Are you among the 1 in 6 Americans who suffer from Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis? Are you tired of taking a cocktail of pharmaceuticals in an attempt to find relief? Perhaps acupuncture is the answer.

According to a study published in 2013 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, acupuncture led to statistically significant improvements in disease-specific quality of life and antihistamine use measures after 8 weeks of treatment, as compared against sham acupuncture (randomly placed needles versus appropriate acupuncture points), or rescue medication, like antihistamines.

To conduct this study, researchers in Germany assembled a group of 422 people, ages 16 to 45, all of whom had pollen allergies. They divided the participants into three groups. The first group received 12 acupuncture treatments, plus allowed antihistamines to take as needed. Group two was treated with sham acupuncture, plus antihistamines as needed. And group three was allowed only antihistamines to address their symptoms. It was concluded after 8 weeks that patients treated with acupuncture used significantly less rescue medication than those who were treated with sham acupuncture or rescue medications alone.

Their findings have led some doctors of conventional Western medicine to step back and reevaluate their stance on acupuncture and acknowledge its benefits as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. Dr. Sandra Lin, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said that “acupuncture may help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for people with perennial allergic rhinitis, and may help with seasonal allergies. too, according to several studies. Thus, it could be an option for people looking for non-pharmaceutical treatments.

The study author, Dr. Benno Brinkhaus of the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics at Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, wrote “From my experience as a physician and acupuncturist, and as a researcher, I would recommend trying acupuncture if patients are not satisfied with the conventional anti-allergic medication or treatment or they suffer from more or less serious sides effects of the conventional medication. Also because acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment.”

Even WebMD has acknowledged the use of acupuncture as an effective way to relieve Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. “This ancient Chinese procedure has been used to treat a number of allergy symptoms, from sneezing and runny nose to puffy eyes… It is common to see improvement even after the first treatment.”

Allergy season is upon us, and we would be honored to support you in finding a more holistic way toward relief. Call us to discuss scheduling a set of appointments that will be the most beneficial for your particular needs. And in addition to acupuncture therapy, you can be clear from Claritin® with Hevert’s® Homeopathic Sinus and Allergy Relief tablets, also available through our office. We can be reached at 561-249-0447 to answer any questions you may have, or to schedule your first appointment for the season! Namaste.

Written by Melody A. Martin