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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Apr 14;2019:6369754. doi: 10.1155/2019/6369754. eCollection 2019.

An External CAM Therapy (Tian Jiu) versus Placebo in Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis: A Pilot Single-Blinded, Three-Arm, Randomized Controlled Study.

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Hong Kong Chinese Medicine Clinical Study Centre, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China.


Allergic rhinitis (AR) is one of the common allergic diseases in clinical practice and significantly impairs the quality of life (QoL) of patients. The conventional treatments are not satisfactory because of various reasons. Tian Jiu (TJ) therapy is a characteristic external intervention of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and has been widely utilized in the management of AR. However, the evidences resulted from current studies were generally poor due to high risk of bias. Therefore, we conducted this rigorous designed, single-blinded, three-arm, randomized controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of TJ therapy on AR. Totally 138 AR patients were enrolled. The TJ group and placebo group received 4-week treatment with either TJ or placebo patches for 2 hours each time applied to Dazhui (GV 14), bilateral Feishu (UB 13), and bilateral Shenshu (UB 23) one session per week and then underwent a 4-week follow-up. The waitlist group received no treatment during the corresponding treatment period, but would be given compensatory TJ treatment in the next 4 weeks. The primary outcome was the change of the Total Nasal Symptom Score (TNSS) after treatment. The secondary outcomes included the changes of Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) and rescue medication score (RMS). After treatment, the total TNSS in TJ group was significantly reduced compared with baseline, but showed no statistical meaning compared with placebo. Among the four domains of TNSS, the change of nasal obstruction exhibited statistical difference compared with placebo group. The total RQLQ score in TJ group was significantly reduced compared with both placebo and waitlist groups. The needs of rescue medications were no distinct difference between two groups. In summary, this study showed potential effectiveness of TJ therapy in improving nasal obstruction symptoms and QoL of AR patients.

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