October 30, 2019


Written by Hannah Sutton

Do you suffer from Seasonal Rhinitis or Hay fever every year?  Are you looking for a natural treatment, not only to treat your symptoms but also prevent it from reoccurring?  

Chinese Medicine and acupuncture can provide you with an effective way of managing your symptoms.

What is Hay fever?

Hay fever is a group of uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms relating to a reaction to allergens in our environment that affect the nose, eyes, lungs and sinuses.  This can be seasonal or perennial and is often attributed to tree pollens (in Spring), grass pollens (in Summer) and weed pollens (in Autumn).  Other allergens may include dust, dust mites, pets, fungi/mould, and chemical irritants.  Symptoms may include: –

  • red, itchy eyes, nose &/or throat
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • sinus congestion
  • headaches
  • fatigue / foggy head
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • loss of appetite

The most common form of treatment of hay fever in Western medicine is antihistamines.  People often seek out alternative treatments when they build up a tolerance to antihistamines so they are no longer effective or they want to avoid their undesirable side effects such as drowsiness.

So what can you be doing to help your Hay Fever?

The first step would be to make an appointment with a registered acupuncturist or Chinese medicine practitioner so they can holistically diagnose and give you accurate advice.  The practitioner will take your health history, observe your tongue and feels your pulse to uncover the root cause of your condition and give you specific diet/lifestyle advice, herbs and acupuncture.

      • Acupuncture – is capable of relieving the symptoms of hay fever almost immediately.  A randomised control trial  conducted by RMIT in Melbourne in 2015 reported significant improvement in symptoms for Hayfever with high quality evidence (1).  Most people only need a few treatments to notice a huge difference with their symptoms. This allows people to reduce medications, or simply have an extended symptom free time. It is recommended people seek treatment a month prior to their normal hay fever season as a preventative measure.
      • Chinese Herbs – an alternative to antihistamines to help eliminate symptoms of hay fever without any side effects.  Herbs are tailored to the individual whatever their core symptoms may be.  Studies demonstrate that acupuncture combined with herbs is significantly more effective than using only acupuncture or herbs for the alleviation of hay fever (2).

Below are diet and lifestyle suggestions you can follow in conjunction with acupuncture and herbal medicine to reduce hay fever symptoms.

Food – is important to eat warm & easily digestible foods.  This is especially important during the Winter months prior to the arrival of Spring.

Avoid cold, raw and damp producing foods:

–          Alcohol: beer, wine, spirits

–          Dairy: milk, cheeses, butter, ice-cream, milk chocolate, yoghurt

–          Nuts: excessive nuts are damp in nature

–          Raw food: salads, fruit, vegetables

–          Sweet foods: excessive fruit, dried fruits, lollies, cakes, fruit juice, soft drinks

–          Wheat: bread, pasta, baked goods

–          Cold/Iced drinks


During the Winter months it is important to eat cooked foods and warming foods to counteract the cold of the Winter, support the digestive system and protect the immune system: –

–          Soups / Bone broths

–          Congee / Porridge

–          Stir fries

–          Casseroles

–          Baked or Steamed vegetables

–          Slow-cooked meals

–          Warm water / herbal teas


Massage / Acupressure – massaging specific acupuncture points on the body can offer temporary relief of symptoms away from clinic. Press and hold the point for 2 minutes on both sides of the body.


        LI4 – squeeze the fleshy area between your thumb and index finger.

        LI20 – press your index fingers into the depression at the side of your nostrils

        YIN TANG –  the point between your eyebrows. Try massaging this point and along your eyebrows


        GB20 – press or grasping the nape of the neck below the skull bone.


Exercise – incorporate regular, gentle exercise into you day.  Walking, stretching, yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, Qi Gong.  Aim for 20-30min of exercise three times a week.

Sun Exposure – if there happens to be a sunny day and not too windy to blow those allergens around, get out in the sun & boost your Vitamin D.  If this is not possible then take a supplement of Vitamin D, it essential to a functional immune system.

Steaming: over a basin of hot water, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or lemongrass and breathe in the steam. This will help to loosen congestion through the sinuses and lungs.

Probiotics: it’s been shown there’s a link between low healthy bacteria in the gut and susceptibility to allergies. Take a good quality probiotic and you’ll also be helping your ability to digest food.

Rest & Sleep – if you are feeling rundown from overwork make sure you are taking time to get adequate rest and sleep.  This is extremely important to help your body repair, regenerate and therefore reduce your susceptibility to allergens.


To book an appointment or discuss how acupuncture can assist you with hay fever relief please call the clinic on (03) 5429 3610 or click on the link below to book online now: –



1.      Acupuncture for seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26073163


2.      Acupuncture and Herbs Relieve Hay Fever  https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1616-acupuncture-and-herbs-relieve-hay-fever






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