J-STORIES - Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose ... the symptoms are universal, and often unbearable. Now a Japanese company has come up with an anti-hayfever product that is definitely not to be sneezed at.
Around four in 10 Japanese suffer from hayfever at some time during their lives, or double the global average. A number of antihistamine medications and high-tech treatments are available, including laser therapy and sublingual immunotherapy, though each comes with its own set of side effects.
The new product causes no such undesirable reactions and instead uses the acupressure points of Oriental medicine to alleviate symptoms. It comes in the form of a band that is said to reduce sneezing and runny nose. It is particularly convenient for pregnant women, children, those who are frail, and others concerned about the side effects of drugs.
Although the manipulation of acupressure points is part of traditional Eastern medicine, bands that incorporate acupressure points were first developed not in Asia, but by a British company, Sea-Band Ltd., which touted its effectiveness in countering motion sickness.
Japanese company Presby has been selling the bands in Japan since 2019, and last March started selling a new version specially developed for hayfever sufferers.
While the motion sickness band is worn on the wrist and stimulates an acupressure point called the "neiguan" that is said to reduce nausea, Presby's hay fever iteration is worn on the elbow.
Although the effect of acupressure points varies between individuals, according to Presby many medical institutions in Japan and abroad use the British company's band as a treatment for post-surgery nausea and vomiting. Based on the effectiveness of this product, Presby decided to develop a product for hayfever that would work in a similar way but via a different acupressure point.
The elbow band stimulates an acupressure point called "Qu Chi" using constant gentle pressure. According to the company, in addition to alleviating hayfever symptoms, this stimulation also boosts the immune system, and helps to improve lesions in the throat and nose, and respiratory complaints.
Presby CEO Ryozo Kimura told J-Stories that their product “can easily be used by pregnant women, children, those who can’t take medicine because they are worried about side effects, and people who don’t want to go as far as having hayfever surgery.”
Translation by Tony McNicol
Top page photo by Presby
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