Acupuncture relieves sinus problems due to allergies. Research published in the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy incorporates a meta-analysis of high quality allergy related studies comparing groups receiving acupuncture versus control groups.
The researchers documented that acupuncture “produced significantly greater diminution of nasal symptoms” in the acupuncture group. They add, “Our meta-analysis showed that (the) acupuncture group has superior effect(s) in reduction of both rhinitis symptoms and the requirement for antiallergic medication compared with (the) control group.” Facial acupoints benefit rhinitis patients.
The research team notes that allergic rhinitis is a nasal hypersensitivity reaction to allergens. Common triggers include irritants such as dust mites, animal dander, and pollens. Reactions include nasal congestion, rhinorrhea (“runny nose”), sneezing, and pruritus (severe itching).
Allergic rhinitis affects approximately 1.4 billion people with increasing numbers. Medications used to combat allergic rhinitis include antihistamines, corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers, anticholinergics, and antileukotrienes.
Biomedicine And Acupuncture
The researchers note potential biological mechanisms making acupuncture effective for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. One mechanism is the ability of acupuncture to modulate cytokines, which are immune system cell secretions, and another is the ability of acupuncture to induce anti-inflammatory actions.
The researchers identified changes in IgE as a result of acupuncture treatment for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. IgE is a class of immunoglobulins including antibodies that react to pollen, spores, animal dander and othe substances. IgE levels often rise significantly during allergic reactions. The researchers note, “Our meta-analysis of serum IgE levels in three included trials showed a significant decrease of IgE for the acupuncture group compared with the control group.
This result showed strong and consistent evidence that acupuncture treatment leads to favorable responses in immunologic outcomes, which have been shown to be helpful in trials of proven therapeutic modalities, such as allergen-specific immunotherapy.”