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Allergies, sinusitis and acupuncture

People, especially foreigners always rave about our South African weather – in fact according to many, Johannesburg probably has the most temperate weather in the country.  The down side of our moderate Johannesburg weather is our lack of humidity and high altitude which both contribute hugely to the way people who battle with allergies and sinus congestion.

With our seriously hot spring weather and our rains coming so late in the year, it is no wonder people struggle with this change of season.

Acupuncture and homeopathic treatment have both been shown to assist with the symptoms of allergies and sinusitis.

Below I have set out some information about sinusitis and how acupuncture can assist with its treatment and relieve the discomfort.

Sinusitis and acupuncture

Acute sinusitis is  inflammation of the nose and sinuses for anytime up to 12 weeks presenting with two or more of the following symptoms: blockage/congestion, discharge (anterior or post nasal drip); facial pain or pressure; and reduced or loss of smell. Other symptoms can include toothache (the upper teeth), tenderness, swelling, loss of energy and fever.  Sinusitis is chronic if it lasts for more than 12 weeks, and is associated with similar symptoms.

Acute sinusitis can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. You may also be predisposed to developing it if you have an upper respiratory infection, hay-fever, you are a smoker, have diabetes, have a dental infection or mechanical abnormalities such as deviation of the nasal septum.

Complications can include; spreading of the infection around the eye, which could lead to blindness, infection of the bones in the face, and meningitis. Symptoms and signs of these complications include swelling of the eyes or lids, eye redness, displacement of the eye, double vision, reduced vision, severe frontal headache, and signs of meningitis.

Clinical trials have shown that acupuncture can help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis in the following ways:

  • Endorphins are released during the treatment – they are chemicals that react with receptors in your brain, reducing your perception of pain.  They also trigger receptors that cause an improved mood
  • Reduces inflammation by promoting the release of anti-inflammatory chemicals or cytokines
  • Enhances the release of white blood cells – immune support, fighting the infection
  • Enhances local micro-circulation – helping to reduce local swelling and lymph drainage

Acupuncture is an effective drug-free therapy for sinusitis, why not give it a try or recommend it to a friend.  The frequency and number of treatments needed depends on the severity of the persons condition – usually the patient experiences relief within the a day or two of the treatment.

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