Can Acupuncture Help Hay Fever?

Can acupuncture help hay fever? (also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis)  According to the World Health Organisation, it can. sneezing, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, acupuncture

The World Health Organisation strongly recommends acupuncture to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.  Clinical trials have found it to be more effective than antihistamine drugs although findings are yet to be verified.

WHO Report on Acupuncture for Hay Fever

“WHO Acupuncture: review and analysis of controlled clinical trials

2.4 Respiratory disorders

Acupuncture is often used in treating respiratory disorders. Allergic rhinitis is one of the major indications. In controlled studies, it has been shown that acupuncture is more effective than antihistamine drugs in the treatment of allergic rhinitis (111–115). Acupuncture’s lack of side-effects is a distinct advantage in treating this condition; however, its protective effect against allergen-provoked rhinitis has not been verified (116).”


How Can Acupuncture Help Hay Fever?

Chinese Medicine differs from Western Medicine in that it focuses on why your body is reacting the way it is, not just on getting rid of the symptoms.  When using acupuncture to treat a patient suffering from hay fever I would want to know how the symptoms manifest.  I would ask do you have breathing difficulties? Does your nose run?  Is your throat itchy?  Do your eyes itch?  Your answers to these questions will enable me to diagnose the underlying cause of your hay fever, help you build some resistance and help calm your symptoms.

How Does Chinese Medicine Diagnose Hay Fever?

In Chinese Medicine terms hay fever is generally seen as an attack on the Lung channel.  The Lung is the Yin organ (as in Yin and Yang) most open to the elements as it has a direct connection to the outside via the throat.  Thus it is the most likely of the Yin organs to suffer invasions from pathogens, which is why coughs and colds are so predominant.  There is also likely to be an underlying imbalance in the Kidney and Liver meridians. For a patient with an acute attack of hay fever I would use points on the body to calm the symptoms he or she is presenting with.



The world-renowned College of Integrated Chinese Medicine gives their view on the treatment of hay fever with acupuncture as do the BAcC (British Acupuncture Council).



You can also read of the success one man had in using acupuncture to relieve his hay fever.

People’s Responses to Acupuncture

People’s responses to acupuncture vary but often there is a three-day delay between acupuncture treatment and the patient feeling the benefit of it.  You will almost certainly need more than one acupuncture treatment when your symptoms are at their worst.  There are no side-effects with acupuncture and if you have treatment leading up to the hay fever season you should find that your symptoms either disappear or lessen considerably.


Taking a daily spoonful of local honey, i.e. honey produced within a 10 mile radius of where you live, is supposed to give you antigens to help you combat hay fever.  There is no scientific evidence for this and it may be an old wives tale, but many tales have their basis in truth so it could be worth a try.

Also visit Jackie at Bridge to Health Clinic in Ealing, West London.



If you have not had acupuncture treatment before and want to find out more about it please read this blog to find out how to get the best from a treatment.

To find out what to expect from an acupuncture treatment please read here.


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