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A Chinese research team has found that acupuncture at the sphenopalatine acupoint (SPA) is effective for the treatment of persistent allergic rhinitis (PAR). The SPA is located in the cheek near Xiaguan ST-7, which is used as a needling point for local nasal anesthesia. The needle is inserted to reach the pterygopalatine fossa, where it stimulates the sphenopalatine ganglion and other nerves, increasing nasal ventilation and decreasing glandular secretions. A total of 61 patients diagnosed with PAR were randomly allocated to either acupuncture or sham, with the difference between the two groups being needling depth (50 millimetres for verum acupuncture versus 20 millimetres for sham). Acupuncture was performed twice a week for four weeks, with a twelve week follow up period. Nasal symptom scores in the treatment group were significantly lower than in the control group at week 4, however, scores in the two groups were no longer significantly different by week 12. During the follow-up period, medication usage in the treatment group was much lower than in the control group.

Treatment of persistent allergic rhinitis via acupuncture at the sphenopalatine acupoint: a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2018 Jan 11;19(1):28.


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