Allergic rhinitis have growing prevalence worldwide. Many patients seek Traditional Chinese Medicine and TCM for help. Acupoint sticking therapy (AST) is an external treatment method, referring to treating disease by sticking Chinese herbs onto specific acupoints and increasingly used for AR in Taiwan recently.
To investigate the efficacy of AST for AR.
The study subjects were recruited from TCM OPD in Changhua Christian Hospital in Taiwan. Equal amounts of Asarum heterotropoides, Sinapis albae semen, Rhizoma zingiberis, Radix kansui and Rhizoma corydalis were mixed and divided into small cubes and then placed onto the selected acupoints as BL12, BL13, BL43, BL20, and BL23. Each subject has received three times of AST.
Structured questionnaires containing main symptoms of AR such as running nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, etc. were designed to assess the treatment efficacy. Paired t-test and one-way ANOVA were used for data analysis.
109 subjects, including 57 females and 52 males with the mean age of 26.9±21.6 were enrolled. Common complaints before treatment were sneezing and running nose (79.8%), followed by nasal congestion (76.1%). The questionnaires scores indicated significant beneficial effects after treatment (p-value <0.05). The perceived efficacy of treatment was not correlated to their age and gender.
The results demonstrated that AST is an effective and convenient treatment for AR. However, further study was needed to identify the mechanism of its efficacy and the possibility of placebo effectiveness.