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Altern Ther Health Med. 1998 Jan; 4(1): 70-4.

The effect of acupuncture on nonallergic rhinitis: a controlled pilot study.

Davies A, Lewith G, Goddard J, Howarth P.

University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

The purpose of this pilot project was to evaluate the immediate effects of real acupuncture compared with two placebo controls (sham acupuncture and mock transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) in the treatment of nonallergic rhinitis patients. These three treatments were given in a nonrandomized order to the same patients at weekly intervals. Real acupuncture showed an improvement in nasal airways resistance after treatment in 9 of 13 patients, sham acupuncture in 2 of 9, and mock transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in 3 of 10 patients. With the exception of improvement in a minimal cross-sectional area (measured by acoustic rhinometry) in the real acupuncture group following treatment, the outcome was not statistically significant. This pilot study raised a number of issues related to the effects of acupuncture in nonallergic rhinitis that must be addressed by a study involving more patients in which the order of treatment is randomized and the two placebo control treatments are evaluated in relation to their credibility.

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