April Allergies & Their Remedies

                                   Nothing quite beats a Pennsylvanian spring…except for a double winter, of course. Though our sunny days, budding flowers, and warm breezes are being put on hold by Mother Nature, unfortunately, the allergen levels are as up and down as the barometric pressure of our atmosphere, and such rapid changes in this pressure, especially, will bring an onslaught of mucus, sore throats, headaches, fatigue, etc. to those who are more sensitive to our rapid climate.
A particular little “plague”, as I will refer to it, (one that I am well-acquainted with since childhood), is hay-fever. To those who are unfamiliar with exactly what it is, hay-fever is classified as a respiratory allergy that can be difficult for health care providers to pin-point the cause of, as irritants, (a.k.a. antigens), to the person can include almost anything: mold spores, animal dander, house dust, feathers, powders, chemicals such as insecticides & cleaners, and, of course, grasses. Symptoms of this broad reaction can vary from a pool of reactions, but typically encompass: watery/ itchy eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion with a watery discharge, headaches, and the ever-classic and perilous sneezing. One will also more than likely experience the frustration of excess mucus in the throat, nausea, and infection in the sinuses should the inflamed mucousa become hyper-irritated, which can happen through continuous nose-blowing.
Most doctors are willing to allopathically treat hay-fever through anti-histamines, most of which you can buy over-the -counter. These, however, only TEMPORARILY combat the symptoms of allergies by creating a shield for your histamine receptors and pausing irritation. The next approach may be steroids, but, again, this is only a temporary solution for a season-long issue, and if used chronically, can certainly affect your body long-term in the following ways: fluid and electrolyte imbalances, drowsiness, impaired resistance to infection, skin problems, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

So what do we do then, when we are tired; teary-eyed; have bleeding, chapped noses and upper lips from too many tissues; and want to limit our medicinal intake? Ah-ha! What Mother Nature giveth, she also gives the remedy to: just try the holistic approach! Massage Therapy, a gift to countless sufferers of countless illnesses, is here again to help re-balance and maintain the wellness of your body, mind, and spirit. Through the various points found around your head & face, and even your fingers and toes, (Reflexology, anyone?), Massage Therapy works to ease the inflammation of your sinus membranes so that fluids, (such as the excess mucus and lymph), may drain and be excreted through your other systems, (*also, remember what Mom used to harp us about: SPIT IT OUT!). In Chinese medicine, it is also the recommendation to work the Lung and Large Intestine meridians. Aromatherapy, too, is a wonderful tool to incorporate with your session, and can certainly help with your allergy symptoms by working with your respiratory system, making it easier to focus, feel energized/go to sleep, break down phlegm, prevent/treat existing infection, and open your airways by reducing inflammation, thus letting you breathe! Some essential oils that may be used are Rosemary, Clove, Eucalyptus (also found in Vick’s), Peppermint, Tea Tree, Lavender, Basil, Lemon, and Roman or German Chamomile. Of course, not every essential oil is for every body, and there are some you have to use caution with due to their own unique properties, so it is definitely important to talk with someone who is fluent and knowledgeable in Aromatherapy.
And although, yes, we M.T.s love to help you out whenever we can, we simply aren’t always available, especially during a flare-up in the middle of the night. However, there are some simple dietary rules to consider when allergy season is getting you down, mainly: avoid mucous-causing foods like dairy, wheat, and gluten; take Vitamin C; avoid sugars, for they encourage inflammation; and look up certain herbal to help ease symptoms, such as Feverfew and Ginger. Consider throwing in some Garlic where you can, (it also helps with immunity and blood vessel health!). Finally, (our favourite mantra): MAKE SURE TO DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.

               There you have it, friends: you don’t have to “just deal” with the disturbances of an allergy, and you don’t have to continuously take medication that makes you sleepy or disoriented – there are plenty of other solutions that are better for you in the long haul. So give it a shot: book a session, smell the oils, drink the tea, (aaaaand water), and breathe easy. Let’s work WITH your body instead of against the weather: it’s much more intelligent that way.

Namaste, friends, and take care: we hope to see you better soon!
-Amber

References:

http://pollen.aaaai.org/nab/index.cfm?p=AllergenCalendar&stationid=65&qsFullDate=04/11/2016

http://jeannerose.net/articles/aromatherapy_hayfever_allergies.html

http://www.rxlist.com/allergy_medications/drugs-condition.htm


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