A study called "The Effects of Acupuncture on Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis," published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in February of 2013, brings encouraging news for sufferers of seasonal allergies. Researchers set out to determine if acupuncture treatments plus the use of antihistamine drugs could significantly reduce symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. 46 physicians from 6 hospitals and 32 outpatient medical clinics contributed to the large-scale trial.
All of the study participants tested positive for allergies to birch and grass pollen. Their symptoms included nasal blockages and runny noses. There were 422 patients included in the study. Researchers randomly divided their patient base into 3 groups.
The first group received real acupuncture and was allowed to use antihistamines. The second group received sham acupuncture and was also allowed use of antihistamines. Sham acupuncture means that needles were used in areas of the body which do not specifically treat the medical condition. The third group only had access to antihistamines.
An evaluation occurred at 8 weeks, after the patients underwent 12 sessions of treatment each. The patients who received real acupuncture experienced a statistically important reduction in their symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis when compared to the sham acupuncture and histamine-only groups. Additionally, the real acupuncture group also witnessed a reduction in the need for antihistamines to manage their symptoms.
Source: M. Ortiz, C.M. Witt, S. Roll, K. Linde, F. Pfab, B. Niggemann, J. Hummelsberger, A. Treszl, J. Ring, T. Zuberbier, K. Wegscheider, and S.N. Willich. The Effects of Acupuncture on Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. (2013). Annals of Internal Medicine, 158(4), I. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-158-4-201302190-00001
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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.