. Allergopedia

Dictionary of Allergies .. Acupuncture


No one study suggests that acupuncture has an important place in the treatment of asthma. The laser-acupuncture does not prevent exercise-induced asthma[1, 2].. A limited number of well conducted studies, all with small sample sizes, have demonstrated the promising therapeutic potential of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for allergic rhinitis.

The possible additional benefit of combining the two therapies, however, is yet to be confirmed. There are concerns about the appropriateness of the sham/placebo controls that have been used in acupuncture studies and also about the safety evaluation of individual herbs and herbal formulations. In addition to well established symptom scores and specific quality of life questionnaires, the concurrent use of conventional anti-allergy medications has been utilized as an outcome measure in a number of trials that have evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for allergic rhinitis.

Tentatively, it appears that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be effective treatments for allergic rhinitis. Confirmatory evidence, however, is needed from large and, ideally, multi-centre trials[3].. Patients with respiratory tract infections are frequently treated by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities. This editorial reviews current literature on the most popular CAM modalities used by these patients: acupuncture, herbal therapy, vitamins and homeopathy. Several good quality trials in acupuncture, herbal therapy and homeopathy have reported positive effects in allergic rhinitis and asthma. However, overall mixed results and methodological flaws, when analyzed by systematic reviews, lead to the conclusion that, as yet, there is insufficient evidence to reliably assess the possible role of these treatments for rhinitis and asthma. Safety issues of herbal therapies require special attention. Further good quality research and subsequent meta-analysis of the trials are required[4, 5].


1. Chu, S.S., Pearce, S.J.: Acupuncture point stimulation in bronchial asthma. Thorax, 1983:38:221-222.

2. Morton, A.R., et al: Efficacy of laser-acupuncture in the prevention of exercise-induced asthma. Ann. of Allergy 1993:70:295.

3. Xue CC, Li CG, Hügel HM, Story DF. Does acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine have a role in the treatment of allergic rhinitis? Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Jun;6(3):175-9.

4. Gamus D, Kokia I. Complementary medicine in treatment of asthma and respiratory tract infections. Harefuah. 2008 Oct;147(10):777-8, 838.
5. Li XM. Complementary and alternative medicine in pediatric allergic disorders. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Apr;9(2):161-7.

Γκέλης Ν.Δ. - Λεξικό Αλλεργίας - Εκδόσεις ΒΕΛΛΕΡOΦΟΝΤΗΣ - Κόρινθος 2013

Gelis Ν.D. - Dictionary of Allergies - VELLEROFONTIS Publications - Corinth 2013