It’s well known that therapies like acupuncture have a wide variety of uses, but now researchers in Germany have added another one to the list – alleviating the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and sinus disorders.

The Healthcare Medicine Institute reported on the research, which looked at whether having regular acupuncture could lead to people needing to take less medication to control the condition.

Following an eight-week clinical trial, the team found that those who received acupuncture for their seasonal allergies reported fewer symptoms than those in the control groups, and needed to take less medication to treat the symptoms they did experience.

What’s more, the research also revealed that those in the acupuncture group had “significantly better” quality of life scores than those in the control group.

Of the patients who received acupuncture, 60 per cent self-administered antihistamine medication during the study. There was one control group who received ‘sham’ acupuncture – among these participants 71 per cent self-administered antihistamines. The second control group was drug-only, and 82 per cent of these patients took antihistamines during the study.

Patients didn’t know whether they were receiving real or ‘sham’ acupuncture, the researchers added.

The study was also carried out at the start of the local pollen season (between March and May), with the acupuncture group using antihistamines for an average of 8.92 days in the 60-day trial. This was 13.41 days for the ‘sham’ acupuncture group and 18.07 days for the drug-only group.

Four acupuncture points were used on all the patients throughout their eight-week trial: LI4 (Hegu), LI11 (Quchi), LI20 (Yingxiang) and Yintang (extra). At least three of eight other acupuncture points were also needled during their treatments.

The website noted: “In summary, patients receiving acupuncture had less drug intake and less symptoms than patients in the medication-only or ‘sham’ acupuncture control groups.”

If you suffer from allergies and don’t like to take antihistamines all the time, you may want to look into the merits of acupuncture to alleviate your symptoms following the results of this research.

Then you can find therapists in Sheffield who offer this treatment to arrange for a programme that suits your needs.

Of course, acupuncture has many other applications as well. The Mirror recently reported that prison guards at HMP Full Sutton near York are being offered acupuncture and yoga sessions in a bid to help the cope with working in such a stressful environment.

The newspaper noted that this prison has a reputation for having a particularly bad “criminal gang culture”, with staff working there having to try and stem the drugs trade, as well as deal with issues such as debt and taxing that are being introduced by the criminal gang operating in the prison.

According to the British Acupuncture Council, research has found that the therapy can be particularly effective at helping people cope with anxiety. There are a number of reasons why acupuncture can help, but among them is the fact that it act on areas of the brain that reduce sensitivity to pain and stress.

The treatment is also good for “promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry”, the organisation noted.