Allergic rhinitis (perennial and seasonal) affects around 10-40% of the population worldwide, and can have a substantial health and economic impact on the community. The condition can affect several organ systems, and cause many symptoms. Typical symptoms include sneezing, nasal itching, nasal blockage, and watery nasal discharge.
To see how acupuncture might be useful to you, take a look at the following factsheet compiled by the British Acupuncture Council.
Allergic rhinitis can be like a dripping tap
My acupuncture patients often ask “why don’t you put the needles where the pain is”. Why don’t you stick it where it hurts?
The answer I give is that the body is ‘plumbed’ with acupuncture channels. You may like to think of these as ‘highways’ connecting several different places. The majority of these channels go vertically – from head to toe or from head to fingertip.
As an example, someone may come to the clinic for the relief of migraines. My first course of action may well be to insert ultra-fine needles into points on the feet and legs. ‘But why not treat the head where it hurts?’ I hear you ask. The channel usually associated with migraines starts on the temple, zig-zags its way around the side of the head and then travels down the body to the feet, rather as a river finds its way to the sea. By stimulating a foot point we can draw the migraine down and away from the head. Patients usually find this to be very effective.
Of course I may then supplement this with points around the head, but the key message here is that the most effective treatment points are often those furthest away from the affected area.
Why don’t you stick it where it hurts?