Some people are affected by allergic rhinitis, which a seasonal allergy that is triggered only during certain times of the year, mainly spring or fall. Over twenty-five million Americans are diagnosed with chronic hay fever, and about forty million more people are known to have mild allergic reactions. Pollen, mold, animal dander, and dust mites carried by the wind are usually the main triggers of seasonal allergies. In the springtime, pollen fills the air because of all of the blooming agriculture. In autumn, leaf mold is the main issue and that mold can stay in the air all year long.
The reason the body contracts allergic rhinitis is due to how sensitive it is to certain byproducts of the environment. If one has such allergies, then they will feel congested, sneeze, and have watery or dry eyes. There are many medications to treat allergies, though they do have side effects that can lead to other problems such as weakened immune function. Side effects, along with the weakening of the effect of the medication over time, are two reasons why people look into receiving more natural treatments like traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. These methods have been used for centuries in treating seasonal allergies, strengthening the immune system, and clearing nasal passages. Not only does it help relieve the symptoms, but can also prevent the allergies from recurring as well.
What is Wei Qi?
Acupuncturists believe that seasonal allergies are a condition related to the wind element and is caused by a lack of Wei Qi. Wei Qi is a type of life energy that protects the body from outside elements, such as colds or allergies. Those who have an imbalance of Wei Qi typically catch colds easier than most. Acupuncture treats the imbalances in the body to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis as well as the root problem itself. Treatments often call for a change in diet and habits as well as herbal medications.
Studies on Allergic Rhinitis and Acupuncture
Many studies have been conducted on how effective acupuncture is for seasonal allergies. There is a specific study reported by the American Journal of Epidemiology that proved acupuncture and oriental medicine can relieve allergic symptoms significantly.
Five thousand people were separated into two groups in the study. One group received acupuncture with standard care while the other only received standard care. This occurred for three months until an evaluation took place, then the test continued for three more months. Results showed that the patients who received acupuncture not only have relieved symptoms, but also had better health in general.
A similar study reported by the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that those with hay fever who received acupuncture treatment weekly and three cups of herbal tea per day had a significant decrease in the severity of their symptoms. After a month and a half, over eighty percent of their patients showed improvement while the control group only had a forty percent increase.