Allergic rhinitis can be very annoying. It causes recurrent nasal itchiness, sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion, regardless of season and time, affecting patients’ daily life. Tradition Chinese medicine and treatments have therapeutic effect on treating allergic rhinitis. The use of acupuncture together with medicine is proven to be significantly effective in healing allergic rhinitis. Chinese medicine practitioners select the appropriate acupuncture points or adopt moxibustion according to the patient’s physique and the severity of his/her illness. Through the use of acupuncture or moxibustion, patient’s meridians can be dredged, his/her yin and yang can be adjusted, leading to relief or even complete cure for the illness.
Allergic rhinitis was recorded in Ancient Chinese history. In the ancient document ‘Questions of Fundamental nature: The Six Macrocosmic Influences’, it was mentioned that ‘Yangming is all about rhinitis and sneezing.’ ‘Rhinitis’ refers to liquids coming out from nose; ‘sneezing’ means ‘air with drops of liquids coming suddenly out of nose and mouth’; ‘Yangming’ means the Yangming Meridian in the Twelve Meridians. It refers to the Hand Yangming Large Intestine Meridian and the Foot Yangming Stomach Meridian respectively. It is generally believed that nasal rhinitis is caused by stagnation of lungs and stomach or invasion of evil exogenous winds which go up in between the brain and the nose, resulting in frequent runny nose, headache and backache.
Since the Yangming Meridian of the hands and feet all pass through both sides of the nose, the acupuncture points such as Hegu and Yingxiang points of the Hand Yangming Meridian are often considered when selecting acupuncture points. In addition, the nose is also located at the position where the Du Meridian follows, so the acupuncture point Shangxing on the Du Meridian is also commonly used on the forehead. The following acupuncture points can be rubbed on during the onset of allergic rhinitis, providing immediate relief of the symptoms:
Yingxiang: located next to the midpoint of the outer edge of the nose on both sides, in the nasolabial fold. Yingxiang are the nearest accupunture points to the nose, so they are the best choice of accupunture points for curing allergic rhinitis. Push your fingers slightly on the acupoints in the direction of the bridge of the nose when rubbing to enhance the effect.
Hegu: located between the first and the second metacarpals of the back of the hand (i.e. the tiger’s mouth), where the muscle bulges next to the midpoint of the second metacarpal. There is a saying in Traditional Chinese medicine stating that ‘face and mouth diseases are all related to Hegu.’ Therefore, to treat face, ear, nose and mouth illnesses, Chinese medicine practitioners often select Hegu as one of the acupoints for treatments. When pressing the acupoints, it needs to be harder, so that the sense of soreness is transferred to the arm.
Fengchi: located at the depressions on both sides of the posterior neck under the occipital bone. This pair of acupoints is also commonly used for illnesses related to ears, nose, eyes and month. Treatments on them can relieve wind, dispel fever and clear brain. For nose illnesses, the direction of pressing should be toward the nose, especially when treating sensitive nose and back shoulder pain. The sense of pain in this pair of acupoints is particularly strong. Once the pressure on the acupoints is released, the nasal congestion and pain can be relieved at the same time.
Shangxing: located one inch above from the centre of the front hairline. Pressing this acupoint can spread the yang energy. If this acupoint is pressed all the way down to Yintang on the root of the nose between the two eyebrows, the treatment effect is better.
Zusanli: Located three inches below the lower edge of the knee bone. This is a commonly used acupoint with strong and beneficial effect to general health. Many patients with allergic rhinitis have partial or incomplete physical constitution. In addition to getting rid of the evils in their body, they also need to make up for their deficiency in health.
To obtain complete cure for allergic rhinitis, patients must try their best to obtain a balanced diet, have adequate sleep, do moderate exercise and stay positive. Receiving appropriate Chinese medical and therapeutic treatments will of course help speed up recovery and relieve the symptoms of the illness.