Hayfever and Acupuncture

April 10, 2009 0 comments Health


Acupuncture has been used to treat seasonal allergies for centuries with great success. According to Chinese Medicine, treatment is directed toward clearing the nasal passages, supporting the immune system and strengthening the systems of the body to prevent allergic reactions from recurring.

What is Hayfever?


Hayfever or allergic rhinitis, a seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction to a trigger that is typically only present for part of the year, such as spring or autumn. Pollens that are spread by the wind are usually the main cause of seasonal allergies. People who are allergic to pollens are also often sensitive to dust mites, animal dander, and molds.


Spring is traditionally the main season when allergies blossom because of new growth on trees and weeds. But autumn, with a whole different set of blooming plants as well as leaf mold, is a close second.


Hayfever is caused by the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Symptoms involve primarily the membrane lining the nose, causing allergic rhinitis, or the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the whites of the eyes, causing allergic conjunctivitis.


At least a third of the population suffer from hayfever, and numbers are rising every year, according to Allergy UK.


Fever facts


  • Peak pollen counts occur in May for trees and June and July for grass – 25% of the UK population are allergic to tree pollen, 75% to grass pollen
  • Around one in six teenagers and one in ten of the whole UK population have hayfever
  • Males are a little more likely to have hayfever than females
  • One of the few benefits of getting older is that hayfever often becomes less severe
  • Hayfever is more common in the cities and towns than in the countryside because of emissions from vehicle exhausts which may increase sensitivity to allergies



While there are many Western medications to treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies, these treatments can cause unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness and immune system suppression as well as an over-reliance on medications. These side effects have drawn many people to search for an alternative approach, such as acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to manage their allergies.


How Acupuncture Treatments Provide Relief from Allergies


According to Chinese Medicine, allergic rhinitis is related to Wind and a deficiency of the Protective Energy or Wei Qi. Wei Qi is the Qi that flows at the surface of the body as a protective sheath and is responsible for resistance to colds and other respiratory infections. People with a deficiency of Wei Qi catch colds easily and are more susceptible to allergens.  Wei Qi in Western terms could be said to be part of the immune system.


When treating with acupuncture, underlying imbalances within the body are addressed and a treatment plan is developed to relieve the acute symptoms of allergic rhinitis while also treating the root problems that are contributing to the body’s reaction to allergens. Treatments often include dietary modification, the use of specifically chosen herbal formulas, and acupuncture.


If you experience seasonal allergies, now is the time to schedule an appointment.

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