The ancient practice of medical acupuncture has been touted as an effective therapy for problems ranging from infertility to the side effects of cancer treatment. So researchers were curious about what it could do for people struggling with the uncomfortable sneezing and wheezing associated with common seasonal allergies.
According to a new study recently reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, this so-called alternative was incredibly effective when offered to 442 people suffering with severe grass and pollen allergies. The test subjects, who were studied in Germany by researchers affiliated with Charite-University Medical Center in Berlin, were able to use less antihistamine medication and felt much better when they underwent a course of weekly acupuncture for eight weeks.
However, even the researchers noted they aren’t sure how the benefits of regular acupuncture would appeal to most allergy patients. Although experienced recipients of acupuncture can testify that those tiny needles don’t hurt upon insertion, the treatment may not appeal to the squeamish and takes more time than they typical nasal spray.