Issuu on Google+

Laurie Ayres – Herbalist, Acupuncturist, Tui Na Practitioner Lic OHM, Lic Ac, Lic Tui Na, BSc (hons), MRCHM, MBAcC

The Treatment of Hay Fever with Chinese Medicine For many spring is a time to look forward to, but for 20% of the UK population who suffer from hay fever it can be a time of misery with blocked noses, itchy eyes, sneezing, and possibly headaches, being a number of the symptoms causing significant discomfort. If you also suffer from asthma then this is likely to be exacerbated too. Hay fever occurs when our body has an allergic reaction to pollen and spores in the air, which increase in the spring and summer months. Currently treatment comes in a number of forms including antihistamine nasal sprays and tablets, corticosteroid nasal sprays and drops, nasal decongestants, and eye drops, all of which are able to relieve the symptoms of hay fever, but do have some side effects. Immunotherapy is also available to certain individuals. Chinese medicine, involving herbal medicine and acupuncture, can offer an alternative. The Chinese medical approach to treating people with hay fever is much different, the aim is not to give a standard treatment to relieve symptoms, but rather to assess what the cause of these symptoms are in each individual and then treat that person accordingly. There are two ways in which Chinese medicine approaches the treatment of people with hay fever, depending upon whether the person is suffering symptoms at that time or not. The first approach is to treat outside of the hay fever season, to build up resistance before the symptoms start. The second approach is to treat while the person is suffering from symptoms, providing a more natural alternative to reduce the impact hay fever has on that person’s life, without the side effects of other treatments. It is ideal to combine both approaches, but they are also often used alone. Research Acupuncture effective combined with routine medicine. A study involving over 5,000 people comparing the use of acupuncture combined with routine treatment and routine treatment alone found that the combination of acupuncture and routine medication had greater and more persistent benefits than just routine medication alone. (Acupuncture in patients with allergic rhinitis: a pragmatic randomized trial. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 Nov;101(5):535-43) Acupuncture effective for hay fever. In a study involving 80 people which compared real and sham acupuncture it was concluded that the people receiving real acupuncture had a greater reduction in symptoms and medication use than the sham acupuncture group, these results persisted at a 12 week follow up. (Acupuncture for persistent allergic rhinitis: a randomised, sham-controlled trial. Med J Aust. 2007 Sep 17;187(6):337-41)

Herbal Medicine and acupuncture combined effective for hay fever. A study designed to assess the effectiveness of combined Chinese herbal medical and acupuncture treatment for hay fever found that 85% of those receiving specific herbal and acupuncture treatment has significant improvement, compared to just 40% in the control group. The conclusion was that “the results of this study suggest that traditional Chinese therapy may be an efficacious and safe treatment option for patient with seasonal allergic rhinitis [hay fever]” (Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomizedcontrolled clinical trial. Brinkhaus B et al.) Continued.

07787 508 378 • laurie@easternhealingarts.co.uk • www.easternhealingarts.co.uk


Laurie Ayres – Herbalist, Acupuncturist, Tui Na Practitioner Lic OHM, Lic Ac, Lic Tui Na, BSc (hons), MRCHM, MBAcC

About the Author Laurie Ayres is a practicing Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist, and a member of both the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) and British Acupuncture Council (BAcC). He practices at the Self Centre in Bury St Edmunds, and in north London. Laurie can be contacted for appointments and enquiries by phone on 07787 508 378, email at laurie@easternhealingarts.co.uk, and his website can be viewed at www.easternhealingarts.co.uk. Enquiries can also be made via Self Centre reception.

07787 508 378 • laurie@easternhealingarts.co.uk • www.easternhealingarts.co.uk


Chinese Medicine and Hayfever