The hayfever season is fast approaching. I have a special interest in hayfever; I’ve always suffered with it: as a child, through my teens, even as an adult. And I even wrote my dissertation it. But I don’t love it, I hate it!
So if you would like to give Acupuncture a try, now is the time, or as soon as possible before the sneezing season starts. Clinical experience has shown that for best results treatment should start before your symptoms start. It’s better to build your defences up early, before the true onslaught begins
What is hayfever?
Hayfever is basically an autoimmune disease. It is an immunoglobulin E – mediated disease; that is, allergen-specific IgE is synthesized in response to allergens in the environment, become fixed on the membranes of mast cells and basophils. This causes a classic inflammatory response: sneezing, nasal itching, nasal blockage and watery secretions. Other symptoms can include general tiredness, fever, sore eyes, cough, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Some interesting facts about sneezing! (Bless you)
You can’t sneeze when you are sleeping.
Looking at the sun can make you sneeze (it’s called the photic sneeze reflex).
Your eyes close automatically when you sneeze.
The spray from a sneeze can travel 5 feet or more.
Donna Griffiths of Worcestershire, England, sneezed continuously for 978 days!
Why don’t we all get hayfever?
In Chinese Medicine we believe that hayfever symptoms are due to a weak constitution caused by the weather/environment, diet, overwork and stress, which can lead to a ‘Wind Invasion’. This is exactly the same process as catching a cold.
It has also been suggested that we are constitutionally weakened as babies, due to overfeeding or being fed hard to digest foods. This can lead to a lifetime of allergies. On the other hand, some children will grow out of their allergies as they mature and become constitutionally stronger. My hayfever isn’t as strong as it was when I was in school, but it can still be pretty miserable in the summer.
Acupuncture can help relieve hayfever symptoms
However, recent studies suggest that acupuncture treatment is able to modulate immunosuppressed or immune-activated conditions through various immune functions, including the activities of macrophages, neutrophils, NK cells and lymphocytes, immunoglobulin production, and complement systems.
That is, acupuncture has been shown it is able to lower Immunoglobulin-E levels and thus reduce inflammation; exactly what antihistamines do what without the side-effects!
Does Acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture does not hurt. Some people feel the needles as they go in, and some people feel nothing. Acupuncture needles are solid needles, not hollow like hypodermic needles, and they are much, much thinner – about the diameter of a thick human hair.