Ease through Allergy Season
As we enter the spring season, all of nature – including our own bodies – undergoes a process of change and transition. Plants come out of dormancy and begin to emerge from the ground, animals come out of hibernation and become more active, flowers start to bloom and pollination begins. The energy of spring is “up and out.”
Many people experience allergy symptoms at this time of year, not only because of the increase in pollen in the air, but because our bodies are undergoing their own changes: toxins that have accumulated during the fall and winter months begin to come “up and out.” Our bodies are literally doing their internal “spring cleaning.” If we can support this process – rather than stifle it with drugs that merely suppress symptoms and ultimately lead to further accumulation of toxic burden – then our health and longevity improves, our immune systems become better able to deal with external influences and fight off disease, and allergy symptoms are reduced or disappear altogether. Just as a clean furnace filter helps your AC and furnace run more efficiently and keeps your house cleaner, keeping your internal organs clean (especially your liver, the major detoxifier of the body) helps your whole body run more efficiently.
Stress is also an important factor to consider when dealing with allergies. Allergic reactions are more severe when we are under stress, because our nervous systems are already in “fight or flight” mode (sympathetic dominant). Stress is cumulative and compromises our ability to cope, so any little trigger becomes “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” resulting in a reaction from the immune system. Managing stress in all its forms – not only emotional and mental stress, but stresses such as poor diet, chemical exposure, lack of rest, regular aches and pains, and over-stimulation – can go a long way to reduce or even eliminate allergies and their uncomfortable symptoms.
Here are a few things you can do to support your body and minimize allergy symptoms at this time of year:
- Eat Clean. Decrease consumption of fatty, heavy foods, fried foods, sugar, refined/processed foods, and alcohol. Focus on fresh fruit, leafy greens, salads, lean meats, poultry and fish. If you need help making dietary changes, a nutrition consultation with an expert can give you guidance and support to make it easier.
- Start Fresh. First thing in the morning, have a cup of hot water with half a lemon squeezed in it. This is an excellent way to support liver detoxification and decrease mucus in the body. Who knows, you may even find you like it better than your usual coffee!
- Bee Sweet! Consuming a small amount (such as a teaspoon daily) of locally produced honey can prevent or alleviate allergy symptoms, neutralizing your body’s adverse reactions to the pollens in your environment.
- Soak It Out. Doing an Ionic Foot Detox, or an at-home Epsom Salt and baking soda bath, supports and enhances your body’s detoxification process by drawing toxins out through your skin, your body’s largest eliminative organ.
- Move It Out. Massage and Yoga release built up tension and accumulated toxins, stimulating circulation to flush all the cells of your body with healthy, oxygenated blood. Both also reduce stress and pain. Additionally, Yoga postures stimulate blood flow to the internal organs, supporting detoxification and efficient functioning.
- Get the Energy Flowing! Acupuncture (or Acupressure, for those needle-phobics) is a highly effective method of bringing all of your body systems and organs into balance for improved health and well-being. Especially during the season changes, when specific organs are more stressed (the Liver is most active in spring), Acupuncture can improve health while reducing unpleasant symptoms.
- More Than Just a Pretty Smell… True Essential Oils, harnessing the concentrated life-giving properties from plants, can be used to support detoxification, ease allergy symptoms, and support the immune system. Many are antibacterial as well, to help ward off disease. For nasal congestion this allergy season, try inhaling Eucalyptus or Peppermint. Lavender is effective in treating symptoms of hay fever, as well as headaches, sneezing, and sore throats.
- Make a Shift. Ortho-Bionomy® uses gentle, attentive positioning of the body, to shift the nervous system from “fight or flight” (sympathetic) to “rest and digest” (parasympathetic) mode. It reduces stress and pain while supporting proper functioning of all the body systems, including the immune system. Specific releases can be used to address allergies and the particular symptoms you may be experiencing.
Wishing you a happy, healthy Spring, from all of us at Coastal Wellness!
-By Bryony Pullin, LMT