Dr Zhong Lidan says Tianjiu therapy improves allergic rhinitis patients' daily life quality


鍾麗丹博士指中醫天灸治療有效改善鼻敏感患者的生活質量

Tianjiu therapy is known as “herbal moxibustion” or “acupoint herbal patching”, which involves the application of a paste made from powdered Chinese medicine herbs on specific acupoints to stimulate and regulate the meridians and collaterals system


天灸療法亦稱作「草藥敷貼」或「穴位敷貼」,選用特定中藥研末敷貼在人體的穴位上,使局部皮膚充血、潮紅或起泡,以達致激發經氣、調理臟腑的治療效果

Date: 13 Jun 2017 (Tuesday)

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HKBU School of Chinese Medicine study finds Tianjiu therapy improves allergic rhinitis patients’ daily life quality

浸大研究發現天灸治療有效改善鼻敏感患者生活質量

The School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) recently conducted a “Tianjiu therapy for allergic rhinitis: A double-blinded randomised Placebo-controlled clinical trial”. It found that Tianjiu therapy(天灸)helped to alleviate the symptoms of nasal itching suffered by allergic rhinitis patients. Furthermore, it also enhanced patients’ quality of life in terms of their everyday activities, including sleeping and general nasal symptoms.

Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, is an inflammation of the nose and eyes which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air such as pollen, pet hair, dust and mould. The typical symptoms include a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes. Currently, around 10-20% of the world’s population suffers from allergic rhinitis. Patients usually receive routine symptomatic pharmacotherapies, or immunotherapy, depending on their health condition. However, these treatments do not obtain satisfactory results, as only one third of adult patients experience satisfactory relief. It is also difficult to determine the optimal use, the appropriate initiation timing and proper duration of the immunotherapy treatment.

From the perspective of Chinese medicine, allergic rhinitis is mainly caused by the attack of exogenous evils, deficiency of organs and an abnormal body institution. Both internal and external Chinese medicine treatments are concurrently used to treat this disease, one of which is called Tianjiu therapy. This therapy is also known as “herbal moxibustion” or “acupoint herbal patching”, which involves the application of a paste made from powdered Chinese medicine herbs on specific acupoints to stimulate and regulate the meridians and collaterals system. It has a long history in treating multiple respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition, it helps to regulate the functions of meridians and organs, and to invigorate the physical institution.

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of Tianjiu therapy for treating allergic rhinitis, the School of Chinese medicine of HKBU recruited 138 individuals to take part in the clinical trial in the summer of last year. All participants were required to undergo a symptoms assessment and body checkup. They ranged in age from 18 to 68, and were diagnosed as chronic patients who have been suffering from allergic rhinitis for periods of two to 45 years. The participants were divided into three groups: 46 persons each for the Tianjiu, Placebo, and Waitlist/Control groups. They were assigned to receive a treatment once a week for a total of four weeks. 

During this period the research team conducted six symptom assessments for the participants. The treatment for the Tianjiu group contained herbs that are specially used for Tianjiu therapy for allergic rhinitis, while the treatment for the Placebo group was a prescription composed of glutinous rice and soya beans. Several acupoints were specially selected for the therapy for these two groups. The acupoints focused on stabilising and regulating the centre of qi, keeping the nasal passage open, while also strengthening the pulmonal and renal orb.

Research Assistant Professor of the SCM Clinical Division Dr Zhong Lidan, who took part in the trial, explained that preliminary findings indicated that after four weeks of treatment, the nasal symptoms in the Tianjiu group had significantly improved compared to those in both the Placebo and Waitlist/Control groups with an average improvement rate of 43.3%. The efficacy outcome was measured based on the four nasal symptoms: rhinorrhea, nasal itching, nasal obstruction, and sneezing.

On the other hand, both the Tianjiu and Placebo groups performed better than the Waitlist/Control group in respect of the participants’ daily activities, sleeping quality and general nasal symptoms, while the degree of improvement was more significant in the Tianjiu group with an average improvement rate of 22.6%. The efficacy outcome was measured according to seven aspects of life quality: sleep, non-rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms, practical problems, nasal symptoms, ocular symptoms, activity limitations, and emotional function. It also found that during the four-week period of follow-up after the treatment, a sustainable improvement in the four nasal symptoms was observed in the Tianjiu group with an average improvement rate of 39.5%.

