Hayfever is an allergy that affects as many as 25 % per cent of the Uk population. Common hayfever symptoms may include itchy streaming eyes, blocked nose, redness and sneezing. Hayfever symptoms can worsen and may lead to coughing, asthma, wheezing and eventually stress, lack of sleep and fatigue. Hayfever is thought to be an overreaction of the bodies immune system to pollen or spores from grass, weeds or trees. The inhaled pollen aggravates the sensitive nasal linings and sets off a cascade of uncomfortable inflammatory responses. Our immune system mistakenly believes the inhaled pollen spores are viruses or bacteria attacking the body. In response, the immune system produces histamine producing mast cells and other inflammatory chemicals to fight the “invaders”. Histamine responses can be dramatic and initiate Hay fever, allergies and severe inflammation. Different histamine responses can be provoked by food and pet hair allergies, generating skin conditions like eczema. Interestingly histamine also works with our immune system protecting us against bacteria and parasites.
Typically tree pollen arrives first around March, followed by grass pollen in June. However, seasonal peaks depend on how wet, dry, warm or cold it has been. Treating Hayfever with Acupuncture brings relief from hayfever by stimulating nerves located around the face, muscles and surrounding tissues. The treatment focuses on specific Acupuncture points around the body to reduce the histamine immune response and the inflammation that often follows. As the Acupuncture points are stimulated, the body releases endorphins and other anti-inflammatory neurochemical messengers around the body. Acupuncture treatment teaches the immune system not to overreact to pollen, certain foods and pet hair. It has been found to boost the immune system if natural defence mechanisms are inefficient. Acupuncture effectively treats hayfever and allergies and without any lasting side effects. Hayfever often responds quickly and positively to Acupuncture; only one or two treatments are usually needed. Occasionally depending on age and type of sensitivity levels to pollen, you may need an occasional top-up.
Acupuncture treatment brings with it the long term benefits of hayfever relief, without the side effects or resistance to medication that occurs with long term use of substances such as corticosteroids. From a Chinese medicine perspective, Acupuncture points restore the flow of energy or Qi to the nerves and sinuses of the head and face. After the Acupuncture treatment, the part of your brain that has become hypersensitive to pollen and activates the hayfever histamine response is calmer. The immune response to pollen and allergies should become more balanced. Chinese medicine believes that health is the free flow of Qi or energy around the body. When the energy flows around you freely, you are healthy and energetic. When Qi does not flow due to congestion and inflammation, we are prone to developing ill-health, tiredness and fatigue.
Hay Fever sufferers are usually allergic only to certain types of pollen. Over-sensitivity to pollen can make life miserable. Furthermore, some people may suffer from a mood disorder and have hay fever. Research shows that people with depression or bipolar disorder who are allergic to tree or grass pollen experience periods of even worse depression when exposed to that allergen.
There are many other theories as to why pollen is so high at times. Ideas include fewer grazing animals due to foot and mouth or the heavy rain in February repressing pollen release. One theory is that carbon dioxide emissions may also raise pollen counts in our cities.
Pollen is essential for the reproduction of flowering trees and plants and especially grass. It carries the male genetic information to the female part of the flower. Many plants, especially various trees and grasses, use the wind to carry their pollen. Wind direction and speed is a significant factor in determining the amount of pollen in the air on any given day. Plants release vast quantities of pollen twice a day, early in the morning and late afternoon. Wind can mix pollen back into the air almost any time, increasing the pollen count and worsening your symptoms. The count can also depend on weather factors such as humidity and wind direction. Most of our flowering plants are insect-pollinated, which means that the pollen does not need to be dispersed by the wind for these types of plants. So they generally produce smaller quantities. In Spring, the main problem for hay fever sufferers is tree pollen. Tree pollen usually occurs in April and affects about 25 – 30% of all hay fever sufferers. Birch is followed by the Oak in late April and early May!
Grass causes the highest proportion of allergic reactions. Hayfever symptoms make many people’s lives sheer misery for a large part of the year. Grass pollen starts in late May and continues throughout the summer to mid-August. Grass pollens highest peak is in June then again a smaller peak, in early July. About 95% of Hay Fever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen. The amount of grass pollen in the air can differ significantly from day to day depending on weather factors. Weed pollens and fungal spores can also be a common cause of hay fever and affect us all year round. There are pollen monitoring network sites around the UK, all on top of buildings. The reported counts are usually for birch, grass and nettles and refer to the previous 24 hours. The pollen counts show when the various seasons start and end. They also reflect the day-to-day variation in the amount of pollen in the air.
I’ve suffered severely with hay fever since I was a young child, and I was told I would grow out of it. I didn’t, it just got worse. I had Acupuncture with Helen and the success of the treatment was incredible. After just a couple of treatments, I was hardly suffering at all and it was the first time I’d gone through an entire summer without feeling awful. Would highly recommend Acupuncture for Hayfever at the Hatfield Practice