Allergies & Research


Several studies on the effects of acupuncture have been done in the past 10 years.

Here are 2 studies:

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been shown to be effective in treating allergies by stimulating and strengthening the body’s immune system, regulating the immune response and alleviating the signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis. A randomized controlled study looked at 52 patients with chronic seasonal allergic rhinitis. The control received acupuncture to non-acupuncture or sham points and a non-specific herbal decoction. The study group received a semi-standardized treatment of acupuncture and a prescribed Chinese herbal decoction. The results showed an 85% improvement in the study group and only a 40% improvement in the control group. The study group also showed a significant improvement after treatment on the VAS (visual analogue scale) and the rhinitis quality of life questionnaire.

(1) Treatments are designed to each individual’s needs depending on what signs and symptoms are present. Studies show that treatments are more effective when patients take herbs specifically for their needs in addition to acupuncture. This also cuts down the overall cost of treatment, as the patient gets daily support between the acupuncture treatments, thus requiring fewer acupuncture treatments.

1. Brinkhaus, B., et al. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal Medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial. Allergy, 2004; 59 (9), 953-960. ©2002-2014 Oriental Health Solutions, LLC — Photographs © Dagmar Ehling

Therapeutic effect of acupuncture on allergic rhinitis and its effects on immunologic function].
[Article in Chinese] Rao YQ, Han NY. Author information. Abstract

To compare therapeutic effects of acupuncture and auricular point pressing therapy on allergic rhinitis.

One hundred and fifty cases were randomly divided into an acupuncture group, an auricular point pressing group and a medication control group, 50 cases in each group. The acupuncture group were treated with acupuncture for 6 consecutive days, once each day, with an interval of one day; and the auricular point pressing group were alternatively treated twice each week; the medication group were treated with oral administration of western medicine saitezan, once daily, 10 mg once. They were treated for 4 weeks, and the short-term and long-term therapeutic effects, and effects on serum immunological indexes were compared among the three groups.

The acupuncture group and the auricular point pressing group in the short-term therapeutic effect and improvement of cumulative scores of symptoms and signs, and the long-term total therapeutic effect and the improvement of cumulative scores of symptoms and signs were better than the medication group (P<0.01, P<0.05), with no significant differences between the acupuncture group and the auricular point pressing group. Serum IgE, IL-4 contents decreased and IFN-gamma level did not significantly change in the three groups.

Acupuncture and auricular pressing therapy in improvement of symptoms and signs are better than the medication, and the therapeutic effect is carried out by inhibiting the differentiation from Th cells to Th2 cells, adjusting the imbalance of Th1/Th2 cells and decrease the synthesis of IgE to inhibit allergic rhinitis.