The World Health Organisation strongly recommends acupuncture for hay fever. Clinical trials have shown it to be more effective than antihistamine drugs.
Acupuncture treats your hay fever by gently strengthening the immune system and its ability to cope with the allergens that trigger the symptoms such as itchy and sore eyes and throat, sneezing, nasal inflammation and other related discomforts.
For best results, you should start the treatment before the pollen season begins or as soon as you experience the symptoms. The birch pollen season usually starts in early Spring and lasts about a month, giving way to grass pollen allergies from May and June onwards.
The UK has around 13 million hayfever sufferers. They endure an annual misery ranging from mild symptoms, such as a runny nose, to more severe complications, such as asthma attacks.
Most people with hayfever rely on over-the-counter medicines, such as eye drops and antihistamines, to relieve symptoms. But the discomfort can affect their work, social life and even relationships.
New research, published in the journal Allergy, shows the ancient Chinese medicine can dramatically reduce symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes. Researchers found that when they used acupuncture, the number of patients feeling better was over double that in a group not given the treatment.