Sinusitis and Acupuncture

Written by: DrTonyWillcox | May 24, 2013

Research One

Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture

Treatment by acupuncture is frequent among adults with asthma and rhinosinusitis, and therefore should be taken into account by health-care providers. In acute sinusitis, acupuncture resulted in an improvement in children with chronic and recurring frontal sinusitis. In the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis, acupuncture has been proven to be effective. In a small single-blind crossover study, acupuncture (three times a week during a 4-week period) improved subjective symptom scores. Although the summarised effects of acupuncture in inflammatory disease
reduction in medication were not observed. In allergen-provoked rhinitis acupuncture, acupuncture therapy was not effective when regarding the objective criteria, although again symptoms scores as registered in the diary of complaints revealed a reduction. Desensitisation of allergic rhinitis using acupuncture endermic points of the head with the extract of positive allergens proved to be effective in an open study including 102 cases. After a follow-up of 2 years, a significant population (72%) showed a curative effect, mainly reflected by a reduced diameter of redness and reduced swelling of the skin.
In an open study, the positive effect of acupuncture on atrophic rhinitis was demonstrated. The improvement was documented by functional changes of the nasal mucosa (mucociliary transport,secreted volume, and surface temperature).

Dr. Tony and Dr. Pan treating a patient in Hefei, China

Reference – Anti-inflammatory actions of

Research Two

After two treatments, all these patients’ symptoms markedly improved. This included nasal congestion, runny nose, disturbance in the sense of smell, dizziness, and head distention. After six treatments, these symptoms basically disappeared. After eight treatments, all these patients were reported as cured. On follow-up after a half year, there were no recurrences.

Reference –

Nasosinusitis & Electro-acupuncture at Bi Tong

Research Three


Acupuncture may help to relieve pain and congestion in people with sinusitis by:
• increasing endorphins (Han 2004) and neuropeptide Y levels (Lee 2009), which can help to combat negative affective states;
• stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz, 1987; Zhao 2008; Cheng 2009);
• reducing inflammation, by promoting the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Zijlstra 2003; Kavoussi 2007);
• enhancing natural killer cell activities and modulating the number and ratio of immune cell types (Kawakita 2008);
• increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids the dispersal of swelling.


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