

The large-scale analysis included several studies with nearly 2,400 test subjects. To properly assess the efficacy of acupuncture, researchers looked at rhinitis quality of life questionnaires and 36-item short form surveys (SF-36). These are medical tools used to evaluate a patient's symptoms.

To help discern the power of acupuncture, researchers scrutinized evaluation charts regarding the severity and symptoms of each patient. Additionally, levels of serum IgE in the bloodstream and medication usage for each participant were important factors.

In all the studies, researchers discovered that the groups of patients receiving acupuncture experienced exceptional, statistically-significant reductions in nasal symptoms, in comparison to the participants in control groups. The results proved that acupuncture is a safe, effective therapy to relieve nasal symptoms resulting from allergies.

Source:  Feng S, Han M, Fan Y, Yang G, Liao Z, Liao W, Li H. (2015). Acupuncture for the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 29(1):57-62. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2015.29.4116.

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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.

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