Acupuncture and Chinese medicine helps reduce need for Hayfever medications.
The Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) team at Geelong Chinese medicine clinic (GCMC) welcomes you to spring. As acupuncturists and Chinese medicine herbalists, we see numerous people suffering from seasonal and all year round allergies. Along with conditions such as pain, headaches, migraines, anxiety and depression, allergies are one of the most common conditions seen in our clinic.
If you suffer from Hayfever/ seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), basically it involves the body’s immune system becoming over reactive to certain things in the environment (i.e. pollens) that aren’t a problem for most people. There are many theories on the different ways that cause this, but simply your body has learned to be allergic to certain things.
Hayfever (SAR) symptoms: (similar to cold or flu like symptoms)
- Runny nose
- Rubbing of the nose
- Itchy nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Congested nose
- Swelling of the face and throat in extreme cases
Modern allergy medications for Hayfever (SAR) come in various forms such sprays, tablets, syrups, flushes and even injections to provide short-term relief. They do not cure allergies, but simply block the symptoms.
Are there natural alternatives to help stop or reduce the need for allergy medications for Hayfever (SAR)?
This is a common question from patients at Geelong Chinese medicine clinic.
The short answer is yes.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offers both acute symptom relief management and longer period treatment to attempt to regulate the TCM constitutional imbalances and calm the immune system overreaction.
A 2018 clinical trial review of acupuncture on antihistamine use in patients suffering seasonal allergic rhinitis showed the acupuncture group had a lot fewer days (10 days less) of antihistamine use and 38% of the acupuncture group didn’t need any medication at all in comparison to 16% in the routine management group (Adam et al, 2018)
Best time for treating Hayfever (SAR)
Just like preparation for bushfires is best done before the actual fire season, in regards to Hayfever (SAR) the best time to come for treatment is 2-3 months (Autumn/Winter) before the hayfever season (Spring) starts. For all year round sufferers, anytime is a good time to start treatment.
But as most people don’t know this, the majority of Hayfever sufferers come in peak season (Spring). When this happens we end up focussing more on symptom relief before we can get to working on underlying constitutional causes. However, we aim to lessen their symptoms and then decrease allergic responses in following seasons.
Future Blog articles will address self-care strategies for Hay fever/ SAR sufferers such as commonly used acupressure points that can help reduce acute symptoms.