Drowsy, itchy, sneezy, cranky, and sometimes a little dopey.
No, these are not the seven dwarfs.
They are symptoms of allergies.
Many of us allergy sufferers have a love-hate relationship with Spring. Some welcome the warmer weather, but nearly 30% of us are stocking up on the tissues and refilling our medicine cabinets. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology estimates that we spend over $3 billion annually to avoid allergy symptoms. Some experts have predicted that this season may be one of the worst yet.
So, who are the villains plotting our seasonal demise? Our symptoms are most commonly triggered by dust, pet dander and pollen--with the occasional insect bite. As we are exposed to common allergens our immune system may feel under siege. Our immune system tries to defend the body by releasing a compound called histamine. These histamines are meant to dilate blood vessels and flush out the allergen. For us allergy sufferers, this means watery eyes, runny noses and a weak immune system, and one that is already imbalanced, can make symptoms even worse.
Seeing a chiropractor regularly is one of the best natural ways we can can boost the immune system and restore balance. The connection between chiropractic care and allergy management begins with a subluxion or misalignment of the spine. Misalignment or dysfunctional movements of vertebra can put pressure on nerve tissue, weakening our immune system. The nerves that exit the spine communicate to regulate the body. Proper communication between our brains and spinal cord will restore health in the body and increase immune resistance. Our bodies use our immune system as a natural defense, and the spine and nervous system is its lifeline.
Regular alignments, good nutrition, exercise and reduced stress are great ways to aid in boosting our immune systems and keeping our allergy symptoms under control. If you’re suffering from allergies, and many of us are, a well-trained chiropractor can determine which type of care meets your needs.
With a whole host of natural treatments to choose from, here is how we can be armed with the best of the best.
- Limit exposure to allergens. - Wash bedding and drapes regularly. Remove shoes indoors and limit time with open windows when the pollen count is high.
- Try supplements. - Eating raw local honey, drinking nettle tea and/or taking nettle capsules. Also, taking products like Xlear, D-Hist or N- acetyl cysteine (NAC). All are natural ways to acquire immunity.
- Changes to our lifestyle. - By eating nutrient dense foods, cutting out dairy, and getting plenty of physical activity.
- Home treatments. - Trying a neti pot and using it up to twice a day. Essential oils are a great way to sooth allergy symptoms. Melaleuca Alternifoia (tea tree), Roman chamomile, or lavender oils can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the chest or bottom of the feet. A few drops of eucalyptus* oil in a steamy shower can bring relief. Also using lemon in a steam bath or as a chest compress for watery eyes and nose. A personal favorite is Breath Again by Young Living Essential Oils.
- Reducing stress on the nervous system. – Try meditation or yoga and have regular adjustments to balance the immune system.
Whether a mom, an executive or both, a sinus headache doesn’t always constitute taking a day off because the flowers are in full bloom (or the cat curled up on your pillow last night). While there are lifesaving medications that are necessary for severe allergic reactions, the best defense is to strengthen our immune systems. Being patient and applying some smart methods can improve allergy symptoms.
So to all my fellow coughers, sneezers and snifflers—have a happy Spring!
Do you suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms? Have you tried natural ways to manage your symptoms? Leave a comment below and tell me how it worked for you.
*Eucalyptus oil is not recommended for children.