HAY FEVER MISERY CURED BY NEEDLES.
FOR Sab Padda every summer was a nightmare. With chronic hay fever symptoms, she would be condemned to spending every sunny day indoors with the windows shut - and would still be reaching for the tissues every few minutes. But a visit to a local acupuncturist put a stop to the symptoms and now 44-year-old Sab, of Great Barr, loves nothing more than a warm summer evening. "It was a bit like having flu all the time," recalls Sab. "I would be sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes. And it would last for weeks.
"I couldn't open the windows, I couldn't go to barbecues - anything which meant I was near to pollen just made it worse.'' Sab first developed hay fever in her teens and spent more than 20 years trying to cope with the misery it brought. She tried many different over-the-counter remedies but none of them cleared the condition. When a colleague suggested she try acupuncture, Sab, who manages a dental practice, figured she had nothing to lose. She went onto the website for the British Acupuncture Council and tracked down member Sim Sandhu who she visited for a consultation in June 2006. "I went along and even then I said I was a bit cynical," says Sab.
"She explained how it all worked and then put some of the needles in. When she put the needles either side of my nose I could suddenly breathe clearly - that was the moment I thought that this was going to work." Sim also gave Sab diet advice which she followed to the letter. "It was things like cutting out caffeine and chocolate and eating lots of fruit and vegetables. It was to do with eating seasonally, cool things in the summer like water melon and conference pears, which would help." Sab underwent a series of sessions of acupuncture that summer and saw a huge change in her health. "Now I can go to barbecues or take walks in the evening. I can do the gardening and enjoy my holidays, " she said. Sim says acupuncture is effective because it treats a person holistically rather than simply trying to alleviate the symptoms.
Treatment: Sab Padda is treated by Sim Sandhu, below right. Below left: A tray of Sim's equipment.