Are you tired of seasonal sneezing and want to explore alternative therapies? Did you know acupuncture can be a possible remedy for hay fever symptoms? Read on to discover how acupuncture for allergies, specifically hayfever, might be the solution you’ve been seeking!
In this article, we delve into the world of acupuncture and its uses as a treatment for hayfever, a common allergy that affects people all across the UK.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine); a healing practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. These points are part of a network of channels called meridians, which are believed to influence the flow of vital energy, or Qi, throughout the body.
By stimulating these points, acupuncturists aim to restore balance and promote the body’s natural healing abilities. At the heart of acupuncture lies the belief that the human body is an interconnected system, where each part influences the other. This holistic approach recognises that imbalances in one area can manifest as symptoms in seemingly unrelated parts of the body.
The Acupuncture process:
During an acupuncture session, the acupuncturist will begin by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s overall health and specific concerns, discussing the patient’s medical history, lifestyle habits, and any symptoms they may be experiencing.
Based on this assessment, the acupuncturist will develop an individualised treatment plan tailored to address the patient’s unique needs. Acupuncture treatment primarily involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body. These acupuncture points are carefully chosen along the meridians, with each point having specific functions and therapeutic effects.
The Acupuncture experience:
Most people find acupuncture to be a gentle and relatively painless experience. The needles used in acupuncture are much thinner than hypodermic needles used for injections, and they are designed to glide smoothly into the skin. Patients typically report feeling a mild sensation, often described as a slight pinch or tingling, when the needles are inserted.
Once in place, the acupuncturist may gently manipulate them to enhance the therapeutic effect. This technique is known as “needle stimulation” and can involve various methods, such as gentle twisting or tapping. The needles remain in place for a designated period, usually between 15 to 30 minutes, during which the patient can relax and unwind.
What is Hay fever?
Hay Fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction triggered by the immune system’s response to airborne allergens, typically pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. The UK is particularly affected by hay fever, with a study from Allergy UK reporting that 49% of the UK have suffered from hay fever symptoms, making it one of the most common allergies!
What causes hay fever?
The seasonal culprit: pollen! Hay fever is often more pronounced during specific times of the year, typically spring and summer when plants release large amounts of pollen into the air for reproduction. However, depending on the type of allergenic plants and the region, symptoms can also occur during autumn!
The Allergic response:
When an individual with hay fever comes into contact with pollen, their immune system recognises it as a threat and produces an immune response. This involves the release of histamines and other chemicals, which can lead to inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages, throat, and eyes.
Hay fever is not a condition to be taken lightly, as it can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities, work productivity, and leisure time, making the allergy season a challenging period for those affected.
What are the symptoms of Hay fever?
The symptoms of hay fever can range from mild to severe, and they often mimic the symptoms of a common cold. Some of the typical signs of hay fever include:
Sneezing: Frequent and repetitive sneezing is a hallmark symptom of hay fever! It occurs as the body attempts to expel the allergens from the nasal passages.
Runny or Blocked Nose: Hay fever can cause a runny or stuffy nose due to the increased production of mucus in response to the allergens.
Itchy and Watery Eyes: The eyes may become red, itchy, and watery, causing discomfort and sometimes affecting vision.
Itchy Throat, Ears, or Roof of the Mouth: Irritation in the throat and other areas of the upper respiratory tract is common in hay fever sufferers.
Fatigue and Irritability: The combination of disrupted sleep due to symptoms and ongoing discomfort can lead to fatigue and irritability during the day.
During peak pollen seasons, hayfever can significantly impact the quality of life for those affected, interfering with daily activities and work productivity.
How does Acupuncture help treat Hay Fever?
Acupuncture for hayfever focuses on specific points to target the symptoms and underlying causes of the allergy. Studies have shown that acupuncture can stimulate the release of natural chemicals, such as endorphins and cortisol, which play a role in reducing inflammation and relieving pain!
When applied to hayfever, acupuncture may help to:
- Alleviate nasal congestion and reduce sneezing
- Decrease the frequency and intensity of allergy-related headaches
- Minimise eye irritation and itchiness
- Boost the immune system, reducing the overall allergic response
Acupuncture treatment for hayfever typically involves several sessions during the allergy season to maintain symptom relief. Many patients report significant improvements in their hay fever symptoms after receiving acupuncture, with some experiencing longer-term benefits that extend beyond the allergy season.
You can see our own patient’s success with acupuncture for hayfever below:
“I’ve been seeing Berenice Scheepers for Acupuncture since April 2019, having been recommended by a friend. My main reason for trying Acupuncture was due to a very long history of severe hay-fever, since a child, and finding it to be impacting my life so severely that I needed time off work.
I would suffer very itchy eyes, runny and blocked nose, wheezy chest that often became infected. The treatments I’ve received have definitely helped reduce my symptoms significantly, to the extent that I was able to complete the 3 Peaks Challenge in June last year, something that I could never have done previously.
Aside from this, I find the treatments extremely relaxing and I always have a sense of calmness and wellbeing in the hours and days after. My sleep has improved, I feel cooler, less stressed and more able to cope with life. Berenice has a lovely manner and makes you feel at ease. She is very professional and confident and I can highly recommend her as a practitioner. I always look forward to my treatments and will continue to see Berenice as the long term benefits will really improve my lifestyle.”Phil Peaple, Trustpilot
Can Acupuncture Help Other Allergies?
Absolutely! While our focus here is on hayfever, it’s worth noting that acupuncture can be beneficial for a wealth of other allergies as well. Whether you’re dealing with pet allergies, dust mite allergies, or food allergies, acupuncture’s holistic approach can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall well-being.
If you’re unsure about whether acupuncture is suitable for your specific allergy, it’s essential to consult with a qualified acupuncturist who can tailor the treatment to your individual needs.
If hay fever or other allergies have been putting a damper on your life, it might be time to explore the natural benefits of acupuncture. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing personalised treatments that cater to your unique health concerns. Take the first step towards a more vibrant and allergy-free life by booking an appointment with us today. Embrace the wonders of acupuncture for hayfever and experience the relief you deserve.