Allergies and Chinese Medicine
I have previously written about treating children with allergies (here) but a recent Men's Journal article on the topic caused me to realize that there was no article on this blog addressing the allergic adult's response to Chinese medicine, which is equally wonderful.
...hay fever sufferers who received 12 acupuncture treatments over eight weeks had fewer symptoms and needed less antihistamine meds than patients who didn't do the needles.
The article goes on to quote a physician who attempted to describe the Western medical basis for Chinese medicine's ability to modulate the immune system in this positive way,
"Acupuncture addresses hay fever symptoms in a few ways," says Dr. Isaac Eliaz, an integrative physician . . . who was not involved in this study. "In general, it has a balancing effect on the body as a whole. Additionally, acupuncture regulates abnormal histamine excretion and allergic responses, so basically, it helps reduce sensitivity and reactivity to allergens. Acupuncture can also decrease the expression of inflammatory proteins."Eliaz says that receiving a series of treatments over a long stretch of time – much like what these study participants got – can even help reduce the recurrence of hay fever symptoms going forward. Another major perk? Stress relief. "Acupuncture helps regulate energy, so recipients often experience a deep sensation and feelings of well-being and relaxation," Eliaz says. "In our fast-paced modern world and with all of the issues we face as a society, reducing stress is critical for health."
A German study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine which you can read about, here, found that:
Hay fever sufferers who underwent 12 acupuncture sessions experienced fewer symptoms and required less antihistamine medication compared to a control group, researchers from Charite-University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany, reported in Annals of Internal Medicine.
A recent meta-analysis of many studies which looked at acupuncture and allergies found that,
The researchers documented that acupuncture “produced significantly greater diminution of nasal symptoms” in the acupuncture group. They add, “Our meta-analysis showed that (the) acupuncture group has superior effect(s) in reduction of both rhinitis symptoms and the requirement for antiallergic medication compared with (the) control group."