So summer is truly here, but while many people are enjoying themselves in the outdoors, for 20% of our population it not such an enjoyable season. For those that suffer with hay fever this can be a miserable time of year.
But sufferers should know that this need not be the case. Acupuncture can both relieve the symptoms of hayfever and prevent your immune system over reacting to the pollen in the first place. It can be used successfully during the hay fever season but is effective as a preventative treatment pre-hay fever season. Aisling (34) describes her experience of acupuncture:
“I’ve suffered from chronic hayfever since I was 11 years old with some years being so bad that I’m pretty much house bound for days at a time. I’ve tried EVERYTHING…from local honey to steroids with varying degrees of success (and side effects!). I tried acupuncture as a last resort two years ago and it’s genuinely the only thing that has worked. I don’t have to remember to take antihistamines every day, there are no side effects and it’s the most effective treatment that I’ve come across yet.”
Acupuncture focuses on treating “the Root and the Branch.” This means that treatment will address the immediate symptoms, the itchy eyes, the stuffy nose etc, but most importantly treatment will be focussed on treating the cause of your hay fever. The diagnosis will focus on how your body responds to triggers, and why your immune system has such an extreme response to something as seemingly harmless as pollen.
Some improvements in the hay fever may be seen in the first season of acupuncture treatment, but major improvements will be seen in the second season of treatment. It is often advised to seek treatment before the hay fever season starts, in early Spring, to support the immune system for the coming season
Acupuncture treatment focuses on treating fundamental imbalances within a person, so regulation of the immune system will be a natural part of most treatment. Because of this, people who come for acupuncture for other reasons can often report an improvement in their hay fever symptoms. Tom (34) found that this was the case:
“After 5 summer of suffering from Hay fever quite badly I had been having acupuncture throughout winter and spring for other reasons but got to the time of year it would usually start and no symptoms at all – for the last 4/5yrs now!”
For more information and details of scientific research into the use of acupuncture for Hay fever visit the British Acupuncture Council on http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/allergic-rhinitis.html
For further information on how acupuncture can help you, please contact us
The People’s Acupuncture Project, Exeter