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Can acupuncture help hay fever and allergies

Q:  I am a 27-year-old male, with chronicle hay fever and dust allergies. My doctor advices me to have allergy shots but we had to postpone it, because I am studying in the UK minimum until September. As far as i know, here they do not ractice such a treatment, only temporary reliefs with antihistamines. But I need a permanent treatment. Do you think acupuncture would help me with my dust mite allergies?

A:  We have to admit that we were rather surprised when we researched this topic to provide you with an answer. There are a couple of reasonably well-designed trials

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ja/2014/654632/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21443446

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303983/

which appear to show that acupuncture treatment is at least as effective as drug treatment for the problems of dust mite allergy. Because the funding of trials is something of an issue, we had not suspected that many would have been done, especially in the West. Many Chinese studies exist, but few are translated.

Of course, one of the issues we have to contend with is that from a Chinese medicine perspective the allergic response would be different in each individual because the manifestation of the problem arises from the unique balance of the patient's energies. The symptom may be the same, but the cause (not the mite which is the trigger) can be very different in each case. The
strength of Chinese medicine is that it does not simply treat the symptom, but it tries to establish why this symptom in this individual and why now.

Because everyone is unique and different, we would not be able to say without qualification that acupuncture treatment would definitely help you. In order to have a better idea of this your best bet would be to visit a BAcC member local to you for a brief face to face assessment of what might be possible. However, we always advise people, if they do choose to have treatment, so set very clear markers for measuring progress, and to review treatment on a regular basis. It can be very easy to run up a large bill
getting nowhere, so it is important to be able to find objective markers which can measure progress, and to see whether the progress made justifies the time and expense involved.

 

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