perfume presents personality P3An Australian study has found the ancient Chinese needle therapy can significantly reduce the symptoms of nasal allergies, including sneezing, blocked noses, nasal itching and a runny nose.
The study by the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre of Traditional Medicine at RMIT found acupuncture could be a safe and effective treatment for persistent allergic rhinitis, which affects 16 per cent of Australians.
Professor of Chinese medicine Charlie Xue said the study offered scientific proof the ancient pressure point therapy had real benefits.
"Patients who participate in the study have a very long history of allergies and have tried almost everything and that makes these even more significant outcomes," he said.
"This can demonstrate the effectiveness and then people are more likely to accept it."
Results published in the Medical Journal of Australia showed half of the 80 patients involved in the study received real acupuncture to the face and back of the neck, while the others had "sham" acupuncture to make sure the results were credible.
After eight weeks of treatment, those receiving the real acupuncture had a significant drop in symptoms, while those with the fake treatment did not.
The benefits continued for another three months after the treatment ended.
Prof Xue said almost 10 per cent of Australians had tried acupuncture as a form of treatment, but hoped the latest research would persuade more to consider it.
acupuncture from wiki
Acupuncture (from Lat. acus, "needle" (noun), and pungere, "prick" (verb)) or in Standard Mandarin, zhēn jiǔ (lit: needle - moxibustion) is a technique of inserting and manipulating filiform needles into "acupuncture points" on the body with the aim of restoring health and well-being, e.g. treating pain and diseases. Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China and is most commonly associated with Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Different types of acupuncture (Japanese, Korean, and classical Chinese acupuncture) are practiced and taught throughout the world.
Scientists are studying the mechanisms and efficacy of acupuncture. Researchers using the protocols of evidence-based medicine have found good evidence that acupuncture is effective in treating nausea and chronic low back pain, and moderate evidence for neck pain and headache. The WHO, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Medical Association (AMA) and various government reports have also studied and commented on the efficacy of acupuncture. There is general agreement that acupuncture is at least safe when administered by well-trained practitioners, and that further research is warranted. Though occasionally charged as pseudoscience, Dr. William F. Williams, author of Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, notes that acupuncture --"once rejected as 'oriental fakery' -- is now (if grudgingly) recognized as engaged in something quite real."
Traditional Chinese medicine's acupuncture theory, although based on empirical observation, predates use of the modern scientific method, and has received various criticisms based on modern scientific thinking. There is no generally-accepted anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridians. Acupuncturists tend to perceive TCM concepts in functional rather than structural terms, i.e. as being useful in guiding evaluation and care of patients.  As the NIH consensus statement noted: "Despite considerable efforts to understand the anatomy and physiology of the "acupuncture points", the definition and characterization of these points remains controversial. Even more elusive is the basis of some of the key traditional Eastern medical concepts such as the circulation of Qi, the meridian system, and the five phases theory, which are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biomedical information but continue to play an important role in the evaluation of patients and the formulation of treatment in acupuncture." Finally, neuroimaging research suggests that specific acupuncture points have distinct effects on cerebral activity in specific areas that are not otherwise predictable anatomically.