Hay fever also known as allergic rhinitis is a very common condition in UK affecting over 30% populations. It is caused by allergy. The common allergen is pollen. House dust mites and pet skin flakes are also common allergic antigens. When these tiny particles come into contact with the cells that line your mouth, nose, eyes and throat, they irritate them and trigger an allergic reaction. This makes them inflamed. This is caused by overreacting of the immune system which releases chemical substances causing all the symptoms such as itching eyes and a running nose. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis are like common cold, such as sneezing, running or blocked nose, headache, itchy, red or watery eyes, an itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears, coughing, headache, tiredness, disturbance of sleep etc. These symptoms could be irritating and affecting people’s quality of life. Nasal sprays and antiallergic medicines such as antihistamine drugs and steroids are useful, but not suitable for long term use. Acupuncture is effective to improve patient symptoms and overall health.
A randomized trial study by Brinkhaus B. etc (2008) provided evidence for effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for allergic rhinitis by assessing patient quality of life. They compared acupuncture and routine care for patients with allergic rhinitis. 5237 patients average aged 40 year old were included in this study. The patients were allocated in to two groups: acupuncture group and control group. 15 acupuncture sessions during a period of 3 months were given to the patients in acupuncture group and no acupuncture received for those in control group. Quality of life survey was evaluated after 3 and 6 months. Results showed that quality of life was improved better in acupuncture group both at 3 and 6 months. They concluded that acupuncture played a part in treatment for allergic rhinitis and patient benefit.
Shiue HS etc was the first group using cDNA microarray analysis to study effect of acupuncture on blood gene expression for inducing immune and inflammatory response in patients with allergic rhinitis. They compared the gene expression in blood before and after acupuncture treatment. They studied 18 patients with allergic rhinitis. 8 sessions of acupuncture was given over 4 weeks and the blood was taken at each visit for gene expression analysis. Quality of life was also assessed using quality of life questionnaire. They found that gene expression in these patients was significantly decreased at 2 hours, 24 hours and 4 weeks after acupuncture treatment. This means acupuncture altered immune system function. The allergic rhinitis symptoms were also improved. They suggested that acupuncture is effective in treating allergic rhinitis by improving patient immune defence system.
Acupuncture is as effective as nasal spray for hay fever
Recently a study evaluated the effect and safety of acupuncture therapy on patients with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis. 76 patients with allergic rhinitis participated the study. The acupuncture group received 8-week acupuncture therapy, and the medication group received budesonide nasal spray with cetirizine tablets for 8 weeks. The clinical symptoms and signs were analyzed before treatment, at 4 and 8 weeks after the start of treatment, and at 12 weeks after the end of treatment. Furthermore, the clinical efficacy and safety indicators were compared between the two groups. The result has shown that the scores of each clinical symptom and sign, including sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, nasal itching, and turbinate edema, and the total scores decreased over time in both groups. All the tests including blood routine, urine routine, aspartate transaminase, alanine aminotransferase, urea nitrogen and creatinine were all in the normal reference ranges during the treatment in the acupuncture group. This study suggested that acupuncture therapy is as good as the medication treatment for patients with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis, and it is safe with no severe adverse effects.
Research has shown that acupuncture helps with hay fever by regulating immune response
Acupuncture is used to effectively treat persistent allergic rhinitis, which is suggested by clinical evidence, but the physiologic basis of these improvements is not well understood. Recent research adults investigated possible modulation of mucosal immune responses. A total of 151 individuals participated to the study. Acupuncture was applied for twice-weekly treatments for 8 weeks. Various cytokines, neurotrophins, proinflammatory neuropeptides, and immunoglobulins were measured in saliva or plasma from baseline to 4-week follow-up. Statistically significant reduction in allergen specific IgE for house dust mite was seen in the acupuncture group, Statistically significant down-regulation was also seen in proinflammatory neuropeptide substance P (SP) 18 to 24 hours after the first treatment. Nasal obstruction, nasal itch, sneezing, runny nose, eye itch, and unrefreshed sleep improved significantly in the acupuncture group and continued to improve up to 4-week follow-up.
This study suggested that acupuncture modulated mucosal immune response in the upper airway in adults with persistent allergic rhinitis. This modulation appears to be associated with down-regulation of allergen specific IgE for house dust mite. Improvements in nasal itch, eye itch, and sneezing after acupuncture are suggestive of down-regulation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1.
Yu L etc. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. (2010) 30:787-92.
Tan C etc. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. (2011) 36:302-6.
Yang QY etc Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012 Jun 3.Brinkhaus B etc Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. (2008)101:535-43.
Shiue HS eetc J Altern Complement Med. (2008) 14:689-98.
Reinhold T et al Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. (2013) 111:56-63
Chen YD et al Chin J Integr Med 2016 Mar 21. [Epub ahead of print]
McDonald JL et al (2016) Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol May 3. pii: S1081-1206(16)30126-0. doi:
Welcome to my blog
Acupuncture specialist for cosmetic acupuncture, vulvodynia, other pain relief, fertility,Fatigue, neurological condition.
Based at Harley Street and Kensington Central London.Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Over 25 year research and clinical experiences
Doctor who is passionate about acupuncture
I love what I do, I am good at it and I am always there for my patients. If you come and see me, you will know why I am standing out.
This blog is to introduce latest development and research of acupuncture and offer a chance of awareness of more treatment options for your condition. The blog is for information purpose only.
- My specialised areas include vulvodynia, cosmetic acupuncture, acne, chronic pain relief for various pain conditions, fertility, chronic fatigue, neurological conditions, digestive problems, etc.
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Kensington: for appointments at Anamaya center Kensington (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays) please call at 02030110355 or email at email@example.com
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2 min walk from High Street Kensington underground stationHarley Street: for appointments at Harley Street (Wednesdays) please call ALO clinic at 02076368845 or email at firstname.lastname@example.orgAddressSuite 3 Harmont House20 Harley Street, London W1G 9PH5 min walk from Oxford Circus underground stationMy background: I became a qualified medical doctor 25 years ago in Western medicine in China and was well trained in Western medicine together with Chinese medicine in the best Medical University in Beijing, China. Particularly I was trained with Ji-sheng Han famous professor and neuroscientist in China and with Dr Zheren Xuan--famous orthopedics expert and founder of soft tissue surgery in China. Furthermore I had training in dermatology and oral and maxilofacial surgery in China. Also I had training in fertility and had research experiences in uterine smooth muscles and blood vessels in China and the UK. I am dedicated to treat patients with acupuncture and am recognised as one of the world leading acupuncture specialists.
I obtained a PhD degree in the University of Leeds in the UK.
I had post doctoral training and worked as a senior researcher in St George's hospital, London, UK.
I had frequently presented my research findings in the top international conferences in the field.
I have many publications including ebooks and articles.
I have many year clinical experiences. Over the years of practising, I have developed unique effective treatment approaches for cosmetic acupuncture, acne, pain relief, vulvodynia, bladder pain, neck pain, headache, migraine, shoulder pain, back pain, fatigue, fertility, hot flushes, nerve pain, chronic prostatitis, insomnia, Parkison's disease, MS, acid reflex, IBS etc to achieve best treatment results.My devotion and skills are highly praised by my patients.
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