By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , /


Spring is in the air, which is great news
for a lot of us but not so much for hayfever sufferers. Instead of reaching for drugs with heavy side-effects,
many Koreans are seeking out traditional medicine to relieve their itchy eyes and stuffy noses. Paul Yi reports. Gentle breezes and blooming
flowers mark the start of spring, but also signal the massive release of pollen and other
airborne allergens. Those suffering from allergic rhinitis, more
commonly known as hay fever, can experience a multitude of symptoms including sneezing,
watery eyes and even sinus infections. It’s prompting many patients to turn to Korean
traditional medicine to find relief through all natural treatments. “When the seasons change, our whole family
starts sneezing and rubbing our eyes a lot. We’ve been having a lot runny noses too, but
our condition has really improved after receiving oriental medical treatment.” Researchers at the Korea Institute of Oriental
Medicine have been working with their counterparts in China on using acupuncture to treat spring
allergies. And recent clinical trials have yielded solid
scientific evidence in favor of this ancient remedy. “Around the nose there are spots that promote
blood circulation. Also meridians in the hands and feet are connected to the nose. Therefore,
using magnetic needles can help improve symptoms.” The collaborative research involved a total
238 participants, with 97 allergy sufferers receiving acupuncture treatment three times
a week for four weeks. A significant number of the test subjects
who received acupuncture exhibited fewer nasal symptoms than those in the control groups,
however those in the so-called “sham” acupuncture group also showed improvement. Nonetheless, it’s a major step to legitimizing
oriental medicine, as the results of the study were published in the European Journal of
Allergy and Clinical Immunology. “Through the verification of scientific evidence,
we’ll be able to gain more authority. And with this, I believe Koreans will trust acupuncture
treatment and use it with confidence.” Major Korean and Chinese institutions for
traditional medicine plan to continue this landmark partnership in acupuncture research,
to provide effective management of allergy symptoms and improve public health. Paul Yi, Arirang News.


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