Dr Zhong said the research team hopes to expand the number of participants in the study to 600 in future and further explore how Tianjiu therapy works in treating allergic rhinitis. She explained that the advantage of such therapy is that it adjusts the patient’s health condition with an effect that is sustainable. Dr Zhong advised people suffering from this disease to take good care of their respiratory tracts, and to avoid spicy, raw or cold food in their daily diets.
       
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For media enquiries, please contact Jasmine Lau of HKBU Communication and Public Relations Office at 3411 7828 or 7472 2122.


香港浸會大學中醫藥學院最近進行了一項中醫天灸治療鼻敏感──隨機雙盲安慰劑對照的臨床研究,研究發現天灸治療有助改善鼻敏感患者的鼻癢症狀,並有效改善患者的整體生活質量,包括活動、睡眠、鼻部整體症狀等。

鼻敏感是由炎症性過敏反應所引起的眼部和鼻部的一系列症狀,主要成因多由於吸入過敏原等所致,典型症狀包括流涕、打噴嚏、鼻塞、鼻癢等。現時鼻敏感患者人數約佔全球人口的百分之十至二十。視乎患者的身體狀況,鼻敏感患者一般會接受常規對症或免疫療法,但治療效果往往未如理想,僅有三分之一的成人患者經過治療後得到有效緩解,而免疫療法的最佳使用時機、起始用藥時間和療程均難以確定。

在中醫學角度來說,鼻敏感是由外邪侵襲、臟腑虧虛和體質偏頗,而導致的過敏性鼻炎。中醫治療鼻敏感多以內服與外用兼行,其中包括天灸療法。天灸療法亦稱作「草藥敷貼」或「穴位敷貼」,選用特定中藥研末敷貼在人體的穴位上,使局部皮膚充血、潮紅或起泡,以達致激發經氣、調理臟腑的治療效果,適用於治療長期呼吸系統疾病,如哮喘、慢性支氣管炎、慢性阻塞性肺病等,以及調節臟腑經絡功能及扶正抗邪。

為評估天灸療法對治療過敏性鼻炎實際症狀的療效與安全性,浸大中醫藥學院於去年夏天招募了138位合資格人士進行上述臨床研究計劃,所有人士均經過症狀評估及身體檢測,確診為長期鼻敏感患者,年齡介乎18至68歲,病程為2至45年。參與臨床研究的人士分為三組:天灸組、安慰劑組、等待/對照組各佔46人,接受為期四周、每周一次合共四次的治療,期間研究人員並為他們進行了六次症狀評估。其中,天灸組所接受的治療均含有專門用以醫治鼻敏感的天灸藥物,安慰劑組的治療則以含有糯米、黃豆等處方為主。兩組所施的天灸穴位均以大椎、肺俞和腎俞為主,以達致調暢氣機、宣通鼻竅和補益肺腎的功效。
       
參與研究計劃的中醫藥學院臨床部研究助理教授鍾麗丹博士表示,初步臨床研究結果顯示,天灸組在接受四星期治療後,鼻癢症狀均較安慰劑組和等待/對照組明顯改善,平均改善率為43.3%。評分是根據患者流涕、鼻癢、鼻塞和噴嚏四個鼻敏感症狀的療效程度而定。另外,在活動、睡眠、鼻部症狀等生活質量方面,天灸組與安慰組的表現較等待/對照組明顯改善,總體平均改善率為22.6%。評分是基於患者七個範疇的日常生活質量而定,包括睡眠、非鼻眼症狀、實際問題、鼻部症狀、眼部症狀、活動和情感。在隨訪四星期後,天灸組與安慰劑組比較鼻塞、流涕、鼻癢和噴嚏情況均有持續改善,天灸組總體改善率為39.5%。

鍾博士指出,研究團隊未來希望將參與研究計劃的人數擴大至600人,並進一步探討天灸治療鼻敏感的機理。她解釋,天灸治療鼻敏感的優勢在於調整患者的體質並有持續的效果。另外,她亦建議鼻敏感患者日常應注意呼吸道保暖、忌吃辛辣、生冷的食物。

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傳媒查詢:浸會大學傳訊公關處劉子瑩 (3411 7828或7472 2122)。
Press Contacts 傳媒聯絡:

Jasmine Lau

Communication and Public Relations Office

3411 7828 or 7472 2122

劉子瑩

傳訊公關處

3411 7828 or 7472 2122