Restoring smell and taste with acupuncture
This is Dawn's story from chapter 15, which was published in the journal 'Acupuncture in Medicine'.
(Our article posted here courtesy of SAGE Publishing for educational purposes only and must not be reproduced.)
Post-viral olfactory dysfunction treated with acupuncture
Jane EB Hunter, M Elizabeth Phillips, F David L Walker, Dawn Busby
First published 20 July 2021
Anosmia (complete loss of smell) and hyposmia (partial loss), accompanied by loss of taste, can have several causes, most commonly post-viral olfactory dysfunction (PVOD). Walker et al.1 summarized diagnostic and treatment steps including the ENTUK flowchart for UK patients with loss of smell during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we report the case of a 55-year-old nurse (D.B.) with anosmia and PVOD for 18 months with no improvement despite steps. She reported a 95% improvement after acupuncture (treated pre-COVID-19 pandemic). Acupuncture may be a treatment option for similarly affected patients and worthy of research.
Safety and protocol considerations
J.E.B.H. (British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS) diploma holder with over 20 years’ experience) carried out six acupuncture treatments 2–4 weeks apart over 3 months. Treatment was commenced after discussion with M.E.P. (general practitioner (GP) with acupuncture experience). Ten 0.18 × 13 mm needles (Styla) were placed superficially at bilateral BL2 and LI20, CV24, GV20/22/24/26 and Yintang for approximately 10 min (Figure 1). The treatment sites were a combination of local traditional acupuncture points from different papers and added to those reported by Michael.2 While some acupuncture point locations including LI20 are in the area of the angular vein with connection to the cavernous sinus, the risk of infection is believed to be minimal with standard hygiene precautions.