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    It's almost hayfever season again .... and this is a gentle reminder to those who suffer to ACT NOW!

    Those who come to me for their annual course of acupuncture for hayfever swear by the mighty needles to alleviate their symptoms, and always ask me for an annual reminder! Those drowsy days of antihistamines and itchy eyes can be avoided with just a couple of sessions of acupuncture.

    Here is the research ....

    Evidence clearly shows that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for hayfever with benefits over conventional medicine (Xiao 2009), that acupuncture can help to relieve the symptoms of hay fever (Lee 2009) and that ear acupuncture is equally as effective as antihistamines (Zhang 2010).

    Recent randomised controlled trials have shown that acupuncture used as an adjunct to routine care for hay fever has clinically relevant and persistent benefits (Brinkhaus 2008) and is cost effective (Witt 2009). Such trials have also found that acupuncture is effective in the symptomatic treatment of hay fever (Xue 2007) and that acupuncture is more effective than placebo in decreasing hay fever symptoms and increasing symptom-free days (Ng 2004).

    Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional wellbeing. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brian that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress (Hui 2010). Acupuncture therefore relieves hay fever by

    • regulating levels go IgE and cytokines, mediators of the allergic reaction to extrinsic allergens (Ng 2004; Rao 2006; Roberts 2008)
    • stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987; Han 2004; Zhao 2008; Cheng 2009)
    • reducing inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Zijlstra 2003; Kavoussi 2007)
    • enhancing natural killer cell activities and modulating the number and ratio of immune cell types (Kawakita 2008)
    • increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009) which aids dispersal of swelling

     

    Details of this research can be found in the British Acupuncture Council Hayfever factsheet.

    That's the science, but the proof is in the pudding .... every year my patients say that acupuncture has given them their summer back. No more drowsy days on antihistamines, no more sneezing and itching, and no more constant runny nose ... meaning that summer can be the enjoyable outdoor season that it should be!

    I suggest a course of acupuncture treatment BEFORE the hay fever season really kicks in, so ACT NOW, book an appointment, and enjoy this summer the way that summer should be enjoyed!

     

     


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