Hay Fever - An Eastern Medicine Approach

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Hay Fever - An Eastern Medicine Approach

11th April 2018 08:39 AM


Hay fever is a seasonal condition with symptoms of frequent sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, nasal discharge or blockages, which affects around 13 million people in the UK. If these symptoms occur throughout the whole year they are referred to as allergic rhinitis.

This disorder is due to a hypersensitivity reaction to certain substances that affect the mucous membranes of the nose and associated glands.

The term “hay fever” originated in England in the early 1800s when doctors noticed that people experienced sneezing, itchy eyes and coughing after being exposed to cut hay or grass. It was also called a “fever” because it caused restlessness which is one of the old English definitions of fever.

Conventional treatment usually consists of eye drops and antihistamines, but these are often not effective enough and the sufferer continues to experience much discomfort, and the quality of their life can be seriously impaired.

Acupuncture has been proved to be an effective treatment for hay fever through clinical trials, e.g.  Journal of TCM Dec. 1993.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine hay fever is attributed to a deficiency in Qi –the body’s vital energy, which then allows the lungs to be invaded by wind, heat, and sometimes also damp.

The lungs open into the nose and nasal function is mainly dependent on the action of the lung energy/Qi. The free movement of the lung Qi keeps the nasal passages clear and also maintains an accurate sense of smell.

During an acupuncture treatment tiny sterile needles are gently inserted into selected points on the skin. This is said to balance the flow of vital energy, activate the body’s own healing response – and in the case of hay fever clear wind and heat, clear damp if present and strengthen the lung and defensive Qi.

Nasal congestion, discharge and itching can be relieved during the first acupuncture treatment and five to six treatments may be required to give lasting relief. Some patients return for a course of treatment each year before their hay fever season starts, whilst others experience a continuous absence of the symptoms after their initial treatments.


Kirsten has practiced 5 Element Acupuncture for 30 years and still thinks it is the best job in the world. She is also trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nutritional Therapy, and has studied NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Gestalt Therapy, Qi Gong and Meditiation and integrates these into her treatments when appropriate. Visit her website here.

Tags: Acupuncture, hay fever, Hayfever, kirsten ward

Treatments: Acupuncture

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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