Hay fever is a common seasonal condition that can cause a number of symptoms which make you feel miserable. In this article, we will look at the causes of hay fever and how acupuncture for hay fever is an effective treatment. We will also show you some acupuncture points that you can stimulate to help relieve your symptoms.
What is Hay Fever?
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is an inflammatory condition caused by a hypersensitive immune system response to airborne allergens. When our bodies come into contact with pollen, dander from pets, household dust, moulds, or dust mites, our immune system recognises them as a foreign body and it immediately triggers an immune response to help remove the invaders. Mucus is created to wash away any foreign objects which have interacted with our first line of defence, including our eyes, nose and throat, down into the mucus lining of our lungs. When our immune system works properly, this is a highly effective defense response. However, this amazing immune system response can also be troublesome for some people, especially when there’s too much mucus or the inflammatory response causes other symptoms within the body. The result is unwanted hay fever symptoms which include:
- Blocked nose
- Runny Nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- Sore throat
Most hay fever sufferers are often advised to simply take medication such as antihistamines or decongestants, but these can contain steroids or cause side effects such as feeling drowsy. Others may try to endure the symptoms of hayfever without treatment, which results in coughing and sneezing for days on end. You too may have thought, ‘If only there was an effective hay fever treatment that didn’t have any side effects!’
How Can Acupuncture For Hay Fever Help Your Symptoms?
If you’ve ever experienced persistent hay fever symptoms, you may be keen to try other forms of treatment rather than medication. So does acupuncture work for hay fever sufferers?
One proven benefit of acupuncture hay fever treatment is to regulate or reduce the immune response and the process of inflammation. In simple terms, inflammatory responses are created at the local site of irritation. However, acupuncture can create anti-inflammatory chemicals, which dampen down the chemicals that affect us with hay fever. Imagine taking your foot off the accelerator of a car and putting your foot onto the break. Instantly, less fuel will be released. Similarly, acupuncture reduces the inflammatory process by slowing down the releasing of chemicals we want to stop.
Using Acupressure On Acupuncture Points To Treat Hay Fever Symptoms
Targeting specific acupressure points can significantly reduce some symptoms of hay fever. For example, nasal congestion, or a stuffy nose, is a common complaint with hay fever. But by stimulating sinus pressure points this can help to naturally relieve the issues and made breathing easier.
Here are a few steps to get you familiar with having a go at massaging these sinus acupressure points yourself:
- Try to relax in a comfortable position and breathe deeply.
- Locate one of these pressure point and press it firmly with your finger.
- Move the finger in circles, or up and down, for at least a 30 seconds.
- Use deep and a litle firm pressure.
- Then after you’ve located the second sinus acupressure point, try the same steps and apply the same pressure here.
- This can be repeated when relief from sinus symptoms are needed.
We’ve created a video explaining where you can find these acupuncture points and how to stimulate them:
First Acupressure Point
This acupressure point is located between the webbing of your index finger and your thumb. If you look down at the bone in your left index finger, if you go halfway along that bone and one third of the way into the webbing, or the fleshy part, that’s where the point is located. Rub that point with your opposite thumb quite vigorously. This is probably the single most important acupressure point that’s used for pain and inflammation.
Second Acupressure Point
If you feel to the side of your nostril, there’s a little groove there as if your finger falls into a small hole. It’s actually just above your teeth. In that point there, again rub vigorously.
Third Acupressure Point
This point can normally be quite tender and it’s a little bit more difficult to find that the others. It’s located where the cheek meets the edge of the nose, and it’s on the cheek.
Bonus Acupressure Point
This is a calming acupuncture point and it is located at the top of your nose, in the center between your eyebrows. This point will also be of benefit to you.
Of course as professionals, we use a selection of important acupressure points besides the ones mentioned, including another one on your foot. Various points are used depending on your constitution, or body type, and your particular collection of symptoms.
Patient Success Stories
One particular patient of ours was in the British Army and involved in top secret communications operations in West Germany. This meant that annually they made a trip to Germany and were driven across land to their location. Once there they were unable to leave and under guard. Now one soldier who wanted to pass the medical in order to take the driving assignment, had hay fever which presented a real problem for him. It was crucial that he pass the medical exam but he was suffering with an acute phase of coughing, wheezing, sniffing and suffering from itchy, red and watery eyes.
Desperately seeking help, he booked in for acupuncture treatment at our clinic near Birmingham. He had time for just a couple of weeks of acupuncture treatment before his next medical assessment. Fortunately he passed, got the contract, and successfully drove the truck out to Germany and back again for their NATO maneuvers. You could only begin to imagine his relief from the benefits of his treatment.
There was a similar experience with another man who drove a huge truck all over Britain and Europe. And again, he was wise enough to recognise that doing this when he was in his most acute phase of hay fever meant that he was actually a danger on the road. He wanted fast relief and therefore used to dose himself up every year with the over the counter medication. However, these made him very lethargic and affected his reflexes. Not the best option when you’re driving a 30 ton truck!
He too decided to book up for some acupuncture treatment. He was really, really impressed with treatment and decided that he would book up each year to get relief. Because of the serious responsibilities that these men had in their jobs, they were pleased to have found the most suitable relief for them. These are just two success stories that stand out among the myriads of happy patients over the years.
Our team at Backcare & Acupuncture Clinic offer a range of treatment options that may help provide relief if you are suffering from hay fever or other allergies. For a free initial consultation and to find out more please contact the team on 0121 354 4629.