Acupuncture not to be sniffed at

hay fever acupuncture ResearchSTICK UP: Rosalyn Hunter, 26, is treated for hay fever with acupuncturist John McDonald. Source: The Courier-Mail

ROSALYN Hunter turned to acupuncture to treat her hay fever earlier this year amid what experts describe as Queensland’s worst pollen season in a decade.

She hasn’t had to reach for a packet of antihistamine tablets since.

The 26-year-old from the Gold Coast is part of a Griffith University trial looking at how acupuncture works in patients with hay fever, known scientifically as allergic rhinitis.

“I’ve had hay fever for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I used to have to take anti-histamines quite often.

“I had the acupuncture treatment and I’ve noticed that I haven’t used an antihistamine since.”

Acupuncturist John McDonald, who is conducting the trial for his PhD, said previous studies had shown acupuncture was effective in hay fever patients but he wanted to show how it worked.

People in the study undergo blood tests before and after treatment, as well as regular saliva testing.

Mr McDonald said he expected to find changes in the immune systems of people in the acupuncture group.

Allergist Peter Smith, who is supervising the research, said persistent rain since September had triggered the state’s worst pollen season in 10 years.

“It’s a shocking time for grass pollen allergy,” he said.

Original Article on The Courier-mail website