Friday, 22 November 2013

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Allergic Rhinitis (Part 3)

This is a continuation of Part 2. In this post, we explore how acupuncture works with allergic rhinitis and what you can expect during acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture and Allergic Rhinitis
Acupuncture helps in relieving the allergic rhinitis by strengthening the body’s system, tonifying the Spleen and qi, supporting the exterior so that it’s not so vulnerable to attack by external factors, and scattering wind-cold.

Acupuncture for allergic rhinitis works best as a preventative measure rather than wait for it to happen then expect a cure. Treatment often starts 8 weeks to 3 months beforehand, so in the case of hay fever, I suggest starting in February to build up the system. Most patients find weekly sessions adequate up until the season is over but they will require maintenance sessions again in the following year.
The most important thing about an acupuncture treatment is that you are comfortable, both physically and that you can communicate freely and well with your acupuncturist. Sterile, disposable needles will most likely be inserted in your face, arms, back and legs. You may feel a sharp prick upon insertion but afterwards there should be no more sharpness. However you may feel a sense of achiness, heaviness or soreness which is called de-qi, otherwise known as needle-grasp or needle-sensation. This is fine but do let your acupuncturist know if it’s too strong and they can tone it down.
Generally the nasal congestion should be relieved during your treatment, however it is still recommended you avoid allergens. In the first year, acupuncture aims to help improve your quality of life with allergic rhinitis, some patients are able to stop using their antihistamines or nasal sprays but others find that they still need it albeit less frequently. You may also be prescribed herbal remedies and that would supplement your acupuncture treatment and in all honesty this two-pronged approach is probably best when it comes to relieving allergic rhinitis, combined with a healthy lifestyle.
More about Ka Hang Leoungk: Ka Hang practices traditional acupuncture at the renowned Hale Clinic near Regent’s Park in central London, and Neal’s Yard Remedies on King’s Road, Chelsea. She trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from Middlesex University in the UK, and completed a Bachelor of Medicine from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. She is a Registered Acupuncturist, member of the British Acupuncture Council (MBAcC) and one of few practitioners in the UK to use the Balance Method style of acupuncture. She is also an Academic Associate of the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) You can find her on her websiteFacebook and Twitter.