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Natural Awakenings SW PA, Greater Pittsburgh

Acupuncture Increases Quality of Life for Allergy Sufferers: Alternative Solution for Seasonal Symptoms

Research from Berlin’s Charité University Medical Center suggests that acupuncture is an effective treatment for patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, in 2013, the study analyzed data on the costs and quality of life of 364 allergy patients that had been randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: rescue medication alone (taken when symptoms are greatest); acupuncture treatment plus rescue medication; or sham (non-therapeutic) acupuncture plus rescue medication. Patients receiving acupuncture incurred higher total treatment costs, but also gained significantly more quality of life compared with the rescue medication-only groups.

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Global Brief: Natural Thinking Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance
More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e. the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backwards digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.
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